Can Farmington and Farmington Hills residents lose a collective 500,000 pounds and notch 1 million miles worth of exercise over the next year?
Organizers of F2H Fit, an initiative championed by Farmington Hills city council member Richard Lerner, believe it's possible to make the cities lighter by the equivalent of one Boeing 777 jet or a locomotive.
Lerner talked with Farmington city council members Tuesday about the program, which centers around a website that allows participants to not only log their own progress, but to partner with like-minded neighbors and get expert advice on fitness and nutrition.
"In September, Michigan was named the fifth most obese state in the country," Lerner said, "so it's a good time to have a fitness challenge."
The website, f2hfit.com, launched on Jan. 17 and (as of Tuesday night) has 94 members who have lost 12 pounds and logged 99 miles. Registration is free, and information is kept private, Lerner said, so you can be completely honest about your weight.
Participants can join groups (including one for Farmington-Farmington Hills Patch) and team up with someone to exchange progress reports, sent by email or text, to keep each other accountable. Anyone can create a group, Lerner added.
The Farmington YMCA, Botsford Hospital, Community Network Services and the City of Farmington Hills Special Services Dept. will share information on diet and fitness. Lerner said the site will include a map of trails, tracks and other places where residents can go to log their miles of walking, running, Zumba and many other types of exercise.
The nonprofit organization doesn't use any public funds, Lerner said. A board of community leaders oversees it, and the 501(c)3 welcomes donations. Plans include banner ads on the site where businesses can offer discounts or restaurants can advertise their more healthful meals.
And F2H Fit is not all about taking off pounds.
"If you're not looking to lose weight, I hope you'll exercise with us," Lerner said. "It's all for you to be successful and have more birthdays."