Not Just Talking About It

 Not Just Talking About ItI am no longer just talking about fighting obesity in America I am doing something about it.  What am I doing about it you are asking?  Or you are saying to yourself, yes I know you are contacting at least 2 companies/organizations/persons of influence a day until obesity gets the attention it deserves and you would be partly correct.

I undertook that task and sent twitter messages to Texas Gov. Rick Perry.  I sent emails to Texas Sen. Hutchinson as well as an organization in King County Washington, but it was another contact I made that has made this possible.

I contacted Shape Up America asking them if there was anything I could do to help raise awareness about the obesity epidemic in America.  Like my previous contacts I was not expecting to get a response right away and if I did it would be the form letter similar to ones I had already received.

This time was different.  I received an email from Shape Ups VP of Operations Pat Fuchs, RD that was so personable I felt an immediate connection to her.  Her email ended with the statement that if I wanted to discuss further to email back with a time and phone number I was available.  After emailing back (almost immediately) I got another in response asking if I was available for a phone call and sure I was.

During our phone call Pat and I discussed a whole host of ways to work together and we ended the call with setting up another phone call with the Alex Colcord, the technology director of Shape Up America.

That conversation took place last night and we hammered out a number of details that is going to make this an epic relationship.  Before I give you the details on our relationship I want to lay out for you what Shape Up America is all about.  This is directly from their website:

The purpose of Shape Up America! is to educate the public on the importance of the achievement and maintenance of a healthy body weight through the adoption of increased physical activity and healthy eating. Our mission is based on the scientific evidence that obesity is not just an appearance problem; it is a condition that can lead to serious disease. Obesity is associated with five of the ten leading causes of death and disability in the United States — heart disease, some forms of cancer, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and hypertension (high blood pressure). By clearly defining obesity as a major public health issue, Shape Up America! is conducting a broad-based education initiative to encourage sensible eating and increased physical activity in all individuals and a modest weight loss in overweight individuals that can be maintained over time.

With the ultimate goal of stimulating behavior change, Shape Up America! is focusing on redefining weight management by encouraging increased physical activity and healthy eating for all Americans. Shape Up America! encourages small lifestyle changes that provide immediate health dividends, such as lower blood cholesterol levels. Additional benefits include increased independence, productivity, and reduced demands for health care services. Accordingly, the key messages are designed to promote increased physical activity and improvements in dietary intake that prevent weight gain or produce weight loss and weight maintenance. Shape Up America! is committed to disseminating these messages to men, women, and children of all ages, regardless of their ethnicity or socioeconomic status.

Could that mission have been a better match for what I wrote about in this post and this post?  I was thrilled during my conversation with Pat and Alex that we were going to be able to work together.

So now you want to know how we are going to work together and I will no longer keep you in suspense.

My goal is to raise $20,000 for Shape Up America between now and May 19, 2012 which is the day of Ironman Texas.  Through my racing of triathlon (70.3 Longhorn October, 70.3 Puerto Rico March, 140.6 Ironman Texas May) I will be covering a total of 281.2 miles between October 2011 and May 2012 and I hope that people will be willing to donate $.05 (5 cents) for each mile I race which totals out to $14.  If 1,428 people donate $14 I will have raised $20,000 for Shape Up America and the education of America on the impact of obesity on our society.  Essentially I have 9 months to convince 1,428 people that donating approximately $1.50 per month will benefit our society.

I am so excited to be racing on behalf of this 501(C)(3) non-profit organization and hope that you will help me spread the word about this undertaking.

In the next few days I will have the link to where donations can be made and it will be a dedicated page on my site under the Angels and Ninjas header at the top of the site.

Update:

Below is the link to the donation page where you can help fight obesity in America

Thank you for donating.  This is a great cause and I am proud to be partnered with Shape Up America and helping change America’s waist size.
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  • http://racingitoff.blogspot.com Lesley @ RacingItOff

    I expect nothing less from you, Jason. Waiting for the link so you only have to convince 1,427 people. I bet you surpass it.

  • http://misszippy1.blogspot.com misszippy1

    Awesome and good for you! Love it when people put their money where their mouth is! I’ll be donating…

  • http://climbrunliftmom.blogspot.com/ Haley @ Climb Run Lift Mom

    Jason, that’s super exciting!! You are making such a difference. I hope other people see your efforts and follow your lead. You are setting such a great example for us all. I’ll be sure to share you donation link once it’s posted. Can’t wait to see your exceed your goals!

  • http://marleneontherun.blogspot.com marlene

    You weren’t kidding: THIS IS EPIC

  • http://cautiouslyaudacious.blogspot.com/ Natasha

    I love this! Great way of taking action! Just out of curiosity did they mention other ways people could help them? Say if someone didn’t have a big even coming up to raise money? Good luck!

    • Jason

      Natasha -

      I can speak with Pat about this if you would like me to. Let me know what you are thinking and I will present it to her.

      • http://cautiouslyaudacious.blogspot.com/ Natasha

        That would be great. Perhaps if they needed help in getting info out or if they were thinking of creating outreach programs. It looks like they mainly rely on their webpage to get information to people.

        • Jason

          I will. I just asked her about setting up Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels as well so hopefully we can get them going on that as well. Once she replies back to me I will ask her about ways of creating outreach programs.

          • http://www.shapeup.org Pat Fuchs

            Pat would love to talk with Natasha!

  • Colleen

    Awesome new Jason! I’ll be donating! :)

  • http://www.dianatries-a-tri.blogpsot.com Diana

    Jason you are simply incredible. Way to put your money where you mouth is. Or where your swim/bike/run is! :)

  • http://Www.runemz.com Emz

    So freaking awesome.
    You know I love this & the $14 part. Should have been $44 but whatever.

    Rock. On. My. Friend.

    • http://www.shapeup.org Pat Fuchs

      The $14 was a suggested minimum, please feel free to increase that amount if it is within your means. We are working on the special CTER link for donations, hoping to get it up by tomorrow.

  • http://www.Races4Change.org Jennifer Luney

    Would love to help and partner with you Jason…thanks for the mention and heads-up!!

    • Jason

      I posted to Facebook as well about a meeting with Nutrition Addiction on Tuesday. Let me know if you can make it and if we can discuss about it then.

  • http://theroadmultisport.com Patrick

    Righteous. It’s your passion and your cause. Getting behind something you believe in is awesome. It’s great to race for more than yourself.

    We might somehow be cosmically connected – I’ve been working on a similar thing for my 2012 too the last couple of days. Weird, but good weird. I’m gonna have to go for $20,001 of course :)

    • Jason

      We certainly have a lot in common and the $20,001 is nothing but good competition. Can’t wait to see what you have up your proverbial sleeve Mr CdA!

    • http://www.shapeup.org Pat

      Shape Up America! would be pleased to work with you Patrick to see how this competitionworks out!

  • http://tridiesel.blogspot.com BDD

    Awesome

  • http://danglethecarrot.blogspot.com Jeff Irvin

    Good for you Jason! Way to put your neck out there for something you believe in!

  • http://trirunveg.blogspot.com Aimee (I Tri To Be Me)

    Awesome Jason!!!

  • http://thebluelinememoir.blogspot.com/ Summer Bailey

    Your Amazing Jason. Count me In!

  • http://www.runwithjill.blogspot.com Jill

    You’re such an awesome guy! Thank you for being so!!!

  • http://www.ironmanbythirty.com Kevin

    Great news! I look forward to following your progress.

  • Carrie

    Awesome! Count me in, too. Wonderful and inspiring as usual.

  • http://cooktraineatrace.com CTER

    The donation page has been created. This post has been updated as well to include the button to donate. Just click and you will be driven to the donation page where you can help fight obesity in America along with me. Thank you for reading and thank you for contributing.

  • http://junkmiles.org Jenn @ junkmiles.org

    I just got an email yesterday from the govt about the presidential challenge then later found out why…Our Boys and Girs Club has started a fundraiser as well with some 5-10ks to raise $$ and awareness…it’s attached to my son school and I’ve gone over and talked w/ them about exercise/lifestyle choices in the past….Soooo glad to see the kids are making an effort b/c I really think it has to start young before all those nasty habits have taken hold!! …and you are such a powerful force getting this word out!! Great job!!!

    I clicked on your donation link and it shut me down….I’ll keep trying, but wanted to let you know :)

    • http://www.shapeup.org Pat

      I just tested the link and the donation went through. Please try to complete your donation again. I did get an error message at the end of the process on the link to http://www.shapeup.org which we will fix as soon as possible.

      • http://cooktraineatrace.com CTER

        The link worked for me but as Pat says there is an error message at the end when you are being redirected to the ShapeUp.org website.

    • http://cooktraineatrace.com CTER

      Jenn – did you get through on the link?

  • http://www.blondeponytail.com/ Jess @ Blonde Ponytail

    You inspire me. You definitely make things happen. This is such an exciting venture for CTER and TAAN!! I’m in !

    • http://cooktraineatrace.com CTER

      You got it wrong my friend. It is people like you that inspire and motivate me to get better daily. It is people like you that make life the beauty that it is. I am fortunate to be able to share this little corner of the internet with you.

  • http://www.chasingthekenyans.com lindsay

    i admire your drive! i tend to get stressed/stretched thin whenever i dive into a cause i’m into. guess i try to do too much to soon? i dunno.

    good luck! keep us posted – i will support!

    • http://cooktraineatrace.com CTER

      I can have a tendency to go 100 mph and then pucker out but I think I have finally found that cause that I am so passionate about I won’t lose my inspiration to continue. I am fighting the urge to post nothing but stats about obesity at this point. Thank you for your support, it is truly appreciated.

  • http://junkmiles.org jenn @ junkmiles.org

    I did Jason….worked like a charm!

  • http://www.reasons2ride.com Joel Phillips

    We need to connect.

  • http://www.BeA24hrAthlete.com Carla & Eddie Weber

    Jason, you know how much we respect you and what you do. Glad to donate to such a wonderful cause. Good Luck!

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