That, in a nutshell, is why The Anniston Star’s project, “Our Big Problem,” is so important to northeast Alabama. It is past time to begin real conversations about our lives, our bodies and our health.
With that, we reintroduce an example of what’s possible.
Last week, The Star’s Healthy Living 2012 section highlighted residents who are part of the solution to Our Big Problem. There were health-care professionals, residents who have taken on important New Year’s resolutions, and people who have completely remade their lives.
Anthony Blair, who graced that publication’s cover, was one of those people. The Lincoln resident is 45 and a married father of two. He works as a robotics engineer at North American Bus Industries. Before he took control of his health, he was overweight and suffered from several health issues, including high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar and high cholesterol.
By eating smart and becoming active — he’s a runner — he’s lost 72 pounds and shed his lengthy list of medical concerns. He is an illustration of what can happen when Alabamians adopt healthy lifestyles that include exercise and smart choices (not gimmick diets) on what they eat.
As Blair told The Star, “I feel like I have a life again, given a second chance to turn things around.”
How’s that for a motivational speech?
Remember, creating healthy lifestyles is akin to a mason building a brick wall; it takes brick after brick after brick, each placed in the correct position. Blair, our model, didn’t lose 72 pounds by skipping fast-food burgers for a month. Neither are New Yorkers going to reduce their waistlines simply because Mayor Michael Bloomberg says they can’t slurp large sodas in Big Apple restaurants.
In other words, Alabamians mustn’t stray from the larger picture. Getting healthy is an umbrella that covers what we eat, how much we eat, and how often we exercise. Progress is slow. Results aren’t overnight. But with persistence, they do happen.
At the end of the day, Alabamians must ask themselves: How much do I value my health? Let these success stories be guides to improved lifestyles.