Aha Moments: A Few Reflections on Wellness
Thanks to our amazing team, my play for youth, Junk Food Junkie No More, was performed on August 14, by a group of students attending a summer program at New Mission Temple C.O.G.I.C. JFJNM is an educational piece encouraging young people to adopt a healthy lifestyle. With childhood obesity and preventable childhood diseases on the rise, JFJNM serves as a creative tool for initiating an honest discussion about our health crisis. Awareness and education are the first steps to sustainable change.
“We ceased the grease and nipped the chips and took the cookies off our hips…”
A special thanks to our tireless producer, J.D., director of Literary Expressive Arts Project, for making this event possible; Gwendolyn, our talented drama coach for her motivational strategies; Judy, our Safe Haven program director for supplying the space and the students; Liz, our assistant coach for stepping up in a time of need; Miss Teen Illinois contestant, Ciara, for her eloquent speech on childhood obesity; the adults and student team leaders working behind the scenes to make this event a memorable experience; and our donors, supporters and those who attended the show!
“You say you wanna rip that pouch? Then get up offa that couch…”
Junk Food Junkie No More was well received by the community, and the children were delighted to have participated in this event. The combination of happy children, ecstatic parents and a pastor who vowed to throw out his bag of potato chips makes an impressive statement!
Behind the Scenes
When we are consciously collaborating with the universe to produce desired results, it’s important to remember that we must not be so attached to our own personal outcomes that we miss unexpected rewards! In this way, we welcome unlimited possibilities!
As with many theatre rehearsals, unpredictable circumstances arose each week and presented various challenges. On production day, we were still discussing changes. In the best interest of everyone involved, we diverted from our original plan and improvised. But, because our hearts were in a loving place, we achieved more than we expected.
Take a bow!
I had the pleasure of working with some of the most adorable children you would ever want to meet!
During the course of our six-week program, our young performers took huge leaps forward. Most had never performed in front of a live audience, so this was a major breakthrough. They really grew in many areas including self-confidence, teamwork, courage, commitment, speaking, critical thinking, nutrition and health awareness, and more. And I am certain that these newly-acquired skills will be invaluable in the current school year.
During our time together, some participants began questioning their food choices and noticing unhealthy practices in their environment. For example, one youngster asked, “Why is there a vending machine with junk food in here?” Aren’t we supposed to be eating healthy?” And another said, “I’m going to purchase the fruit punch instead of the soda because that’s a better choice.” But after reading the label, he decided the fruit punch wasn’t really “fruit” and added, “Some pretty weird ingredients in this punch.” And, “Uh-oh, high fructose corn syrup!” Children are like sponges. With the proper education and a chance to analyze, synthesize and evaluate what they are learning, they can become health advocates for their peers.
Did you know that September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month?
Are you aware that one in three Americans, including children, is obese or overweight? We can change these grim statistics through more community awareness events. Education can lead to desirable results.
One of the missions of Lifestyle 120 is to reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity and preventable childhood diseases. Making small lifestyle changes like reducing sugar intake and eliminating processed foods can positively impact this generation and cause a ripple effect—future generations of healthier families!
Major social movements often begin at the grass-roots level. Do you want to see positive health changes in your community? Get involved! Find out more about Lifestyle 120’s Healthy Schools here.
As a holistic health and wellness coach, author and workshop presenter, I would be happy to assist you in devising an empowering wellness plan for your organization. Learn more about Lifestyle 120 programs, by clicking here.
“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again.”—Joseph Campbell
Love, peace and health,
T. Kari Mitchell
Certified Holistic Health and Wellness Coach