This is the second guest post (see his first here) from Jason Little, recreation manager for the City of Cottonwood. Jason has over thirteen years administrative experience in municipal government operations with an emphasis in parks and recreation. He has spent his entire career with the Cottonwood Parks and Recreation Department; an agency that has grown exponentially in the last eight years. The Cottonwood Parks and Recreation Department considers recreation to be an essential service and strives to “make the good life better” for the citizens.Just three weeks and 1100 pounds lost into the City of Cottonwood’s second Annual Looking Good Cottonwood Program participants are adhering to the 3M’s of weight loss success; Motivation, Movement and Moxie. Currently just 1.2 percentage points separate the first and second place female contestants and sixth/hundredths of a percentage point separates the 1st and 2nd place candidates in the men’s division. While weight loss journey’s like the aforementioned are fun to follow, I think it is more important to focus on the expedition of the other 296 contestants. Although their weight loss numbers are not nearly as pronounced, they are just as significant. From the single mother of a newborn baby that just traded in her size 18 jeans for size 14s in the programs clothing exchange to the 38-year-old father of two recently asked by his family physician if he wanted to see his children graduate from high school, everyone is on this journey and motivated for their own personal reasons.
How Cottonwood Is Getting Active
Participants in this year’s program are being instructed by fitness trainers to get up, get out, and move. A portion of the contestants have employed the use of pedometers to track and gradually increase the number of steps they are taking weekly. Participants are taking advantage of the instructor through running and hiking classes on the weekends. Just last weekend while on the hike, I was approached by a mother of two small children exclaiming that she did not realize how close in proximity and navigable the trails were within our parks system for individuals of all ages. Participants are also taking advantage of our weekly seminars entitled, “A Clean Bill of Health; How to Find it, How to Keep It, and How to Live It.”
How Cottonwood Is Getting Informed
To date, contestants have learned about joints and how the consumption of various foods can act as anti-inflammatory’s, how foods rich in soluble fiber and sterols can lower blood cholesterol levels and how family meal planning acts as a catalyst in reducing obesity and enhancing healthy family lifestyles. As conveyed by the seminar instructor; “Just knowing what is in your cupboards and through the consumption of balanced recipes families can properly and successfully equip their children with healthy eating habits that can and more than likely be employed lifelong. Healthful foods are just as convenient as processed foods.”
How New Year's Resolutions Are Holding Strong
In conclusion the participants in this year’s 2nd Annual Looking Good Cottonwood weight loss program are adhering and applying the resolve and moxie to attain their weight loss goals. Contestants are working with program instructors and other contestants by holding each other accountable. Having recently attended a Super Bowl party, four of the competitors opted for the lettuce wraps instead of the standard Super Bowl spread. Contestants are becoming more cognizant and applying the principles discussed in this year’s program. Contestants are bicycling to work and walking on breaks, using pedometers to track movement patterns and walking with their families. Every individual participating in the 2nd Annual Looking Good Cottonwood Program is aspiring to accomplish the resolutions set forth in January. In the process they are inspiring others within their immediate and extended circle of family, friends, and acquaintances.