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