Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Teacher's/Coach's Testimony to Getting Fit

As February is about half over, I've tried to find as many success stories as I can.  The people I've found are people I know and they've all accomplished some pretty awesome health and fitness goals.  All of them exercise differently and all have gone about their journey with healthy foods very differently.  That is what I love.  There are so many sound, healthy ways to achieve your food wellness.  

This next story comes from a fellow school colleague of mine who I can not say enough about.  It has been great to be chatting with Todd and watch someone approach him and say, "Man Todd...How much weight have you lost?!?!!"  What's even more great is to see Todd's reaction.  He has some great things to say, so I hope this one is as motivating as the rest.  He has lost significant weight and he's done it by moving more, eating less than he was and eating the right foods.  I've noticed that the folks that have been guest bloggers here have all figured out that everyone knows that eating less and exercising more leads to better wellness, but once they figure out HOW to eat well, it all kicks in.  Well, Todd's done that and it's been very cool to watch how excited he is.  Enjoy.......

A Teacher's/Coach's Testimony to Getting Fit
Lazy, hypocritical, and selfish.  That is a harsh yet very real description of the lifestyle I have practiced when it comes to my health habits.  You see I am a physical education and health teacher.  I am also a football coach.  I lead a club at school that meets once a week which encourages students to exercise outside of school time.  I have been married for 11 years and am a father of 2 boys.  To all of these people I am SUPPOSED to be a role model.  I am SUPPOSED to show them how to live.  I am SUPPOSED to practice the health advice I am giving them.  Neither my poor choices of food nor the random at best scheduled physical activity were things anyone should have modeled after.  I had become lazy.  I was hypocritical because I was telling others to become healthy yet doing nothing about my own health.  I was being selfish because I was putting my wants and needs ahead of those who were SUPPOSED to look up to me. 
With support and motivations coming from all sorts of angles I have recently turned the corner.  I feel I have a new way of looking at my job and myself thanks to several events in my life.  In the fall of 2010 at the tail end of the football season I was pressing down the scales at 295 pounds.  I also found out I have high blood pressure.  I immediately made some changes in my diet.  I also began working out on a more regular basis by using some cardio machines and lifting some weights.  My motivation was also to lose some weight.  A month or so later I was invited to go to a gym with a co-worker/friend which I accepted.  The introductory assessment of my fitness level was revealing to me but not a shock.  My upper body strength, cardiovascular endurance, and flexibility in various areas were all way below acceptable.  The gym had a great motivational philosophy written on the wall and this encouraged me to take the next step.  I knew that after that day I really wanted to seek after the athlete in me that was hiding inside. 

There are three big steps that I took after that day.  The first was joining a gym and deciding I would need to workout on a much more frequent basis.  I have been lifting weights, participated in cycling/spinning classes, been running outdoors, and play volleyball once a week. 

The second step I took was after finding out a friend of mine was already a member of this gym we joined forces and now hold one another accountable by telling one another we will be there in the morning to workout with one another.  We workout together 4 days a week and I work out at other times without him as well.  To add to this step I would like to recommend the book “Never Let Go”, by Dan John.  This is a book about lifting, living, and learning. 
The third step I took was taking a deeper look at how I was fueling my body.  I had no knowledge of what “paleo” meant 3 months ago.  After hearing about it I decided to pick up a book and see what it was all about.  I would say my eating style was 90-97% paleo for a solid 35 days.  While experimenting with this I found the foods filling and my weight loss goals were being met.  I also have a few more recipes to fall back on. 

While going through all of this I began to see that my role model status to all the people previously mentioned needs to be taken more seriously.  My own family will follow my health habits.  When my sons join me in a dvd workout at home it makes my day!  The whistle blowing coach hiding behind a stop watch has been relieved of his duties.  Why?  Because he WASN’T doing his duties.   My students will listen to their teacher when he joins them in a rotating station style workout.  Running beside and cheering the kids during a 3 minute run that is sandwiched in between an ab station and multi task dumbbell station feels great!  The CDC 
website has a wonderful presentation which shows how quickly obesity progressed in the 90’s.  I took a deep look at myself and decided I needed to be able to do the things I am asking my students to do.  Hopefully by being more active I will encourage these students to live a more active lifestyle.

            Almost on a daily basis compliments come my way about how I look.  A week ago I donated 7 pairs of slacks because they no longer fit.  After a spin/cycling class I go work out because I feel I am not finished.  I wouldn’t call these things lazy, hypocritical, or selfish.  I would call them leading by example, never letting go, and knowing a better me is out there. 


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