Rodney N. Goodie: “Houston The Fattest City?”

By Rodney N. Goodie
Executive Director
St. Hope Foundation

There’s nothing like being ranked #1. It’s a dubious honor that everyone cherishes; however, Houston is ranked #1 as the fattest city in the United States according to Men’s Fitness. Wake up Houston! We have a problem! How can this be with so many jogging trails and a short winter season creating many opportunities to run? It seems nearly every corner has a MyFit foods, Central Market or HEB foods. Really? When we walk into the grocery stores we are bombarded with trail mix nuts and fruits. Not to mention the many beautiful workout centers we have… YMCA, 24Hr Fitness, LA Fitness, and so on. So what gives? How could such a wonderful city where many have migrated to in the last few years be so fat? I’ll take a leap of faith here and submit one reason relates to our busy lives. We have so many competing interest forcing us to multi-task a day to exhaustion. Committing time to taking care of your health is essential. Ask yourself, when was the last time you worked out consistently for 3 weeks without missing days? It’s hard to do as we often find ourselves starting and stopping our work out plans due to the many competing interests.

Personally, I’ve taken an extreme group challenge at work. We started the Biggest Loser Challenge in our office. With almost 50 full time employees, only 20% of the staff signed up, paid their entry fee and are committed. Getting healthy is not easy business but the long-term rewards have to prevail. Find something to push you to that uncomfortable place to take action and do it. Maybe it’s your children that motivate you because you want to live long enough to see your grandchildren? Maybe it’s your partner, your pet, your co-worker, your friend or even your enemy, but whatever it may be, make sure you “take action!” Let’s go Houston! Let’s create the Biggest Loser Challenge for the city to see how much weight we can shed by next year. One million pounds sounds like a great city goal. Can we ask the Mayor to lead the charge? No, don’t wait for political leaders. Be a committee of one, find support and do it yourself. Create the Biggest Loser Challenge in your office, school, church, social organization or home. You can do it!