BCLC Summer Weight Loss Challenge: It’s Personal
Last week was our first weigh in for the BCLC weight loss challenge. 3 people lost weight (I was one of them!) – everyone else either gained or weighs the same. There are eight people taking place in the weight loss challenge and all of us have different methods of reaching our individual goals. I’ve heard chatter about Weight Watchers, juice fasts, more exercising, calorie counting, and even crash diets before the final weigh in. Let me use this blog to share my personal story…
I grew up in a household where exercising was a routine. Ever since I was born I remember my mom going to the gym for her aerobics class and my dad going for a run after work at least 3 times a week. As for myself – sports was a big part of my life. I am originally from Ethiopia but I was born and raised in Kenya. I attended British schools where sports was a huge deal. (Picture the “house system” in Harry Potter and multiply the competitive nature by 10). We had about 5 hours of mandatory PE classes a week, not including after school matches or weekend cross country training session. I participated in all types of competitive sports – running, field hockey, tennis. If it had to do with physical activity and I didn’t have to be in the classroom you could count me in!
There was a time in my life where maintaining a regular workout routine was a challenge. A few years ago I was in a part-time MBA program while working full time - fitting in a work out routine took some creativity. Between work, classes, group meetings, doing homework, and that little thing called a social life, it was hard to stay dedicated which lead me to gain some weight. So last year, post-graduation I was able to get back on my workout routine and start eating healthy again. I even hired a personal trainer to help coach me.
As a child, the lessons that I learned playing sports helped shape me into who I am today. I value teamwork and trust, I maintain a competitive edge (yes I am going to win this weight loss challenge!), and I strive to produce the best work that I can. Aside from the mental benefits of being active I value the importance of being physically active.
This is why I am such a heavy proponent of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative. The initiative looks at the problem of solving obesity within a generation by combining healthy eating habit and staying active. It is about putting children on the path to a healthy future at an early age, keeping parents informed, and fostering environments that support healthy choices. I have personally seen the benefits of staying active at a younger age and I know that whatever these kids are learning now will be a factor in their adult life.
I understand that not every child, school, or community has the same resources, but that’s the beauty about being active…you can do it anytime anywhere. In addition to playing netball at school– a British women’s game that began in England in the 1890s – I used to go home and hula hoop, jump rope, or playing hop scotch.
So with week one of the weight loss challenge under our belt – pun intended - I am looking forward to sharing more stories with you! Everyone has a story when it comes to staying healthy. You’ve heard mine.