Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Importance of Staying Hydrated - The Class

I've told you all time and time again how long I've wanted to be a teacher, right?  I'm sure if I just posted the question right now and waited for responses - there would be a lot of correct answers. 

Twenty-Five Years.

Since the age of five, I've played, dreamed, and worked towards becoming a teacher.  I've taught, basically, for the last two years.  One year as a student-teacher and the next as a teacher's aide.  I've been nervous.  Not all of my lessons have gone to plan.  But, I can say, not a single lesson or class have I taught where I felt guilt, sadness, pleasure, anger, and happiness all at the same time.

Until yesterday.

My first group of kiddos entered the room.  They sat down.  They were a mixture of 8 and 9 year olds.  I introduced myself by name...and then I introduced myself to them by example.  I had four kids come up front and make a circle around me and link their arms.  I asked them to walk around the room with me.  They weren't allowed to break the chain they had formed, but they had to move in the different ways I asked them to.  I asked them to walk, bend over, move.

After they sat back down, I asked them to explain to the rest of the kids how difficult it was to do the things I asked.  They said it was almost impossible - they had a lot of trouble with it.  I then told them the point to that scenario.

That was me two years ago.

That's how big around I was.  That's how hard it was for me to walk, move, and bend over.  I explained how difficult it was for me to be on my feet for more than a few minutes.  How hard and tiring it was for me to walk around a grocery store.  And how simple tasks such as tying my shoe laces, buying clothes, and walking up a few stairs felt like running a marathon.

It was a powerful introduction.  One that I was pretty proud of.  It was true.  Then, my mind began to wander to how much more I had achieved such as boot camp, running 5ks, buying clothes in a regular department store.  And then, I remembered how far I'd let myself sway off course.  And not just while I was teaching.

For 90 minutes, I taught the kids how important it was to drink lots of water - and the nasty effects that soda, sugar, and fat has on the body.  I took the kids outside for a demonstration on fun exercise and how the body uses water during exercise.  I had fun.  They had fun.  They then got to drink a bottle of water, and then I gave them some Propel water flavorings to take with them to enjoy. 

After the class was over, I had some time to reflect on my teaching.  I felt good about how the class went, but I couldn't shake the feelings I was having.  I was proud I was able to share with them my story.  I was angry that a year ago I was MUCH smaller and much more able to do more activity.  I felt guilty that I had spent so much time telling them how important proper nutrition was, when I didn't follow my own advice.  I kept telling myself that my story would have much more of an impact if they saw me last year...when I was at my lowest weight, was in the best shape I'd ever been, and was living by the example I was setting on them.

I get to do it all over again today.

But, today, I've decided that during the time I get to sit and reflect...I'm going to go and walk, instead.  Why waste 30 minutes sitting when I could be walking around the building and getting some extra exercise?  I've decided that I'm going to drink water all day long and live up to the explanation of how much water I should be drinking. 

I weighed myself this morning.  The scale said 251lbs.  Not sure how I've gained 5lbs this past week.  Especially since I've been eating better and I did do some exercise - such as the yard work I did at my parent's house last week.  You can bet that seeing that number really brought my feelings down. 

I think I'm a hypocrite.

I stand in front of a bunch of kids - weighing 251lbs - and tell them why it's important to eat healthy, drink lots of water, and exercise often.  Especially since I eat like crap, drink hardly any water, and exercise minimally.  Now, anyways.  I can only imagine what was going on in their cute little heads. 

But, if they were thinking what I think they were thinking - they didn't say it out loud.  They did make me prove my claims, though.  They wanted to see me run.  They wanted to see me do a push-up, and a sit-up.  Thankfully for me, my body cooperated.  I was able to do ONE push-up for each class.  I was able to run the length of the field in a sprint.  And I tried with all my might to not show them how tired and winded it made me. 

It made me very angry that I had let my body go so much.

Seeing 251lbs on the scale this morning made me realize that if I lose 20lbs by the time I go back to work, I'll still weigh 230lbs.  That's not good.  And with each day that goes by that the scale keeps increasing, I make that number even higher.  Twenty pounds won't matter that much if I keep doing what I'm doing.  In terms of getting back in to my old clothes and shape, anyhow. 

So, I have a choice.  I bite the bullet, start living by example, lose the damn weight, and go back next year a completely different person.  OR, I keep doing what I'm doing now, keep increasing my weight, and go against everything I believe - the motto of teach as I say not as I do.  I don't like that motto one bit. 

But, only I have the power to make that decision.

Till next time. ;)

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