I met with the chairs of my district’s Wellness Committee yesterday, and ever since I have been thinking about what I can do as a school leader to support a healthy school community. Unfortunately, I have come to the stark realization that I am part of the problem. I’ll grab my scarlet H, plaster it on my chest, and get real about my own wellness hypocrisy.
See, I am the person who had to hedge an excuse for a box of decadent cake balls from the local Bosnian bakery sitting on my desk when a reporter came to talk to me about healthy school meals.
I am the person who brought sinfully sweet gourmet cupcakes to celebrate a colleague’s birthday last week. I enjoyed every crumb and didn’t even think about tagging a “sometimes food” disclaimer.
I am the person who lived two blocks from work for six years…and drove there every day, all the while advocating for physical education and health literacy.
Like all seismic cultural shifts, creating a distinct and shared culture of wellness in our district relies on individual people making individual decisions day in and day out to act in accordance with our professed beliefs. Once our “walk” matches our “talk” we have successfully shifted the culture.
So today—and every day after—I will take deliberate steps to match my walk with my talk. Now that I’ve donned my scarlet H, you can all hold me accountable as I strive to model a life of wellness. I also urge each of you to think about the decisions you can make today to model a healthy lifestyle for your colleagues and your students.