Support Groups - Teachers: how easy is it to diet? (also, support thread).




Teacher2B
04-30-2012, 01:14 AM
Teaching is a very stressful occupation, and is very easy for us to forget to take care of our health properly. In my country, secondary school teachers tend to work in several places, rushing from one place to the other, eating whatever they can get in the few minutes of break. Exercise is many times left aside. So, the questions are: a) How easy is it for you to diet?; b) How easy is it for you to exercise?; c) How easy is it for you to just eat healthily? Also, this thread could be used for venting, bragging and support each other :)

My own experience has been pretty bleak. From 2006 to March 2010 (when I started studying, and doing practice in 2007), I put on 30 kilos (66 pounds). During that time, I had some periods of weight loss (around 2008), and putting them back on. My diet was pretty terrible, as I was having lots of coffee, and using food to try to overcome anxiety and stress. Dieting was pretty impossible on my last year, although I tried to eat more healthily (we didn't have a microwave at school, so the winter was hard). I started losing weight properly in 2010, and up to December 2011, I had managed to lose 18 kilos and maintain, with a range of +/- 2 r 3 kilos, although I kept on falling on comfort eating and not taking care of it. Although in this period, I have had my boyfriend to support me, so I haven't gone that bad :)

Since May 2011, I am eating wheat free/gluten free, so eating outside my house became pretty impossible. Up to last year, I ended up getting things as chips and peanuts to snack. Working at an evening school made it necessary for me to always have some snack. Nowadays, I am taking very good care of my diet, since I have started one that I feel comfortable with, but also makes it impossible for me to eat at school (between the low fat, no salt, no gluten, yeah, impossible). I am lucky that there is a supermarket a few blocks away from the school that sells delicious, healthy foods, so I get my lunch there whenever I am unable to take it from home (many times :( ).

Now, exercise is another problem :S...I tend to get very stressed over teaching, which makes me pretty demotivated and tending to procrastinate lots. At the same time, I keep on thinking of all the things I have to do, and I keep on postponing exercise. Of course, the fact I have very weird timetables (working some mornings, and Monday to Friday, 8 to 11 pm in an evening school) makes it hard to go to the gym. Having low defences due to stress isn't very helpful, as I tend to get sick a lot :( I am hoping to be able to go to the gym more now, since I have to be up before 9 to have my breakfast. So yeah, since I am up so early, why not the gym? (of course, my decision on this has been affected by sickness *hiss*).

So, this is my rant. Sorry if it's a bit incoherent or weird, but English is not my mother tongue and I am very tired.


ak812
04-30-2012, 04:10 PM
Hello, Teacher2B! I'm so glad you started this thread. I've been looking for a support group specific to teachers & haven't found one. I'm currently a Pre-K teacher in a childcare center but am hoping to get into a public school for the 2012-2013 school year. I love my job, but it does make it harder to stay on a healthy weight loss track.

First of all, it's EXHAUSTING. Being responsible for 11 four and five year olds for 8 hours straight, 5 days a week makes me want to curl up in a ball, in my PJs, as soon as I am in my apartment and just eat and watch TV. I don't find that exercise relaxes me (although that may be because I haven't been doing it nearly enough) so I've never wanted to come home from a long, stressful day and jump around doing some cardio. I'd much rather come home, lay down & watch something on my laptop. I am slowly starting to change that now & hope I will see the results of this lifestyle change soon.

I find that being a teacher also makes healthy eating pretty tough unless I pack a lot of my own lunches and snacks to prevent me from grabbing the yummy (but not healthy!) treats that always show up in the kitchen. Since I work at a daycare center, I eat lunch with my kids & it's a struggle to portion control when we're having delicious foods like mac & cheese, enchiladas, etc. I have been doing a lot better with this but it's a tough road and I don't see it getting any easier.

I can only imagine it must be even harder for you, being that you eat gluten free! What kinds of things do you pack with you to get through the day? And what kinds of exercises are your favorite given that you don't always have a lot of time to get stuff done?

Again, thanks for creating this thread! Hope to see lots more teachers on here sharing stories, encouragement, etc. Happy Monday! :D

sontaikle
04-30-2012, 10:25 PM
I'm a Special Ed teacher so things get pretty stressful at times! I do manage to fit in exercise and healthy eating though and consider these things a priority.

I never EVER eat the lunches at the school. NEVER!! (They are gross anyway) The night before I make my lunch so that I can just grab it on the way out. I have an insulated bag that I keep things in. I make sure to have water and snacks in there too so I can just grab and eat if I need to. I also stash some soup in my desk just in case I forget my lunch or something happens and I can't pack it.

During the week I am wheat free, so I know how difficult it can be. Things that are easily packed are great to stuff in a bag and bring with you: hard boiled eggs, some lean protein, nuts, a protein shake, etc.

I had an old microwave that I put in my classroom so that I can warm things up without having to run to the faculty room. Makes it easy to eat lunch in my room because without fail a trip to the faculty room will take 3x as long because people will stop me to talk and I'll never get work done!! I DO make sure to go in there to talk with others occasionally, but I find it very unproductive to go there often.

Exercise doesn't have to be an hour long and at the gym to be effective :) Squeeze it in when you can, even if it's only 20min. I find however, that group fitness classes are excellent ways to keep me going to the gym. It keeps me accountable because I've come to know everyone at the classes and they will question me if I don't show up for a few days!! Usually this happens when school is closed because I go in the morning instead of the evening :rofl: I always have to remind them that when the kids are off I'm going to be going to the gym early.

Otherwise you can do a lot with just some jogging and bodyweight exercises around your house/neighborhood. On Mondays, for example, I will jog to the nearby playground and use the equipment to do some bodyweight exercises. It takes as long as I want it to.

We DO get a lot of activity in during the day already, so we're better off than people who have completely sedentary jobs.

Good luck, and I hope you get better real soon!


Teacher2B
05-01-2012, 12:48 AM
Hello, you two! :hug:


First of all, it's EXHAUSTING. Being responsible for 11 four and five year olds for 8 hours straight, 5 days a week makes me want to curl up in a ball, in my PJs, as soon as I am in my apartment and just eat and watch TV. I don't find that exercise relaxes me (although that may be because I haven't been doing it nearly enough) so I've never wanted to come home from a long, stressful day and jump around doing some cardio. I'd much rather come home, lay down & watch something on my laptop. I am slowly starting to change that now & hope I will see the results of this lifestyle change soon.

I find that being a teacher also makes healthy eating pretty tough unless I pack a lot of my own lunches and snacks to prevent me from grabbing the yummy (but not healthy!) treats that always show up in the kitchen. Since I work at a daycare center, I eat lunch with my kids & it's a struggle to portion control when we're having delicious foods like mac & cheese, enchiladas, etc. I have been doing a lot better with this but it's a tough road and I don't see it getting any easier.

Ohh, I feel your pain. I had pre-schoolers last year (also teens and adults), and they drained all my energy. That's how I usually feel about gym, most of the time :(

We don't have school lunches in any of the places where I work/ed, but there is always a canteen...and most of the times, the options aren't very healthy. When I was eating normally, many times I would end up eating a piece of veggies or cheese and tomato pie as a snack and then have dinner >.> I can only imagine how hard it is to control eating those tasty things.

I can only imagine it must be even harder for you, being that you eat gluten free! What kinds of things do you pack with you to get through the day? And what kinds of exercises are your favorite given that you don't always have a lot of time to get stuff done?

Well, usually, it depends on which school I am working; also, my diet has changed since March and I got strict into the plan 2 or 3 weeks ago, so that has changed even more. Before this eating plan, I would take either a fruit, nuts or rice cakes, or maybe a couple low fat yogurts. Nowadays, it depends. To the morning school, I usually just taken water and lunch, as my breakfast leaves me full for several hours (and I don't really have time to snack between classes). I might take a low fat, sugar free yogurt or sugar free jell o if I feel I will be hungry, but it's not usually the case. My lunch is alway some protein and vegetables, and a fruit for dessert. Sadly, I haven't been able to cook lunch very frequently, but the supermarket near the school is very happy to take my money, hehe :D There I usually buy a salad or a chard tortilla (low in calories, fat and salt; they have a special section like that there). Since becoming more strict with the diet, I usually have the tortilla, as most of the salads have some sort of dressing. For the evening school, I am taking carrot sticks, which keep me going pretty well until 11 pm and are very quick for me to prepare.

Regarding exercise, well, I try to do what I can when I have time and space (that's another problem; lack of privacy to exercise). I like doing some isometrics, which I can do even if tired, and I got an exercise ball which I use to relax and do a basic abs exercise, as well as use it as a seat to keep my back well. When I sit on the ball, I do some bouncing on it. But whenever I have a moment, I try going to the gym. My little bit of walking is on Tuesdays, when I do a special trip to the supermarket (5 or 6 blocks) in between my last class and the teachers' coordination.

Gym should be easier now that I have to get up before 9. Also, I have the objective of getting into a bikini by December, when my boyfriend comes to visit me :3



I had an old microwave that I put in my classroom so that I can warm things up without having to run to the faculty room. Makes it easy to eat lunch in my room because without fail a trip to the faculty room will take 3x as long because people will stop me to talk and I'll never get work done!! I DO make sure to go in there to talk with others occasionally, but I find it very unproductive to go there often.

Can I envy you for having your own class? :) I have to go to each class every time (though hey, walking! :3) We have one microwave in the faculty room at both schools, so that's an advantage at least (although this is not in all schools; I worked in a school 3 years ago where I once had to try to heat my still half frozen food on the tiny heater at the faculty room).


Otherwise you can do a lot with just some jogging and bodyweight exercises around your house/neighborhood. On Mondays, for example, I will jog to the nearby playground and use the equipment to do some bodyweight exercises. It takes as long as I want it to.

Aye, though sadly I can't jog due to back trouble (although walking is okay). I made the decission of going for a walk or ride my bike on the weekends, but last weekend (first of my decission), we had horrible weather :( Looking forward to the next one. At home we have an exercise bike (which I hate, because you can't regulate the weight anymore, so it's horribly heavy) and one of those leg magic machines. I love the workout with it, but I have noticed I get a bit of back trouble, so I am using it little and for short series (I am a bit paranoid about my back).

What I have found that works very well is a bellydancing workout video I have. I feel really well and relaxed after doing it. My only problem is that I don't like doing it where everyone can see me, so I have to use the very few chances when I am alone :( Hopefully this will change when i move out in September.


We DO get a lot of activity in during the day already, so we're better off than people who have completely sedentary jobs.

Good luck, and I hope you get better real soon!

That is true! :3

Thank you :) The last health trouble is healed now, and hopefully I will remain healthy the rest of the year. I am actually wanting to get to change some of my bad sedentary habits, as I think it will help me to relax.

Thank you both for answering, sharing and for the advice :D:hug:

kariatari
06-20-2012, 11:51 PM
As a secondary English teacher who teaches four different classes (seven sections throughout the day!) of composition heavy classes, working out regularly is hard for me. I either feel like I have too much work to do after school's out or I'm completely wiped. (I'm sure every teacher on that thread can empathize!)

Last year, I started working out M-W-F at 5:00am with one of my friends, and that was actually somewhat successful. I really liked going through my day knowing that I didn't have to squeeze in a work out at the end. On the other hand, I am totally not a morning person, so it was too easy for me to skip out when I had been up too late grading papers/writing papers/preparing presentations.

This summer I started a group fitness class that I LOVE, so I think that's the route I'll take when school starts. The place where I take the class is on my way home from school, so I'll swing in for either the 4:30, 5:30, or 6:00 class.

Nutrition is easier for me. If I make sure I go grocery shopping, I'm totally fine with just throwing cut up veggies and string cheese and scarfing that for lunch. (With a 10 minute lunch, there's not much time to think about what I'd rather be having!) For breakfast, I usually have a Greek yogurt and call it good. The part where I get in trouble is dinner - since I stay late, my fiance usually does the cooking. Most of the time it's not exactly healthy (but always yummy!), and at that time of day it's hard to pass up.

I know it's not easy, but it is possible!

lovemydoggiesx2
07-02-2012, 07:16 PM
I think I am a little different than you all. I feel that Mon-Fri gives me such stability. I am a wreck on the weekends and now during summer break. I pack a snack and lunch and eat at school at the same time everyday, and I am able to stay OP and in calorie range. I also feel pretty good working out at night. Without school I feel lost and have a hard time keeping things in check. Is it Septmeber yet?

DrivenByAmbition
07-02-2012, 08:11 PM
I think I am a little different than you all. I feel that Mon-Fri gives me such stability. I am a wreck on the weekends and now during summer break. I pack a snack and lunch and eat at school at the same time everyday, and I am able to stay OP and in calorie range. I also feel pretty good working out at night. Without school I feel lost and have a hard time keeping things in check. Is it Septmeber yet?


Couldn't have said that better myself. I feel like I have structure during the year. Just want to maintain or lose this summer. If just maintain, begin losing with the new school year.

Teacher2B
07-08-2012, 09:23 AM
Welp, being absent from the thread for a long while. Last few weeks were exhausting and stressing. Though now I have two weeks of winter break :carrot:

As a secondary English teacher who teaches four different classes (seven sections throughout the day!) of composition heavy classes, working out regularly is hard for me. I either feel like I have too much work to do after school's out or I'm completely wiped. (I'm sure every teacher on that thread can empathize!)

Except for the composition heavy part, that sounds pretty much like my schedule. I teach seven groups (1st year teenagers, 2nd year adults and 3rd year adults), and that means that my schedule is weird, to say the least.

lovemydoggiesx2, DrivenByAmbition I actually do better when I am at home, because I can cook myself proper diet items, which less fat and salt that most of what I can get in any place (plus, making sure my food is absolutely gluten free).

I have not been able to set the bike/walk routine as I had planned, which makes me sad :( I am trying to go to the gym more frequently, but up to the moment, I have been stuck in the once a week schedule :( I have more time now in the winter break, and a friends's wedding to look up to in August, so that should be a good motivation (plus, a lovely polka dot bikini I bought on a sale, to use next summer, when my boyfriend visits).

sontaikle
07-12-2012, 06:16 AM
I miss my structure too. I do love being able to go to the gym more in the summer though :D I even joined another gym so I can lift more weights. I'll probably continue to use it during the school year since I can go at 5:30 in the morning.

Planning time though! I just got hired to teach in a new middle school opening up. This is different than what I was doing last year (pulling out small groups) so I'll have an actual classroom to plan for. I'm not sure WHAT entirely my situation will be, but I know I'll be teaching sixth graders.

I'm going to have some CTT classes and some self-contained. I think it's still all being decided because this is a new school opening up (so it's awesome that EVERYONE will be new and not just me). I bought myself a shiny new laptop that can handle the SMARTboard software a bit better so I can get started making a few things at least.

I'm going to have to head to a coffee shop or something to get work done (there's one nearby) or perhaps my old college campus. Everyone at my house bugs me too much and thinks that because I'm off for the summer that I'm not busy. Earlier in the summer I was looking for a job...now I'm going to be planning for it. Leave me alone!! :lol: