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  • September 01 2011

    Trading salami sandwiches for workouts during the KC Slimdown Challenge

    This post is also published on the KC Slimdown Community Challenge blog, along with more great weight loss and personal health tips.

    I am so proud of the employees of the City of Kansas City for their overwhelming participation in Cerner's KC Slimdown Challenge. I personally understand how difficult it can be to make different lifestyle choices. I've always enjoyed comfort food (I can't resist the grilled salami sandwich at the Filling Station!) and relaxation more than rice cakes and exercise. Seeing our employees energized about getting healthy has renewed my own commitment to changing my bad habits.

    I've been a believer in the positive effects of Tai Chi for a while. Since the kick off of the KC Slimdown Challenge, I've coupled my Tai Chi routine with regular trips to the gym. I've seen several of my staff and other City employees using Fitness Source across from City Hall. I found their dietary information especially helpful as I transitioned into a more healthy diet.

    My entire staff has made a conscious effort not to bring unhealthy snacks into the office. If it's not there, we can't eat it! During the first week of the KC Slimdown Challenge, we had pineapple mango salsa and hummus as snacks – a far cry from the more usual brownies and cookies. I've also found that the vending machines around City Hall have healthier choices including low fat chocolate milk and protein bars.

    I'll admit that I haven't been a perfect Slimdown participant. I've fallen off the wagon a couple of times. But I understand that making sweeping lifestyle changes doesn't happen overnight and without a lot of effort. This truly is a marathon and not a sprint.

    I'm determined to use the KC Slimdown Challenge to make significant changes in my lifestyle and urge others to do the same. Regardless of your goal, whether it is weight loss or simply eating a more balanced diet, this program is an excellent outlet to achieve it. I'm looking forward to seeing the results of the KC Slimdown Challenge in October!

    Sly James is the mayor of Kansas City.

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