The results are in, San Angelo, and we finished in the top 10 in the H-E-B Healthy Community Challenge! The eight-week competition ran statewide from Sept. 1-Oct. 31, and challenged communities to demonstrate their dedication to healthy living.
The challenge was based on individual and group participation, and rankings were broken down among five community size categories. San Angelo was classed in the mid-size category, and got off to a strong start with the support of Shannon Hospital and Mayor Dwain Morrison.
Morrison opened the competition with a motivational video in which he declared, “It has come to my attention that really I am too much mayor for the city of San Angelo, and I have made a conscious effort to lose about 40 pounds of this mayorship.”
Throughout the eight weeks, San Angeloans and local organizations hosted a number of house parties, walks, runs and healthy gatherings to earn points for the community.
The city started off strong, ranking number two in its class in week one and slipping down to third in week two. San Angelo lost a few spots in the final stretch, and finished 7th out of 44 mid-sized Texas communities.
Following the release of the results on Nov. 6, which showed Pharr, Pearland and Missouri City as the top three, LIVE! caught up with Mayor Morrison to check his progress on his 40-pound weight loss goal.
“Most of them [the pounds] are still there,” Morrison said. “I think I lost about five pounds, and that’s not enough, but it is a start…I am still working on it.”
Although his goal is still a bit far from reach, Mayor Morrison recognizes the need to address the issue of obesity in the city and nationwide, and feels San Angelo is on the right path toward healthier lifestyles.
“In the last couple of years, I think we have used walks and runs more of a means of celebration than we used to,” Morrison said. “I think different organizations are using exercise as a way of promoting whatever they’re promoting.”
Morrison cited the high turnout for the Color Up 5k at Riverfest and the recent Alzheimer’s Walk as examples of how organizations are incorporating fitness into their programs. The city has indeed seen a number of walks and runs recently, including the Pink Ribbon Run hosted by Shannon Medical Center in October for which the city received 500 points in the challenge, and the SAPD’s Anti-bully Walk/Run.
Now that the official challenge is over, Mayor Morrison emphasizes that continued participation in healthy events is important for the community.
“We all need to eat better,” he says. “We need to eat more healthy, and we need to eat more greens. Obesity is becoming an epidemic in our country. We need to recognize that and doe something about it.”
The H-E-B Healthy Community Challenge is an annual event that takes place statewide. San Angelo has participated for the past two years. This year, the community came in 7th with a total of 56,710 points.