Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

January 22, 2012
Online anti-obesity campaign needs community offline action

Tooele County’s battle of the bulge might sound new, but it’s not. Five years ago, headlines blared the same thing: County people get off your duffs!

Well, not exactly in those nice terms. More like, “Tooele County ranks number one in obesity.”

It’s enough to make you want to run into the closet and eat a tub of ice cream. It’s like being called the fat kid in sixth grade, and the taunt sticking with you forever.

Can we ever get past that? And how?

That’s the million dollar question everyone in the county is chirping about. Several well-meaning people from the local health department, and about 30 other agencies, got together in 2011 to brainstorm solutions.

When it was all said and done, they came up with a document worth checking out, called the “Tooele County Community Health Improvement Plan.” You can find it on It’s thorough. And some may even say ambitious. But hey, goals are good. Like Tony Robbins says, “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”

One brainchild from that plan is a website called that went live on Jan. 9. I was personally interested because I’m about 15 pounds over ideal. Some people might scoff. “15 pounds? Get real!” For a petite Asian-American like me, it’s akin to wearing a fat Chihuahua around my neck. Or lugging around a bag of sugar for a belly band.

I’m happy to report that Livefit was worth checking out. After you register on Facebook, they approve your membership. Accessing the health trove online, I was happily surprised to find out that Tooele has a women’s group that plays basketball every Thursday night. And that there’s indoor walking at Deseret Peak Complex.

Believe me, I had every intention to do better this week. I was set to Zumba on Monday, power walk on Tuesday, basketball on Thursday, and hike Deseret Peak when the caps melt, um, someday.

Then I got sick. So sick that after turning in my Hometown article last Thursday, I crept back in bed and didn’t come out of the covers for two days — except for getting kids around as minimally as I could. One good thing, thanks to my cold: I had no appetite whatsoever. I even had no interest in the pumpkin cookies my dog tried to steal from the counter.

Which brings me back to the county’s obesity problem. The biggest piece of the solution depends on you and me: we actually have to get active.

First, we need to check out what the county has to offer online. I know that’s no hardship, because Facebook spikes all day in Tooele County.

Then we need to get offline, off our duffs, and be healthy.

For me, it means going out there in the cold and walking the dogs with my husband even when every tropical fiber of my being wants to use my recent illness as an excuse not to. It means doing JustDance with girlfriends when Zumba is canceled. It means going with the walking group even though I could just as soon walk the malls and window-shop in a bigger city.

If something else works for you, more power to you. Be sure to share it with the rest of us on

Jewel Punzalan Allen is a memoir writing coach and long-time journalist who lives in Grantsville. She blogs at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>