First, we have to recognize and illuminate the problem: We are becoming heavier (and more unhealthy). Generally, we focus more on fixing health problems as they appear instead of preventing them.
Secondly, we have to, in our own circles, create a culture of wellness. It’s easier to start with young children and then lead by example to win over adults.
One of the good things about the Fit City Challenge is that the news about healthy choices is spreading, whether it’s by word-of-mouth, through articles found on these pages, community events or through other media.
Most, if not all, of the people who have shared their success stories here have said their next challenge in their fitness journey is to motivate others, to be that spark for someone else. It’s all about education and being a testimony for those who still struggle.
Living well really is contagious and you never know who is watching you. I’ve observed people close to me — who never really ate vegetables or drank only soda and sweet tea — now drinking water and making sure they eat something green for most meals.
It helps to encourage each other because we all have strengths and weaknesses. Some of us crave bad foods but can still find time and motivation to work out, while others eat well but just can’t make it off the couch.
That’s why it’s important to have a circle of like-minded people, or a special wellness tribe, if you will. Identifying where you need help and learning from others can give us balance.
Below are a few tips on changing the health culture around us, which I’ve learned from covering health and fitness stories, as well as inspiration from friends and co-workers.
Don’t shame people who haven’t adopted a healthier lifestyle. Everyone doesn’t have that epiphany at the same time.
Be encouraging to those who are struggling and reach out when you need support as well.
Don’t feel as though you must never eat any unhealthy foods, yet view those items as an occasional treat.
Spread the love — and knowledge — of cooking with (real) whole food. Include a variety of foods that come in many vibrant colors. Share with friends and family, or bring them into the kitchen with you.
For other ideas or resources on creating your own wellness tribe, go to fitcitytyler.com or like us on Facebook.