Cllr Mason said; "Portsmouth has higher rates of obesity than many other places in the UK and it's causing people to die younger and have a poorer quality of life. I know that my own weight has led to health problems and I want to be an inspiration rather than a warning. If I can change my eating habits and get more active then anyone can.
Cllr Mason sets his goals for the city to achieve 1 million lbs lost, 1 million miles walked and 1 million hours volunteered. "As the name of the campaign suggests, this is not about drastically altering your life but about making small changes, which we know can make a big difference. I also wanted to include a volunteering element as I'm a passionate volunteer and see how much of an impact it has on organisations. Many places wouldn't be able to run without volunteers. At the end of my year as Lord Mayor I'm really hoping to have made a lasting change for the city, and helped it to be a healthier, better place to live."
"It's been great how well received the campaign has been, people have been coming up and telling me how they've started joining gyms, or doing couch to 5k or they're tweaking their diet. A fabulous response! The big challenge for us now is to keep people motivated and on the programme."
"I know that when people, including me, hit minor setbacks or have a slip it's tempting to walk away, but we need to support people to keep going. I know we will recruit more people as the campaign progresses as when residents see the results they'll want to be part of it. In only 3 weeks I am noticing that I can climb the stairs easier and without getting so out of breath and walking to the shops is no longer such a challenge. Whilst weight hasn't dropped dramatically yet I know muscle weighs more than fat and as I build more muscle it will start to burn fat faster too. The feeling and greater comfort in movement makes it worthwhile alone for me.
"The support we've seen from organisations so far has been amazing. If you're out of shape or unhealthy don't be put off heading to a gym or leisure centre, they aren't judging you! The staff just want to see you at the best you can be and help you get there. And with groups like GoodGym you can volunteer and improve your community at the same time. And remember small changes mean a big difference."
Cllr Mason also mentioned the other day about doing the 20 minute walk each way to the supermarket & buying sugar free fruit squash rather than the fizzy drinks he usually buys, highlighting that these
"small Changes mean a big difference" for the city."
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