Gov. Bill Haslam today announced that Franklin Tomorrow’s Get Fit Franklin program will represent the City of Franklin as a pilot program of the Governor’s Foundation for a Healthier Tennessee program.
Healthier Tennessee is led by Gov. Bill Haslam and made possible by The Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness, a non-profit corporation dedicated to enabling and encouraging Tennesseans to lead healthier lives.
Eight communities across Tennessee have been selected and Franklin Mayor Ken Moore asked Franklin Tomorrow to represent the city through its Get Fit Franklin program, which Moore has supported since its inception in 2011.
Get Fit Franklin is a program of Franklin Tomorrow, which partners with the City of Franklin, Vanderbilt Health, and BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, along with numerous other organizations and health and fitness agencies.
The concept of Get Fit Franklin is to get people to take the first step to fitness by stepping out their front door to just take a walk on pre-measured trails. Currently, quarterly events are held around the city to encourage participation and exposure to health and fitness providers and organizations, with more events to be scheduled this year.
“Through participation in the Healthier Tennessee initiative, Get Fit Franklin also hopes to deepen the discussion with our entire Franklin community about ways to incorporate daily small changes, for example by using the Small Starts program, to make a big difference in their lives,” said Franklin Mayor Ken Moore.
As part of the collaboration with the Healthier Tennessee Initiative, Christa and Michael Gonzales of the Westhaven community have been selected to serve as the Wellness Champions for the Get Fit Franklin/Healthier Tennessee initiative and as chairs of a newly formed Wellness Council.
Michael Gonzales has an inspiring story to tell, losing over 100 pounds in 2006 after reaching 300-plus pounds. Like many people, he graduated college after being an athlete throughout, and gradually gained weight until he weighed more than 300-plus pounds.
“My personal experience reinforced just how hard it is to lose weight and get healthy and just how few concise resources are available to help,” Michael said. At the same time, as Michael’s weight was ballooning, Christa was transitioning from a career in the healthcare industry to becoming a stay-at-home mom with two boys.
“Quickly, our entire household became sedentary and our well-being declined,” Christa said, adding their two young sons developed food allergies early, which led the couple both to appreciate the benefits of good nutrition.
“Watching Michael completely transform his lifestyle, helped positively influence our entire home, allowing us to adopt healthier eating habits and a more active lifestyle,” she said.
Based on their personal experiences, in 2010, the Gonzaleses created ActiveNow.com, a company to help others along in their journey to health and make getting active and healthy easier.
Along with Franklin, other communities selected as pilot communities are Dyer County, Decatur County, Tullahoma, Rhea County, Athens, Loudon and Kingsport.
Franklin Tomorrow was founded in 2001 and has as its mission to engage the community, foster collaboration, and advocate for a shared vision for the future of Franklin. Through community visioning and surveys, the citizens have said that shared vision is a vibrant economy, robust neighborhoods, distinct character, and great people.
For more information regarding today’s announcement, call Mindy Tate, Franklin Tomorrow Executive Director, at (615) 210-9401. Learn more about Franklin Tomorrow at www.franklintomorrow.org or visit Get Fit Franklin’s Website at www.getfitfranklintn.org.