Friday, December 19, 2014

A Weighty Issue...

I don't know how many teachers online have written blog posts about health. I know a few friends have written quite a bit about their own health journey, but not related to teaching profession. Tonight I was pondering on a few things and realized how easy it is to gain weight as a teacher.

Educators are facing a difficult time right now; we are encountering a great deal of pressure for our students to perform well on standardized exams. As someone who suffered from major test anxiety growing up, this is depressing. I think being an adult compounds my childhood test anxiety because now, I fear not preparing my students adequately for an even more challenging exam than last year. I have worked harder this year than any other. Since entering the profession a decade ago, our state testing has undergone two major changes. FCAT became FCAT 2.0 in the 2011-2012 school year, and now students will be taking the Florida Standards Assessment, which is a great deal more challenging than the FCAT 2.0. Multiple test answers can be chosen to respond to a question. Students must construct responses in non-traditional ways as well. Rigor is at the forefront of this test, and... I have turned to food for comfort. Again. Just like when the FCAT was upgraded in 2012. Just because I want to be as phenomenal for my students as possible.

Since entering the teaching profession, I have gained thirty pounds. Pounds I hope to lose again. Once once was I successful with weight loss-- I believe it was 2007, and I did extremely well for a long time. I almost got down to my high school graduation weight, which is twenty pounds lighter than when I entered teaching.

That's right, I have gained fifty pounds since graduating from high school.

Friends always tell me I put others first. The fact of the matter is many educators do. Educators want their students to succeed-- and they undergo immense stress. We are surrounded by a grand plethora of food in many situations, from holiday parties to candy, cookies, and cupcakes brought to us by students. I love to bake, too, so I have been surrounded by an unbelievable amount of sweets lately-- from the cookies my students made to those I prepared for a friend's cookie exchange. Then in hosting my very first dance for grades 3-5, I scarfed down some pizza, ate Cheetos, and drank some Pepsi. That may have been the only thing I ate that day. I worked long hours getting ready for the dance, my students' celebration, and grading papers, so I ran out to fast food places this past week as well. Three times, I believe.

I am sure many, many teachers have been there, except the circumstances and situations have been different.

It's not until I saw a few photos of myself this evening that I realized I have gained more than I thought.

It's hard. I would love to be a runner, and I am not too bad at jogging, but I hurt my foot a few months ago and have had to take it easy. I am motivated to pick up some KT tape so I can exercise a bit more without worry. I am also pretty good with cardio, but having a to-do list of 21 items as of last weekend, exercise was at the bottom of my list along with sleep. Enduring some new health issues, having a lack of proper nutrition and sleep has compounded those problems.

I look at friends who are doing extremely well with their health and wish I had their drive am committed to having the same kind of drive.

I am going to spend this winter vacation getting myself on a better schedule and eating better food, as hard as that seems with Christmas approaching. I don't want to make some petty New Year's resolution... I want to do something that will positively affect me for the rest of my life. I fear being diagnosed with diabetes and hope I can steer clear as much as possible.

By the end of the school year, I hope to regain some confidence I have lost regarding my health.

I am making my thoughts known because right now, I am serious, and I want to remain that way. I know I can do a phenomenal job getting healthier in the midst of stress and pain. I know others can relate, too; it's something a lot of people desire to achieve.

Thank you for reading this... I hope I will get as motivated as possible and inspire you during my journey.


  1. Hey Victoria! I wish you well! The holidays are such a difficult and stressful time, I know I gained some weight after Christmas :( I received a FitBit and ugh.. I just can't get the motivation to use it. Thank you for sharing, I think many of us can relate to how your feeling. Try to do the best you can to put yourself first.. you deserve it! I know its easier said than done but try and have faith! :)
    -Suzy from

    1. Thanks, Suzy! It's nice to "meet" you. Sometimes, I just have to get personal online, though I don't know who is reading these posts. =) I am proud of myself for jogging and walking 4 1/2 miles today, but my best exercising happens during breaks and it is discouraging once I am back to work. Best wishes with your Fitbit. I just heard of the Fitbit recently. - Victoria