This lunch box is not just a lunch box. It symbolizes what is important in preventive medicine, including the habits that form the foundation of a healthful lifestyle. Every patient encounter is an opportunity to emphasize the importance of each individuals “lunch box”; the habits, the skills, and the lifestyle that comes with having one.
Included is a photo of my go-to lunch box for the last five years, a “sport model” if you will. It has smooth contours, a sturdy handle, and a shoulder strap for carrying into the emergency room and hospital wards. It features two large compartments with a bottom for heavier items such as frozen lunches and protein shakes, and a top for fruit sliced each morning. Most clinic days this fruit includes a sliced apple and pear with a small container of mixed nuts. I carry this lunch box everywhere. It has been an absolute lifeline for the last 2.5yrs of medical school and will be essential as a practicing doctor.
Sustainable lifestyle changes do not include fad diets or fat burners. They are founded on habits, hard work, and motivating reinforcement from healthcare providers. It goes without question that within my first week of practice as a doctor, I will be asked for health advice regarding sustainable weight-loss. The cornerstone of this advice will be a story about a lunch box and what it represents for preventive health care.
Aric Sudicky is a former Canadian Fitness Professional of the Year, senior medical student, and researcher in lifestyle-related disease. Current projects include the Prevention Rx public health initiative and innovative Canadian medical education curriculum in exercise and nutrition. You can follow Aric via his facebook or twitter pages