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Can a whole city go on a diet?

By Michelle May, M.D.

michelle and bob greeneI recently had the privilege of doing one of the keynote presentations at the University of Oklahoma’s  Choosing Health event, along with Bob Greene (yes, Oprah’s trainer). This photo of us was taken after the speakers’ lunch along with a lucky audience winner who happened to be a dietitian; I’m the third one over with the green shirt.

This event was inspired by Oklahoma City’s Mayor Mick Cornett who put his entire city on a diet and set a goal for Oklahoma City to lose one million pounds. You may be asking yourself, as I did, how could a mayor have the audacity to put anyone, much less an entire city, on a diet?

As Mayor Cornett explained, his city was on the top of the lists for growth and employment, but also at the top of the list of obese citizens. He recognized that unhealthy lifestyles would limit the city’s potential so he launched the website www.ThisCityIsGoingOnADiet.com.

You know I don’t believe in diets but that isn’t really the mayor’s focus. The website is designed to encourage small lifestyle changes and provide support and accountability. More importanly, Oklahoma City isn’t just talking about leading a healthier lifestyle, they are investing in the necessary infrastructure – like putting gyumnasiums in inner city schools and sidewalks in all new city developments. And of course, they invited me to share my message about changing the weight management paradigm altogether – one more step in the right direction:)


About the author

Michelle May, M.D. is a recovered yo-yo dieter and the founder of the Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating Programs and Training. She is the award-winning author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: A Mindful Eating Program to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle , winner of seven publishing awards. She is also the author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat with Diabetes, Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat for Binge Eating, and Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating for Bariatric Surgery. Michelle shares her compelling message and constructive keynotes with audiences around the country, offers workplace wellness programs, and has trained and licensed hundreds of health professionals to facilitate Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating Programs worldwide. She has been featured on Dr. Oz, the Discovery Health Channel, and Oprah Radio, and quoted in Diabetic Living, Fitness, Health, Huffington Post, Parents, Self, USA Weekend, US News & World Report, WebMD and many others. Her personal success story was published in Chicken Soup for the Dieter's Soul. Michelle cherishes her relationships with her husband, Owen and grown children, Tyler and Elyse. She regularly enjoys practicing yoga and hiking near her home in Phoenix, Arizona. She and Owen, a professional chef, share a passion for gourmet and healthful cooking, wine tasting, photography, and traveling.

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