Start Where You Are

Start where you are. It’s a saying we embrace at Shape Up North because it expresses in many ways our mission of helping people achieve and maintain a healthy weight in northern Michigan.

First, we love “start where you are” because it encourages everybody, whether they are are 20 pounds over target weight, 50 pounds over or 200 pounds over, to start the journey where they happen to be. The saying is simple, but it’s also mighty. The great and plain truth of “start where you are” empowers people to clear away mental hurdles that can stand in the way of getting started on a new, healthier, happier life.

The second thing we love about “start where you are” is it conveys an important philosophy that lies at the heart of Shape Up North: northern Michigan itself can be our gymnasium. Our beautiful landscape—beaches, lakes and rivers, bike trails, hiking trails, ski trails, ski hills, neighborhood sidewalks and more—can inspire us to get outside and be active, and our natural environment will reward us with beauty and fresh air and good feelings when we answer the call. We live in one of the most beautiful places in America, why not make the most of it?

And thirdly, we like “start where you are” because it implies mapping out a journey. Starting someplace means you are going someplace else, and that suggests having a plan, a route figured out that will get you there. Any worthwhile goal deserves a good plan and achieving and maintaining a healthy weight—and receiving the many lifestyle improvements that go with that—is without doubt a worthwhile goal.

You will find, On the Shape Up North website, all the resources you need to start and keep going on your own personal journey. Wherever you happen to be on your weight-loss and fitness path, you will find, on Shape Up North, easy and useful tools and ideas to help you move forward. We encourage you to return to the site over time to see the offerings grow. You will find links to all sorts of trails, affordable recipes made with locally grown foods, ideas for low-cost ways to get exercise, suggestions for sticking with your goals for exercise and eating.

We will also be sharing the stories of people who are on the healthy life journey themselves, northern Michigan people who chose to start where they were at the time and push forward toward a healthier, happier lifestyle. Those are our favorite kinds of stories. They offer hope and inspiration and motivation. Some day, we hope you will let us know about your story so we can share it and others can benefit!