Fitness starts with kids

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Half her size, Robanne Robin teaches fun exercise classes

By Holly Kline

Local resident Robanne Robin shared her fitness journey in a book she wrote called “Half My Size,” which chronicled her 150-pound weight loss. She continues to inspire others to achieve better health. She teaches group classes at the Fishers YMCA, is organizing a “Walk from Obesity” event in Fishers and focuses on showing kids the importance of being fit.

“I’m kind of becoming the ‘combating obesity’ champion in the community,” Robin said.

She is also becoming a nationwide voice; currently Robanne is one of two national spokespersons for YMCA and will appear in a nationally-broadcast YMCA commercial.

 Walk from Obesity

Robanne received lots of help and support from the Fishers YMCA when she was working on becoming fit; now she wants to use her experiences to help others. She is organizing a “Walk from Obesity” event in Fishers that will take place this fall.

“Walk from Obesity” events happen all across the U.S. and they benefit two non-profit organizations: the Obesity Action Coalition and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Foundation.

Robin is a member of the OAC and participated in Walk from Obesity in Arizona. “I want to encourage people to walk; it’s a non-intimidating way to get people out there and motivated,” she said.

“I’m really passionate about it,” Robin continued. “When I started out four-and-a-half years ago at 300 pounds, I felt worn out. I started out slow but I was moving.”

The Fishers “Walk from Obesity” event will take place at Holland Park and will be sponsored by St. Vincent Health and the YMCA. The event is not timed; participants will walk the path around the park; individuals, families, teams, etc. are all welcome. “The goal is to get as many people walking as possible,” Robin said. “It’s not a race. Let’s get people thinking about walking in general.”

According to Robin, the date for the Fishers walk will be set soon. Those interested should visit www.walkfromobesity.com and register for the Fishers event once the date is in place. Adult registration is $25 when completed online, and kids 12 and under are free with a paying adult.

“I want to motivate people,” Robin said, “particularly kids because it starts with them. I want to help kids think of fitness in terms of being active, not so much about weight or what the scale says. You don’t have to be in the best shape of your life to walk.”

Teaching kids

Robanne’s commitment to helping kids get fit includes teaching a Hip Hop Hustle class at the Fishers YMCA. (She also teaches adult classes.)

“Four-and-a-half years ago I wouldn’t have walked into a group exercise class if you paid me and now I’m teaching those classes,” Robin said.

Kids in Robanne’s hip hop class wear pedometers and they read their steps out loud at the end of class; they are excited to see that they did so many steps. “We have to show our kids the value of being active,” she advised.

Indianapolis business WellPoint shares Robanne’s point of view and recently shot a video of Robanne teaching a hip hop class to kids at the Fishers Y. The video is being offered for consideration in Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign and in addition, the video will be shown at the upcoming Building a Healthier Future Summit, a national gathering of business leaders and non- profit agencies that want to work together to help people make healthy choices. The summit is presented annually by the Partnership for a Healthier America.

WellPoint stated that the purpose is to create a five-minute exercise video that anyone can use to get up and move.

Getting fit

Robanne has great advice for families and individuals who want to improve their fitness. “It’s good to have someone like me who has been there and proven that it can be changed,” she said. “Honesty is a big part of overcoming obesity. Especially if you’re just getting back in to exercising, you have to start with where you’re at. It’s important to sit back and say to yourself, I don’t eat right, I don’t exercise, etc. Being honest with yourself helps you create attainable goals.

“I want to communicate to kids that you don’t have to wait until you are in trouble with your health in the future,” Robin said. “Take care of yourself now. Fitness can be so fun. Find something you enjoy doing and do it.”


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