When We Lead by Example, We Help Build Healthier Communities

“Leading Michigan to a healthier future.” Those words mean the world to me, not only because it is a mission that I believe in, but also a mission that I continuously strive for… every waking day.

And I truly mean that. Each morning, one of my first thoughts of the day is, “How do I motivate others to want to live a healthier life? How can I help them see that taking that first step towards better health isn’t so difficult to do, that it’s actually very simple?”  Believe it or not, this is what I focus on and I won’t stop until Michigan gets there.

Reaching Kids

And we will get there, I believe that. For me, creativity is a key component. There have been numerous times when a creative idea pops into my head. For example, just yesterday morning I listened to my favorite morning radio talk show and heard state Rep. Al Pscholka’s comments about the recent Obesity Summit held in Lansing on Sept. 21.

First off, I really wish I could have been there at the summit (though I feel that I was supposed to be somewhere else, which I’ll explain in just a moment). But my creativity started up when I heard Rep. Pscholka talk about the state’s efforts to prevent obesity and promote healthy behaviors in children and adolescents.

My creative mind wondered why I personally haven’t visited any of my local high schools to talk to these kids. I feel they may learn something if I can share my personal journey from obesity to a healthy lifestyle includes, especially those children who are dealing with weight issues like I did in high school.

But I soon remembered how I attempted to do that same thing years ago but was informed that there “wasn’t a need for it.” I was surprised to hear this back in 2003, yet I have a feeling that the local high schools may feel differently today… we’ll see! I think I might have a few phone calls to make.

Good Intentions Pay Off

Many of us are hoping to create healthier communities, and this starts by helping one person at a time — which brings me to why I feel that I was supposed to be somewhere else on Wednesday.

While doing some shopping that afternoon, I was at one of my favorite stores when a cashier recognized me and yelled my name from a few isles down. She was excited to see me, since she had some wonderful news to share.

There was a customer who has been coming into this same store for a years, and the cashier said she had noticed that woman had been losing some weight — actually, a lot of weight. The cashier, after months of noticing her weight loss, decided to mention it to the customer and was happy to discover that the woman had lost around 100 pounds!

Of course, curiosity got the best of her, and the cashier just had to ask how she lost the weight. The customer opened her purse and pulled out an article which included a photo — mine.  The cashier was amazed and said, “Did you know that Jodi shops here often?” The customer had no idea that I even lived in the area but said she simply followed my suggestion to live a healthy lifestyle… and that is why I felt I needed to be there that day.

And something else that really made me smile: this customer owns a bakery! It just goes to show you that a healthy lifestyle is totally doable, even when surrounded by fabulous, high-calorie food.

Commit to Lead

Her commitment to better health is the perfect example of creating healthier communities… she is a leader as far as I’m concerned! My next step is to meet her; it’s in the works now, and I’ll keep you posted.

Helping one person at a time and leading Michigan to a healthier future is our mission, MY MISSION.

Is it your mission too? Please share your creative ideas… together we will achieve it!

Photo by bbcworldservice.

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