We’re a nonprofit organization working to unite and accelerate the health movement in Texas and beyond. Our mission is to empower people to lead healthier lives and build healthier communities.
We power a range of programs that make healthy easier for Texans where they live, learn, work, worship, and shop.
IT’S TIME TEXAS SUMMIT
TEACH HEALTHIER AFTER SCHOOL
HACK FOR HEALTH
THE COMMUNITY CHALLENGE
GROWING HEALTHY SCHOOLS
TEACH HEALTHIER APP
ABOUT OUR CEO
I grew up in small-town Mississippi, a child of the 80’s. I was overweight, and I was bullied for it.
When I was 11 years old, the summer before 6th grade, I was trying on clothes and realized I had to move up to the “husky” size. I looked at myself and decided at that moment that I was going to change my life. There were few resources at that time and in that place to support a major change, but my mother said she’d help. I started walking two miles every morning and incorporated jogging, so that by mid-summer, I was jogging the full two miles. I cut out processed snack foods and replaced them with fruits and vegetables, and replaced all sodas with water. The family cut back on red meat and increased our consumption of lean meats, especially poultry and fish. I lost 30 pounds over that one summer.
Not only did my family support and encourage me, they changed with me! We all changed our diets and became much more active. Our neighbors started to notice and asked what we were doing, and my mom shared her tips and recipes with them. She took a lot of the traditional meals that we ate and figured out how to prepare them using healthier ingredients, substituting yogurt for sour cream or ground turkey in place of beef. She was an absolute hero through this transformation, and without her, I would not have been nearly as successful.
I went from dreading school to being one of the top students in my class. I learned that it wasn’t about how much weight I was going to lose, but that I was giving myself a better life and access to a bigger world. I learned to take the long view — to view healthy living as a journey — and that helped me get past any setbacks.
In our culture, fitness is so often connected to a person’s image and, in my opinion, unhealthy ideals. I believe it’s more than that. I truly believe that to make successful change, you have to love yourself. Because that’s what being healthy is about. It’s about being respectful of your body and honoring those you love and who love you.
So many people struggle with this, in all walks of life. But it can be done. I’m living proof. The trick is to find people to walk your health journey with you and to hold you accountable in a loving way. That’s what my family, friends and all the great people I work with and serve through IT’S TIME TEXAS do for me, and that is what IT’S TIME TEXAS is meant to provide for all of us: empowerment to make healthy choices together with our families, friends, co-workers, schools, businesses, and larger communities. We’re moving together, supporting one another, and we’re serving as a model for the rest of the nation. Lasting, healthy change is happening in Texas, and we’re not slowing down!
– Baker Harrell, PhD, Founder and CEO, IT’S TIME TEXAS