Are you up to the challenge?

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 3, 2003

I never imagined the amount of responses I would receive after I wrote last week about losing weight.

There were numerous congratulatory messages, notes and - yes - even people stopping me in stores and telling me to keep it up.

Out of all the things I've experienced since returning to Andalusia last year, those compliments were probably some of the best I've received.

And that got me to thinking.

What if we, as a community, all try to slim down together?

We've seen it on television. Whole towns working in unison to lose the fat and get healthy.

In Iowa, an entire city's battle of the bulge was documented on ABC.

Why can't that happen here? We don't have to be on TV, but we all could stand to lose a few pounds or get in shape a little better.

I know the holidays are approaching and no one wants to really think about losing a few pounds with all the turkey, dressing, cakes, pies, hams, cookies and other confectionery goodies at our finger tips; but it is a good time to think about it.

I actually tend to lose weight around the holidays, simply because I'm so paranoid about eating too much.

We all recognize how overweight our nation is, but look around. Have you stopped to recognize how overweight and out of shape Andalusia and Covington County is?

Sure, we see the folks running through town every morning, on the tennis courts or at the gym - but that's just a small number of people when compared to the 10,000 or so people in Andalusia and the 30,000 people in Covington County.

Just imagine, if everyone in Andalusia or Covington County that was overweight, just a little, lost between 5 and 10 pounds - the healthy way - we would be well on our way to doing our part to fight the fat in America.

But how do we get there? We can't do it alone. We need each other, and we need help.

Living in the South, eating 'good' is just part of life, but eating healthier - well, that's typically just not our fort\u00E9. If there were some way to combine good eating with healthy eating, then who knows where we would be.

I'm up for the challenge, and I hope there are several of you out there up for the challenge as well.

Therefore, I'm issuing this challenge to everyone within reach of this column - "Let's all get together and fight the fat. Let's lose 10,000 pounds collectively by New Year's Eve."

Can it be done?

Sure. How do we do it?

I don't know, but I'm betting there are some people out there who know how it can be done.

So, what do you say? Are you up for the challenge?

I am.