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Teaching related obesity?

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Old 03-10-2013, 05:27 PM   #1
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Default Teaching related obesity?

Many teachers complain of weight gain and I'm pretty sure that's no coincidence. Stress, anxiety, depression are part of this profession and also major causes of weight gain. Lack of sleep may also play a big role in this.

I put on a lot of weight since I started teaching three years ago. I went from 70 kgs (154 lbs) to 81 kgs (178 lbs). I was technically obese and looked awful, so I decided to hit the gym and hire a PT. I've made some progress (currently at 76 kgs, 167 lbs) but I still have a long way to go.

Any thoughts on this?
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:34 AM   #2
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I disagree, teaching is one of the most demanding and time consuming professions out there! It's easy to see how it could easily lead to weight gain, I'm a trainee teacher, and after a horrendous long day at school, the last thing I want to do is come home and cook!

I find the easiest thing to do is to plan all my meals for the week, so I know I have everything ready to be cooked. Makes for less temptation to order a pizza!
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:39 AM   #3
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I hear ya, sister! i gained 60 lbs in my first year of teaching! aHH!!! I didn't even know that was possible!!!!!
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:46 AM   #4
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Absolutely agree. If you are prone to weight gain and depression, teaching is a tough profession to manage. I always start the year off feeling ready and healthy, but November things have begun to go downhill. Have been diagnosed with bipolar and am hoping meds will help, but, they cause weight gain! Am taking time off from work and want to make the best of it. Teachers unite, we need to take better care of ourselves.
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:04 AM   #5
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Perhaps... but LOL many of us have jobs other than teaching which are certainly every bit as stressful and even more sedentary. We all have to cope in life with our professions and living situations. I don't know very many people who "live the easy life" and don't have to work hard at keeping their weight under control.
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:42 AM   #6
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I think what makes teaching and weight management work is finding the balance. If you only gained 11 kgs in three years, then you aren't doing too bad (I gained 20-30 kgs in two years).

Admittedly, I've not had a demanding job so I don't fully understand what your job is like (I do have a basic understanding of what goes into your job with planning etc.), but I wonder if there are slight adjustments you can make to relieve stress, such as yoga or meditation. I find that a 30 minute walk helps to clear my mind and I feel better the more I do it.

For curiosities sake, what age level do you teach at?
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:07 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Misti in Seattle View Post
Perhaps... but LOL many of us have jobs other than teaching which are certainly every bit as stressful and even more sedentary. We all have to cope in life with our professions and living situations. I don't know very many people who "live the easy life" and don't have to work hard at keeping their weight under control.
I agree with this so much!

I AM glad I don't have students bringing me cookies and treats all the time. And I know teachers in my school district (I actually work for a school district but in an office) sometimes receive food gifts from local businesses to thank them for their hard work, which are advertised constantly (Come to the lounge! Free cookies! etc.)
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:00 PM   #8
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[...]
For curiosities sake, what age level do you teach at?
16 - 19 years old.

It's a very special situation: they all come from the local slums and they are students that had zero success with the regular system.

Moreover I work in a poor region and our working conditions are terrible.

It's not easy but this is my third year teaching and I believe have improved quite a lot.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:41 AM   #9
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I work in another related field speech therapy, and I work with adults. I have gained a lot of weight with a lot of the same issues, I am on my feet all day, I work and interact with a lot of people, and I deal with life and death issues, a lot of people who work in "people-fields" just absorb so much of stress and it's physically draining and if you have a tendency for emotional eating forget it! If anyone has advice please share, I'm ready to give up my job becaus it's messing it's my health so bad!
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:06 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Misti in Seattle View Post
Perhaps... but LOL many of us have jobs other than teaching which are certainly every bit as stressful and even more sedentary. We all have to cope in life with our professions and living situations. I don't know very many people who "live the easy life" and don't have to work hard at keeping their weight under control.
I agree with Misti, a lot of professions make it hard to be healthy. My job isn't stressful but I'm sitting down for most of the day. My roommate, by comparison, is always stressed, pulls at least as many hours as a teacher would, and is still sedentary so she purposely schedules in hours worth of exercise every week, sometimes daily. It has her running ragged a vast majority of the time but she does it. Her weight isn't really under control though and she thinks it's due to being tired a lot.

Personally, I just lack energy. It's 10:00am and I'm tired and I don't know why. By the time I get home, I'm like...I quit. I just quit. But I feel bad complaining, I don't do nearly as much as her, I'm not sure why I struggle like I do.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:53 PM   #11
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That's any profession including being a student
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:33 AM   #12
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I find the easiest thing to do is to plan all my meals for the week, so I know I have everything ready to be cooked. Makes for less temptation to order a pizza!
Yep, for me, I cook everything, portion and freeze on weekends so I can just microwave a meal for myself and my daughter during the week. I work in administration at a residential school, so we have students 24 hours a day (and issues 24 hours a day!), I'm a single mom to a five year old with her own extracurricular activities (dance and girl scouts), I own a house, and my friends and I have a non-profit volunteer organization.

Between mothering, work, and gym, I usually don't have a minute to myself until after 8, and even then, it's laundry, cleaning, dishes, etc. I feel like I'm always just getting ready for the next day/week/month.

On Sunday I fell asleep in the middle of the day and even asked my boyfriend if it was okay because I felt guilty for not doing something to get ready for the future. I feel more recharged than ever, so I may need to take a break every month or so!
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:14 AM   #13
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I've actually researched this a little bit, but I haven't found any correlation between teachers and obesity. There have been some studies that show that teachers have a higher rate of depression and anxiety issues, which I am starting to find not surprising.

This is my first year teaching, and I am beginning to feel, very quickly, that this profession will be quite a bit of anxiety for the rest of my life. My sister and my mother teach, but they appear to handle the profession better than I do. Of course, I work in a very poor school system that is in complete shambles, and I have to remind myself that I have a very unique group of students this year in unique situations. (My skills are basically the only thing that will determine whether some seniors graduate with a diploma or not, and I just do not feel trained enough for that responsibility and have no mentor teacher.) I have actually lost weight this year, but my sister has gained quite a bit since she begain teaching. I think mine has to do with worrying so much, making me not able to eat and channeling my stress into exercise rather than food. We are taught as teachers to blame every failure in the classroom on ourselves. We must have absolute control, and any student failure is a failure in ourselves. I believe a lot of this. There are too many teachers in my school that do not look within themselves when it comes to problems in the classroom, but man, is the worrying dragging me down. I had another good forty-five minute crying spell this morning while trying to put my make-up on to get ready for work. And instead of spending my planning period productively, well, you see what I'm doing right now. No motivation today, which makes me feel worse about myself. It's becoming the norm, unfortunately, and I hope it's just a first year thing. I can't do this to myself for the next thirty plus years.

Not to cry the blues about being a teacher. Lots of jobs have probably a great deal more stress. It's the most singular form of stress I have had in a job so far, however, and it is rather mentally draining to be constantly attentive to the unique needs of, in my case, 75 + other persons all day long.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:50 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Flavio View Post
16 - 19 years old.

It's a very special situation: they all come from the local slums and they are students that had zero success with the regular system.

Moreover I work in a poor region and our working conditions are terrible.

It's not easy but this is my third year teaching and I believe have improved quite a lot.
Sorry for the belated reply!

It warms my heart to read about people like you how are helping kids who find it difficult in school but what to keep going I admire you for doing that and for sticking with it, even though conditions are less than desirable.

It may be that you have to workout at home in front of the television to lose weight. However, weight loss occurs more in the foods we eat. You'll get there!
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:56 PM   #15
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I have been in education for 40 years, many years as a classroom teacher and now as a consultant.

This is a very common concern for teachers. It have to do with the high level of multi-tasking we have to do and the intensity of the work for the part of the day that the students are there. Many jobs are stressful but very few involve focusing on up to 30 people at a time and trying to keep them all engaged and making progress. This results in not getting time to eat or to be eating while focusing on dozens of things rather than what you are putting in your mouth.
Then when the kids go home or when we get home we are too hungry to take the time to prepare a proper meal and we grab whatever is convenient.

The time that could be used for meal planning and preparing healthy meals in other jobs is usually used for lesson planning and correcting by teachers. So it can add up to very poor eating habits.

But on the other hand I have also noticed that teaching also seems to attract quite a few people who are very physically active and that type of person doesn't seem to gain.
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