Fat or fit in 2004? It’s up to us! | TheUnion.com

Fat or fit in 2004? It’s up to us!

No matter what shape you’re in, you have to make a decision! If you’ve lived a little too well in 2003 and need to lose a few pounds, or even if you gained ground in the battle to achieve fitness, you still have to make a decision! Go forward? Stay the same? Or lose ground? These are your only options. If you choose to go forward, the community MELTDOWN event can help.

Why MELTDOWN? A brief history:

Two years ago, as an admitted workaholic, overweight (5-foot, 2-inches at 182 lbs) and out-of-shape 58-year-old, I decided to get fit. Chronicling my experience in The Union, I regularly exercised, changed my eating habits, and lost 62 pounds.

As I went about my personal affairs in our community, I was approached by strangers – sometimes seeking guidance, sometimes celebrating their successes. Even though I consider my own fitness a work-in-progress, increasingly I felt the need to turn my attention to others. With obesity becoming an epidemic, I had a sense of urgency.

After two years of the new “fit” me (people I haven’t seen for a while don’t always recognize me), I regretted not making these changes earlier. I wanted everyone to enjoy the benefits I’d discovered late in life – looking the way I wanted in my clothes while simultaneously reducing my medical risks, increasing my energy, and feeling years younger.

Synchronicity at work

At Thanksgiving, when I raised the question in my monthly fitness column of whether the community would like to start the New Year with a MELTDOWN to combat obesity, the response was overwhelming. Thanks to outpouring of volunteer effort, a free community MELTDOWN patterned after a similar project in Garden City, Kan., begins Jan. 6.

Immediately jumping in, the Community Wellness Coalition lent its resources and support. The coalition is a broadly-based group whose funding and participating members include the United Way; Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital; Nevada County Human Services Agency; Superintendent of Schools; cities of Grass Valley, Nevada City and Truckee; Sierra Economic Development District; and Nevada County Board of Supervisors. One of the members, for example, is working to get a proclamation from the Board of Supervisors declaring January and February community MELTDOWN months.

Other coalition members publicized the event through their various venues, helping to arrange publicity on KNCO or contributing expertise. The list of everything they did is too long to detail here. Suffice it to say that they have given 100 percent support and view the MELTDOWN as the first of many events throughout the year to promote fitness.

Fitness centers’ generous offer

The fitness community also responded. Most generously, five fitness centers (first South Yuba, then Club Sierra, Fast and Fit, Curves and the Courthouse Athletic Club) agreed to let participants who are not current members use their facilities without charge during the eight week program. In addition, Mike Carville of the South Yuba Club volunteered to coordinate and host the event and to create a flier and a Web site. To help get word out, Jon Katis of Club Sierra invited Mike Carville and me to participate in his weekly radio show on KNCO.

At the grass roots level, individual readers responded by e-mail. Teams of five began organizing. Dixie Redfearn kept readers informed of the growing number of teams at The Union. Helga’s Hairstyling, in addition to organizing a team, volunteered to do make-overs, nails, and pedicures for winners. A V’tae gift basket ($150) was donated by Belinda Rush and a “Gourmet Picnic for Two” at Loma Rica Fountains was donated by Phil Carville. Experts in health and fitness volunteered to teach. (See the schedule of speakers and topics below.)

Our Vision: Nevada County as leader in the nation.

While working on this event, a common vision emerged. Just as we seek to reach our personal best in our own lives, collectively we are working to make Nevada County the leader of fitness and wellness in the nation.

Being a part of the team working together to realize this community vision is inspiring. We have the physical environment and expertise resident in our community. And maybe, just maybe, we have enough commitment from ordinary people – people just like you and me – to make it happen.

Because of the number of teams that are being organized, we’ve moved the first meeting on Jan. 6 from the South Yuba Fitness Center to the Don Baggett Theatre at Nevada City High School.

Meltdown Presentation Schedule – FREE Public Event

Tuesdays 7-9 p.m., Jan. 6th to Feb. 24th

Due to high participant turnout, presentation no. 1 (Jan. 6th) will be held at The Don Bagget Theater, Nevada Union High School from (7 p.m. – 9 p.m.).

1. “Getting Started – Exercise and Weight Loss!” – Mike Carville, NASM

Fitness Trainer, South Yuba Club; Jan. 6

a. Program introduction, enrollment/team formation, mini health fair.

b. Club and Team enrollment.

2. “Personal Best – Successful Lifestyle Behaviors” – Carole Carson,

Health Columnist; Jan. 13

3. “Wellness and Risk Factors” – Debbie Wagner, SNMH, Wellness Center and Robin Mallery, RN Manager, SNMH Cardiac Rehab; Jan. 20

4. “Body Mechanics for Living Life” – John Seivert, Physical Therapist,

Seivert Physical Therapy; Jan. 27

5. “Healthy Nutrition” – Laura Seeman, SNMH, Registered Dietician; Feb. 3

6. “Designing Your Home Gym” – Scott Jackson, Owner, Real Life Fitness;

Feb. 10

7. “Popular Diets and Medical Considerations” Roger Hicks, M.D. and

Kitty Kelly, R.N., Yuba Docs; – Feb. 17

8. Conclusion/Party – Feb. 24

a. Q & A, The Next Step, celebration party.

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