I got to walk through the South Carolina Governor's mansion today
Whew, what a day this has been! As I blogged about the other day, my activity tip was chosen by the Healthy SC Challenge to be featured in a special open house ceremony at the Governor's mansion in Columbia, South Carolina today and it was an exhausting, but fanastic visit.
Before I left Spartanburg for the 90 minute trip to Columbia, though, my local newspaper The Spartanburg Herald-Journal was nice enough to print a story entitled "Spartanburg man honored for weight loss" featuring my visit with Gov. Mark Sanford and First Lady Jenny Sanford. The column was written by the health writer Amanda Ridley who has always been extremely open and friendly to me and has never criticized my low-carb lifestyle in any way. Don't you wish ALL journalists would be this objective? :)
Here's the text of that brief, but excellent column she wrote:
For the last two years, Spartanburg resident Jimmy Moore has spent almost every lunch hour on the treadmill at the YMCA.
That -- and following the Atkins low-carb diet -- is the secret to his 180-pound weight loss and the reason he's being honored at the Governor's Mansion in Columbia today.
Gov. Mark Sanford and First Lady Jenny Sanford are hosting an open house and awards ceremony for the winners of the 2006 Healthy South Carolina Challenge, a yearlong program dedicated to helping improve the health of citizens in this state.
Moore is being honored for his lunch-hour work out tip and his blog -- an Internet journal that has recorded his journey from 410 pounds to his current, lighter weight.
"I feel obligated (to share my success) because of the gifts I've received. And I truly consider my weight loss a real gift," Moore said. "I'm really honored to be chosen, and I'm excited to see South Carolina making a real attempt to promote healthy living."
Awards will also be presented to Darlington County, which made the most improvements in overall health, including percent changes in body mass index, smoking rates and physical activity, during the last year, according to 2005 data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The YMCA's South Carolina Shrinkdown, which is the parent program to the Greater Spartanburg Shrinkdown that was held during February and March, will also be honored.
"Thursday's event is meant to recognize those who are swimming against the tide by working to improve the culture of poor health in our state," Jenny Sanford said in a written statement. "My hope is by creating awareness of the importance of good health, others will join in the effort to make South Carolina a healthier place."
What a fantastic story by Amanda Ridley! You can thank her for daring to go against the tide by writing a pro-low-carb story by e-mailing her at Amanda.Ridley@shj.com.
The trip down to Columbia was a beautiful one with the sun shining and the temperature in the upper 70's. What a perfect day, although it was quite breezy which made it interesting for the poor people trying to distribute flyers at the Governor's mansion about the Healthy SC Challenge. They resorted to putting bananas on top of each stack of papers, but the wind was so strong, it even blew them off!
Ain't Christine the purtiest thang you ever laid eyes on?!
My wife Christine was able to be with me for this special event and I was so proud to show off the shining jewel in my life. She's going through a very difficult physical time right now with a mysterious pain in her side, but she said she wouldn't have missed this for the world!
They had a hula hooping contest beforehand and even convinced Gov. Mark Sanford to participate in his suit (I think he lasted about 2 seconds) and it was a pretty funny sight. One "professional" hula-hooper went for 31 seconds and even balanced a book on her head for several seconds while doing it. Show off! LOL!
I ran into one of the ladies from my local YMCA who was on hand for her participation in the Greater Spartanburg Shrinkdown recognized at the event. She can vouch for why I missed my workout at the YMCA during my lunch hour today! :D
Okay everybody, get those heart rates up and bodies sweatin'!
Before the various awards were presented, they got this energetic praise workout lady to give us a sampling of what her exercise classes are like. With the sweltering heat and the wind, it was hard enough just standing still, much less do aerobics! But I admired her efforts and the techno version of the classic hymn "Amazing Grace" was a nice touch.
There was also food at the event from the winners of the recipe contest. When I spoke with the event coordinator about my low-carb fried chicken recipe, she said they LOVED it, but wanted to feature as many different people as possible. That's understandable, although I think at least ONE truly low-carb recipe would have been nice to feature.
Jenny Sanford has pushed the Healthy SC Challenge to success
When the ceremony was over, I walked up to First Lady Jenny Sanford and thanked her for what she was doing leading this effort to make South Carolina a healthier place. I briefly shared with her my weight loss success story and presented her with a copy of my "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" book. She got tickled by the title and the subtitle -- "My Journey From Flabby Fat To Sensationally Skinny In One Year." I got a promise out of her that she'll read it, so I look forward to hearing what she thinks about it.
All in all, I'd say this was a good day. But my body is so tired from all the running around and driving. I stopped by to say hello to my friends at the brick-and-mortar low-carb store OK-Carbs on Harbison Blvd. in Columbia, SC on the way back. We picked up some stuff to munch on and even found some new products to try. Can you believe they are STILL in business as an exclusive local store only without any Internet presence. Whoa, now that's pretty amazing!
For more information about the Healthy SC Challenge, please visit HealthySC.gov.