The Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri: women building better communities.
Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri member Elizabeth Arnold, Sponsorship Committee Co-Chair, has a new perspective on living a healthy lifestyle prompted by the League’s signature program, Healthy U. The Healthy U program includes several layers of programming focused on nutrition and undernourishment, healthy choices, eating on a budget and fitness programming – all focused on building a healthier Kansas City Community. The Junior League’s programs focus on fighting food insecurity, student nutrition education, parent nutrition and cooking education, obesity prevention programming and fitness programming at all levels of the University Academy.
Here’s a little Q&A with Elizabeth Arnold:
League Pulse: How has Healthy U made an impact to your life?
Arnold: When our Impact Area of Children’s Nutrition and Fitness was introduced, I was working on sponsorship for Holiday Mart and became passionate about the opportunities this could open up for the League. During Holiday Mart 2010, I couldn’t find professional clothes that fit me to wear during the events. To make things worse, I spent the week out of breath from walking around the show floor. I realized I wasn’t living up to the same mission I was trying to represent when approaching corporations in our community.
League Pulse: What healthy choices have you added to your nutrition/fitness routines?
Arnold: The day after Thanksgiving 2010, I joined an online weight loss support group and tracked my food intake. I was really surprised to see I was eating so few fruits and vegetables.When I started eating the recommended servings, I felt so much fuller and ate fewer empty calories. I finally started using my gym membership for the first time in years. I hate working out alone, and I have outdoor allergies, so I tried a lot of group exercise classes. After watching from the doorway for months, I tried Zumba and absolutely loved it! It was fun, easy and made an hour disappear more quickly than any other class I tried.
League Pulse: What do you enjoy most about your new healthy lifestyle?
Arnold: Within a year, I attained a healthy weight for the first time in more than a decade and have kept it off for more than a year. My body mass index went from 32.4 to 26. I love going on trips with my family and participating in activities like skiing, canoeing, rock climbing, and ballroom dancing with my husband. It’s a great feeling knowing that I can do it. Best of all, I became a licensed Zumba fitness instructor last year. Now I get to help others on their path to fitness, which is such an amazing honor.
League Pulse: Any words of advice to share?
If you want to make big changes, don’t do it alone. Get a support team. My husband encouraged me the
whole time. He watched the kids when I went to the gym and didn’t complain about the healthier foods I cooked.The instructors and trainers at my gym always provide expert advice.My workout buddies and online weight loss support group supported me emotionally. When you feel like you just can’t do it, having someone help get you back on track can make the difference between failure and success.