Maybe that’s our excuse: We’re not overweight. We’re just big-boned.
While the Oklahoma City diet has yet to sweep the country, Boston health officials did seek advice from Hill last May, soon after the program launched.
“We learned that a million pounds is an ambitious goal,” said Nick Martin, the health commission spokesman.
The Boston team also got a helpful tip: If the city were to team with local organizations, weight that would have been lost anyway could count toward the municipal goal. Indeed, the majority of the pounds lost locally is weight that was dropped by members of Weight Watchers, local YMCAs, and other groups counting pounds lost by all Boston members, not just those motivated by Menino, Martin said.
Even so, here we are in March, barely thinner. Are we retaining water?
The city offered another explanation, one that will be familiar to many a dieter: It’s the scale’s fault. Or in this case, the website’s fault.
“It’s a time commitment to exercise and an extra time commitment to go to enter how much you’ve lost,” Martin said. “We suspect pounds are slipping through the cracks.”
That’s possible. Last April, Menino also challenged Bostonians to move 10 million miles in a year, a goal that has met with much greater success, Martin added. So far Bostonians have logged a very respectable 8,288,622 million miles.
The real issue is not meeting the attention-grabbing million-pound goal but helping people exercise and eat well, Ferrer said. “The challenge was meant to be inspirational.”
One person who was inspired: the mayor himself. He’s lost more than 20 pounds since last April (and also battled health problems). He may not look like a traditional diet guru, but it was his message that got through to Alicia Alves-Goodz, 31, a medical secretary from Dorchester, who wants to lose 30 to 40 pounds from her 5-foot 1-inch frame.
After hearing Menino’s challenge, she sought out a nutritionist at Dorchester House, a multiservice center, and in turn learned about Weight Watchers’ discounted memberships.
“I track everything I eat, down to the water,” Alves-Goodz said, noting that she’s lost more than 10 pounds since Jan. 31.
With the April 23 weight-loss deadline looming like a high school reunion, what are the city’s plans to mark the day? A group weigh-in on an enormous scale? Newly thin residents holding their baggy pants out from their slim waists? Alas, no.
Said the health commission’s Martin: “There isn’t an announcement planned.”