Lynchburg, VA - In recent months, people in Lynchburg have really started to think about how many miles they walk, what kind of food they are eating and how to live healthy.
The Live Healthy Lynchburg initiative recently got the attention of First Lady Michelle Obama who's waged war on childhood obesity. Lynchburg councilwoman Joan Foster was recently invited to the White House for the First Lady's gathering of Let's Move cities, towns and counties.
Foster first ignored the invite. But when the White House followed up with a phone call, Foster answered.
"I said, 'I'd love to come, but I couldn't come unless you ok the fact that two other important ladies in this initiative can come.' And it was just overwhelming," said Foster.
Now, Leslie Hoglund with the Health Department and pediatrician Dr. Rachel Gagen will join Foster in D.C. on Wednesday.
"I want to give her a big hug first of all. The question of whether there is going to be 1,000 or 100 people in this room. In my dream it is just the four of us," said Gagen.
Dr. Gagen wrote the children's book "Lynchburg Legs," a story that takes you on a 1.8 mile walk through downtown. Gagen says she was inspired by the First Lady's Let's Move initiative.
"I think she's really elevated the job of the First Lady, and she's really taken something people don't want to talk about in my day to day life one of three kids I see in the office is overweight or obese."
Hoglund has been instrumental in researching the obesity problem facing the Hill City and looking for viable answers through Live Healthy Lynchburg.
"I guess one of the biggest blessings of Live Healthy Lynchburg is the expanded network of people willing to consider health in all decisions," said Hoglund.
From mobile exercise and food buses, to school lunches and Foster's challenge for the city to lose 12 tons of weight (and we did in just 6 months,) Live Healthy Lynchburg is certainly an idea folks are embracing.
"It's been to me, unbelievable, and I'm proud we are going to recognized. We've worked really hard as a community on what I'd call a problem, a real health problem," said Foster.
If this trio actually does get to bend the First Lady's ear on Wednesday, Foster knows exactly what she is going to say.
"I would like to say come to Lynchburg. Come visit our effort. We'd love to have you," said Foster.