By Coshandra Dillard
There may be no one who is more enthusiastic about walking in Canton than Bob Moore. The 80-year-old East Texas transplant has logged more than 16 million steps and 7,000 miles since 2006.
He’d once been overweight, but for the past few years, he’s enjoyed the benefits of good health and is more than 50 pounds lighter.
Through the years, Moore has taught at community colleges, started 16 businesses and has been a motivational speaker. The Ohio native came to East Texas in 1985 and settled in Canton in the 1990s, when his health was at its poorest.
“I’m a drifter,” he said. “I came to East Texas to die. My blood pressure was 204 over 105.”
Exhausted, overweight and taking more than $200 worth of medications and supplements monthly to address his ailments, Moore wanted to do something differently.
While on vacation in Florida, where he finds inspiration to set goals for the next year, he realized he would die if he continued on the same path.
“I’m sitting there in that water and I say, ‘Self, if you keep eating and drinking the way you are, and you keep on not exercising and keep on taking all these pills to go to sleep, where are you going to be in five years?’”
So he started walking and hasn’t stopped since.
“I’ve never missed a day,” he said.
Moore educated himself on the proper diet and eating clean — whole foods, plenty of water and without sugary beverages. In fact, he considers sweetened drinks as a nemesis to good health.
“You can have the best diet all day long or the best exercise all day long and it undoes it that fast …” he said. “I eat the right foods in the right combinations and the right amounts at the right times.
Moore had been overweight for most of his life. As a sophomore in high school, he was deemed a “chubby” Eagle Scout.
“I’ve hated being fat my whole life,” he said. “When I see these people I bleed for them. I know it’s not fun but you’ve got to do it yourself.”
Moore said his healthy lifestyle enabled him to be free of illnesses and he has lowered his blood pressure.
“The responsibility is mine, not anybody else’s,” he said.
His passion has not only been walking but also getting others to walk with him. His push to make Canton the Walking Capital of Texas has motivated city leaders as well as residents of all ages to walk with the mayor on the second Saturday of each month.
Moore, always smiling and greeting others, said it is important to have a positive attitude and to seek wisdom. And it is working for him.
“I’m the living proof,” he said. “Here’s a body that at age 80 is better than it was when it was in junior high school.”