Our weight

I think about it all the time.   But this is the first time I’ve ever written about it. Ever.

It’s private, but you and I see it every day.  It’s my struggle with weight.

I’d like to say that I’m fine with what I weigh; that it hasn’t stopped me from doing what I want to do, and be who I want to be. But that wouldn’t be true. And if I hope my blog is anything, it’s honest. So, here is the elephant in the room. It’s me. (Pun kinda intended.)

I’ve been bigger than I am now, and certainly smaller. I’ve been on every diet known to mankind. Cabbage soup? HCG? Weight Watchers? Nutri-system? Yes, all those and more. I was on my first diet at the age of 12. I can’t count how many I’ve been on since then. I KNOW what to eat, what not to eat, and how to lose weight. I’ve done it plenty of times.

Over the years and through it all, I’ve been lucky to have friends and family that continue to love and support me for who I am, not what I look like. Although my outside has been many sizes, my heart and soul continues to be as big as it can be, and I think that’s a good thing.

I AM active – which surprises many people. All my activity has probably kept me from having any weight related problems. I bike (averaging about 25 miles at a time, and even done a century!), walk (sometimes run), take dance classes, play volleyball (when I can), garden and more.

So, why am I writing this post?

I went to a screening of the “Weight of the Nation” documentary by HBO – put on by the Advocates for Health in Action (AHA) this week. We only watched the section on childhood obesity called “Children in Crisis” of the documentary – but the impact of the obesity epidemic on our children and our nation just hit home for me.  (You can also watch the full documentary on their website at: http://theweightofthenation.hbo.com)

Here are some telling figures:

•  Children that have a TV in their room are more likely to be obese

•  79 million Americans are pre-diabetic

•  Half of obese teenage girls become extremely obese by their early 30’s

•  In the US in 2010, over 63% of people are overweight or obese

•  Twenty years ago, no state had an obesity rate above 15%. Today, more than two out of three states, 38 total, have obesity rates over 25%

How can Cities and Towns help?

It’s not JUST personal responsibility that contributes to weight gain. There ARE things that cities, towns, leaders and advocates can do to lead the charge to a healthier path.

For instance, the documentary included a great story about Mayor Dean of Nashville – whose concern that Tennessee had one of the highest obesity rates of any state, and the plans he put in place to change that trajectory. He led the charge to invest in making the city more walk and bike friendly, adding more greenways, sidewalks and bike lanes; created programs to get people outside, apps to track your activities, and engaged the community to come together around this important issue.

It’s not a severe problem that we currently have in Wake County – in fact, the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps program recently ranked Wake as the overall healthiest county in North Carolina for the fourth consecutive year.  But we can’t stop now.  We must continue to invest in programs and infrastructure that keeps us on the path towards healthy lifestyles.

In case you think this is just a “social program” keep in mind that an obese workforce costs American businesses an estimated $73.1 billion a year.  So a “healthy town” decreases costs for business owners. Think of it as Economic Development. 🙂

So, again, why am I writing about all of this? 

Well, I’m putting it out there… being honest about who I am, and what envision for me and my family.  And this all lines up with what I hope we can achieve for our entire community.

This also a way to document my journey, be honest about my struggle while hoping other folks will accept me for the path that I am on.

My commitment is to eat healthier, stay active, and find ways to help us all live productive, fun, healthy and loving lives.

I hope you’ll support me in this journey.

 

(Featured photo by Natalie Johnson)

8 Responses to Our weight
  1. Jillian Goodtree Reply

    Very well-written, Mrs. Lori! I think you’re beautiful inside AND out!! I definitely support you in your journey and commitment to eat a little healthier and stay active.

    PS the monogrammed scarf you gave me on Christmas Eve was such a hit here at USC! I can’t thank you enough for the lovely and thoughtful gift 🙂

  2. Susan Kroll Reply

    Thank you Lori! And as a grateful constituent, mother, and PTA wellness committee co-chair, who had the pleasure of walking along side you as you supported my kids walk to school day. Then you continued to work with us ever since to create more safe walking routes to school. You practice what you say here. And Im so grateful!

  3. Wayne Clark Reply

    Well said, Lori. It took a lot of courage to write this but as long as I have had the pleasure of knowing you, courage has never been in short supply.

    You know how much I love to ride my bike. So any time you want to cruise around Cary or environs, just drop me a note and I’ll be there.

  4. Jeff Weinberger Reply

    Lori: this is a hard topic to tackle. Thank you for raising this and having the courage to publicly discuss your personal experience.

    You, me and many others (in fact, I suspect most people) have too much information about what we should and should not do, but have little about how to turn that into action in our own lives every day. Or many people have little ability to actually do the things we need to do because of lack of access.

    This is not only a significant public health issue, but a very personal issue for the millions of us who struggle daily. Helping people turn knowledge into action can solve a good part of this. Keep going – you have my support and that of many others!!

  5. Jackie Holcombe Reply

    Lori, you are my hero! Thank you for sharing what truly is personal for many of us in a thoughtful, motivating post.

  6. Lori Reply

    Thanks everyone. I am incredibly touched by the outpouring of support, encouragement and love.

    You made a difficult and personal topic much easier to share.

    You all SO enrich my life – I’m honored and blessed that you are part of my community family.

  7. Michele McKinley Reply

    Lori, great post! It’s not easy, and in Wake–and Cary–we have a lot of resources, but as you noted, sometimes it’s not just about our own personal responsbility–sometimes the environment we’re in is a factor. Thanks for coming to the AHA/Town of Cary screening on Saturday and sharing your story!

  8. Sig Hutchinson Reply

    Lori:

    Thank you for your insight and courage this is exactly why I think this is not and cannot be a conversation about weight. Obesity should not even be in our vocabulary. To do this correctly, this has to be a conversation about “Healthy Lifestyle” and a culture of “Active Living.” This is not a conversation of scarcity that you have to lose weight and suffer through the latest fad diets. This is a conversation of abundance of living a better, healthier, happier life, not because you have to, but because you want to. Time spent on a beautiful greenway or walking to the store, or school, or work because you choose to and not because you have to. It’s a game changer to think about our community and all it offers as a conversation of abundance.

    You look great and I love you positive attitude and contagious smile. You are a wonderful example of a talented and passionate person living an active life style and making the making a difference in the world in one the most beautiful Cities in the Country, maybe even the world.

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