There was an old man
named Michael Finnegan
He grew fat
and then grew thin again
Went on diets
and couldn’t get skin-again
Poor old Michael Finnegan
Tomorrow we start our two weeks of standardized testing. We’ve been pumping up the kids – lots of positive thinking, you can do it, hall decorations, pep rallies and promises of rewards. Friday afternoon when school let out we had one last meeting to go over everything and the principal offered the teachers a reward – we can wear jeans to school for the next two weeks! Everyone (except the PE teachers) was excited. Me, not so much because I’ve gained too much weight to find my jeans at all comfortable.
Teaching, I’ve decided, has not been good for my health. My blood pressure remains high, I don’t sleep enough or very well at all and I’ve easily gained 15 pounds this school year. Teaching is stressful and feeling old, fat and depressed just makes it harder.
I don’t eat breakfast (too early for me at 5 AM) and I just eat a salad for lunch 4 days out of 5. I have early lunch (10:20) and I’m not that hungry. But I don’t leave school until after 5 PM and so once the students are gone and I’m grading or setting up labs or writing lesson plans I nibble and snack. That snacking, inactivity and late dinners have piled on the weight.
So recently I decided it was time to do something about it. And luckily for me the gym near school was having a membership drive – only $30 a month and no signing fee so I paid for a month right before spring break. I went twice, both days during break. I slow jogged on the treadmill for 40-minutes, lifted a few weights and enjoyed a 20-minute shower (oh joy). But it was tough to make the 50-minute trip from home when I didn’t need to go out that way and I told myself I’d get into the habit of going more regularly once school started.
But once school started I was getting up at 5 AM, arriving at school by 6:30, leaving around 5:00 PM and rushing straight past the gym in a hurry to get to our hometown an hour away to pickup kids from the after school program before it closed, or from tennis, choir rehearsal or play practice. I haven’t made it back to the gym.
So like Michael Finnegan I’m going to begin again! I’m going back to the Eat to Live diet rich in fresh raw foods because when I tried it before I lost weight, slept better, stopped having headaches and lowered my blood pressure. It’s not an easy diet – especially the first six weeks and especially if you derive comfort from food. And having left other comforts (friends for instance) behind in California I guess I’ve kind of turned to food as a substitute. But it’s an ultra healthy diet, based in health and nutrition science and easier to do in the summer when there’s a plethora of fresh fruits and veggies available. And feeling healthier and lighter and being able to fit into my jeans will be the reward!