Saturday, January 29, 2011

WK 35: "Live Right Now" - no matter where you choose to put the punctuation...

The quiet, stark beauty of winter

CBC has a terrific new program on right now called, "Village on a Diet". Have you seen it?  The good citizens of Taylor, B.C. agreed to participate in a 2-month effort to increase their  fitness levels.  Each week the program focuses on a dozen or so people who are trying hard (some days more than others, as we can all well understand!) to exercise, diet and learn healthy new ways to live their lives - for the rest of their lives. 

I have enjoyed the show.  The folks are very real and have been generous in sharing very real feelings.  The change for most of them has been pretty stark and some of it, like the Great Tofu Bbq, has been hard for them to swallow.  But they are a determined lot and a tremendous inspiration to yours truly and thousands of other Canadians.

Along with the show, CBC has developed an accompanying website called, “Live Right Now”.  I was wondering about the choice of words for this title and what it is all meant to convey.  A lot depends on where you put the commas and the periods perhaps.  For instance, is it, “Live.  Right now.”  or maybe, “Live RIGHT.  Now.”  or even, “Live right. NOW.”  Regardless of how you punctuate it, the website is a wealth of information, inspiration and in-live support.  During/after each “Village on a Diet” episode there is a live blog for folks to check in with one another and comment on the lives, achievements and  efforts of the Taylor residents for that week.  And the evening afterward at 6p.m. eastern and pacific time there is the “Virtual Village Workout” devised by the show's personal trainers, Mike and Garfield.  Again with a live blog on FaceBook should you want to check in with others on how your workout is going.

Other experts on the site, include Dr. Ali, who herself struggled with weight issues while working through medical school; Adele, the down-to-earth pshychologist; Maria the helpful dietitian and Jonathan - chef extraordinaire (with the possible exception of the tofu recipe! The vote's still out on that one!). 

There are dozens (hundreds?) of challenges you can commit to - on-line at the Live Right Now website, if you choose to create a profile - and they run the full gamut from getting outdoors to build a snowman to washing the salt off your food to finding 15 minutes of quiet to sleeping 8 hours to drinking a glass of water.... well, you get the idea.  Not all the changes are drastic or take a lot of extraordinary effort. Almost none require any special exercise gear or anywhere special you must go. In fact regardless of one's circumstances, there is something enjoyable and quite doable for just about every kind of personality and every kind of schedule.  Lots of Canadians have signed up. Some individual challenges have over 2,000 personal commitments chalked up so far!

The Ontario Medical Association is behind the effort and contributes very sensible, doable suggestions while recognizing that most of us are time and energy-challenged in our daily lives.  Who better to know that than busy doctors?  The YMCA has a related membership offer.  And dozens and dozens of groups - offices, friends, families, towns, boys and girls associations - have formed to sign on to commit to various challenges.

It is an amazing initiative.  It is real enough, fun enough, flexible enough and has an appealing enough interactive website - to make this project catch on like wildfire across Canada and go viral over the internet.  It could change Canada.  Change how we feel and how long we live and how well.  And it could dramatically change our health system. I am pretty sure it is going to change me!

I invite you to take a look.
The Village on a Diet website:
The Live Right Now website:
The Taylor BC folks are on “Village on a Diet” every Monday night on CBC.

Yes, I did make 4 commitments: 
1) to walk 20 minutes a day
2) to do Mike and Garfield’s virtual workout on Tuesdays and check in on the live chat afterwards.
3) to lose 5 lbs. (for starters).
4) to tell my Doctor about 'Live Right Now' and encourage a patient-group commitment at our Family Practice.

Dr. Ali said something I thought quite important to keep uppermost in my mind - for the rest of my life.  “Enjoy the process.”  Dieting and exercising and anything else we may decide to do to improve our health is not all about the end achievement or results down the road; it is a process to  be enjoyed in and of itself. Significant advice.  Thanks, Dr. Ali!

Cheers!  I will be writing a special blog this Friday, Feb. 4th.  That is my 60th birthday.  WhooHaw!  I'm almost there; I’m almost ready.  I think...

Thanks for walking with me on my footpath this week,

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful winter pictures Gillian! Stark but serene.


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