Today’s Objective: Getting Healthy!
As a former teacher now working in the health and wellness industry, I am so excited to share with you my experience on how to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle while working as an educator. I am optimistic that my advice will help you feel your very best, so that you can give your all to your students and still have plenty of energy to enjoy your personal life!
I have always been passionate about nutrition and fitness, but when I started my teaching career, I wasn’t equipped with the right tools to consistently practice a healthy active lifestyle, let alone teach my students to do the same. In addition to that, I was overwhelmed with the challenges of being a new teacher (e.g. lack of sleep, never-ending deadlines, planning and executing lesson plans, behavior management), which definitely took its toll on both my mental and physical health. During my first year in the classroom, I ended up gaining ten pounds from all the comfort-eating, class parties, teacher happy hours, and free bagels and muffins in the front office. Looking back, I can definitely say that my lack of care for my body definitely had a negative effect on my energy and ability to be the most effective teacher I could be. It wasn’t until the next year, when I became a Health & Wellness coach that I really learned the importance of taking proper care of my body and understanding how your state of health directly impacts your ability to function at your optimal level.
Now that I have the knowledge and skills to live a healthy, active lifestyle, I have been able to lose 12 pounds in 5 weeks, drop my body fat by 10%, and show people exactly how to achieve similar health results no matter where they are or what career they’re in.
The beauty of teaching is that you get a summer break for at least a few weeks before heading back to work to begin professional development. If you’re not necessarily the most healthy or fit person, but you have a desire to feel and look better, this summer break is the perfect time to start developing habits that will take your energy, endurance, and overall state of wellbeing to the level you’ve always wanted it to be. And if you’re already an example of great health, this is a prime opportunity for you to step it up a notch, take your fitness to the next level, and even start embedding your knowledge in the curriculum you plan to teach your students! Wherever you are in the spectrum of health, here are some basic tips that you can focus on implementing into your life, now that you have a break from lesson planning and assessing:
- Eat a protein-based breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up. This jumpstarts your metabolism and breaks the fast from sleeping for several hours. You will burn more calories throughout the day naturally.
- Eat a lean-protein based meal/snack every 2-3 hours. This sustains your fast metabolism making it more efficient to lose body fat and build lean muscle. The school bell actually works perfectly with this schedule.
- Stay under or at your resting metabolic rate. Your body burns a certain number of calories to stay alive. Depending on your health goals, eat under or at your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) in terms of calories to lose or maintain weight. Eat above your RMR for muscle gain.
- 80% nutrition/20% physical activity. Even though 80% of the deal is nutrition, it still is important to get out and get moving. Find something fun to do with like-minded individuals (e.g. hiking, biking, running, tennis)
- Pre-plan, Pre-plan, Pre-plan. Those without a plan always fail. Make sure you always have food packed up and ready to go if you’re leaving your house for more than a couple of hours. Tip: Spend one night a week cooking simple and healthy meals in bulk, put them into separate containers with the right portions for you and grab and go!
Implementing these basic tips during the summer (contact me about vacation planning!) will make a world of a difference when you get back into the classroom. You’ll feel healthy, more energized, and ready to make the greatest impact you can on your students and loved ones. Living a healthy, active lifestyle will keep you engaged in your daily lessons and focused on student achievement, rather than your hunger and FATigue. And what’s even more, you’ll have the experience and knowledge to now teach these healthy habits to your students too, resulting in a massive improvement in their attention and performance!
Today’s guest blog is by Leila Jelloule, who is a former teacher and current Health & Fitness Coach in Los Angeles, CA. Leila is a Teach for America alumna, who taught 6th grade Humanities at Johnnie Cochran Middle School and then 5th grade math at Valor Academy. Leila has a passion for helping others, and through her health coaching, she has inspired hundreds of people across the country to lead a healthy, active lifestyle. For questions, comments, personal meal planning, or a free wellness profile, you can email Leila Jelloule at LJelloule.firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, reach out to her on Facebook, Instagram (@CoachLeila), or visit her health page, Decide to be Beautiful.