By Jim Walsh, Student Advisor, The Bloomington Center
As an advisor, I try to set a good standard for my advisees. I keep my desk organized (just don’t look in my top left drawer), am socially tactful (nevermind that I came to teach reframing class today with dry toothpaste at the corners of my mouth), and I eat organic salads at lunch (don’t ask about dinner… or second dinner). This summer, I became a member of the gym below the apartments where the Bloomington Center students live. The summertime stars must have aligned themselves in my favor–somehow I’ve had the motivation to drag myself to the gym 20 times since June and have also biked to work almost every other day.
However, my best efforts pale in comparison to one of my students, Amy Breyer, who over the past eight months has lost over 56 pounds.
Interview with Amy
J: Amy, what made you want to lose weight in the first place?
A: I wanted to lose weight so I could feel better about the way I looked; I also knew losing weight would make me healthier.
J: What was your initial goal?
A: My goal was to get down to 120 pounds.
J: Whoa! Why 120?
A: My doctor recommended that weight for my height and age.
J: So what was the first step you took?
A: The first step I took to reach this goal was to force myself to go work out everyday, though, in the beginning it was hard to get motivated to actually workout. My parents knew I wanted to be down to 120, they asked me every day if I worked out! It wasn’t just because of them, I’ve had lots of experience exercising at different points in my life, like trying Pilates and yoga. Having a background helped, it gave me a place to start. I knew my efforts would all be in cardio workouts, actively burning calories.
J: What changes did you make to your habits?
A: I began to track exactly what I ate and how much I ate. Then, I decided to cut out pizza from my diet. Doing this helped me see where other problems were in my diet.
J: What was the most difficult thing to change?
A: The most difficult thing for me to change about my habits was keeping up with the work level. Some days I would have to workout twice just to burn the calories I ate.
J: How do you feel now?
A: I did reach my goal and I feel happier and healthier. I also find that I have more energy now. Attaining my goal gave me a sense of accomplishment and gave me confidence in myself.
J: Do you have any advice for others?
A: I would think every morning when I first started, “How come I weigh the same? How come there are no results?!” Even though I felt bad in the beginning, I knew that I was doing the right thing.
Try different things, just because a certain exercise doesn’t work out, it doesn’t mean that you should give up all together. Try different methods and your experiences will help you achieve your goal. Everyone takes PE right? I knew I hated running, so when I went to workout, I never did the treadmill. Instead, I did the elliptical machine. Don’t just give up because you can’t do something; find what works for you.