Update on #oneword2024 #author

It seems hard to believe that we are already in May.  This blog post was supposed to come out last Sunday, but life got in the way and I realized that I wasn't ready at the time to write it. But I am now. On May 1, 2024, I celebrated my health-iversary: it's been one year since I started to take better care of my health and I have lost over 77.2 pounds since May 1, 2023. I love how this milestone is now part of my story.  I am the best version of me YET and I can't wait to see how I continue to grow and evolve in the next year.  

In addition, I published a new article on Edutopia since the last blog post. It is all about how you can energize math learning with technology- definitely check it out here. Be on the lookout in the next few weeks for some exciting announcements- I can't share them yet, but I am very pumped up about them. 

The month of May is quiet presentation-wise and will be followed by a very busy June. In June, I will be presenting at several conferences including TCEA's Elementary Technology Conference, the Innovative Schools Summit in Nashville, and ISTE in Denver. In fact, at ISTE, I will be doing my very first IGNITE talk!

TransformED: Amplifying Learning Using Tech Tools

Two weeks ago,  I focused on something a  little different. Over the course of the past couple of months, we have really examined ways that we can transform learning using the ISTE Standards for Educators as a springboard. This leads us to our topic for this week- TransformED Management. I have really been thinking about this a lot lately, especially as I work on writing my second book, which will focus on best practices to develop digital learners and creators. So how can we, as educators, best prepare our students to be digital learners and creators, as we manage using technology in our classrooms?

This week, our focus will also be different.  This week, I decided to focus on the importance of health and well-being. No, this is not an ISTE Standard, but it should be a standard that all educators value. Without our health, we can not be there to give our students what they need- us at our best selves. During this time of the year, it is easy to feel beat down and tired. In Virginia where I work, state testing is about to start and that in and of itself is exhausting. It was around this time last year when I finally got sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Why was I sick and tired of being sick and tired? 

In mid-April 2023, when I weighed myself, I was truly shocked- I had never seen a number quite as high as the number that displayed on my scale. I felt weighted down and to be honest, I was not a happy person then. On a whim when I saw a Facebook post by Michele Corbat, I decided I needed to try something new to get my health on track. So when I saw this post on April 22 as she was asking people if they were interested in losing a few pounds for summer, I sent her a DM. All I knew about her at the time was she was connected with some of my educator friends. Sure, I was skeptical, but I knew that things needed to change.

After week one, I was down six pounds and so excited. Then, on a wet morning, I fell on a wet curb during morning Kiss and Ride duty. Although I initially thought it was no big deal, it turned out that I had broken my fifth metatarsal and needed foot surgery. Two days before my 48th birthday, I had surgery and I really wasn't able to move for the first two weeks. All I could do was control my eating and my wonderful husband supported me as I continued to follow the program Michele introduced me to: Optavia. I couldn't even check my weight for close to three months. But as time went by, my clothes started to get too big and my husband went out and got me smaller sizes. By early June, I was able to walk with a boot and a scooter. It was definitely hard to get around, but I was determined to go to conferences like TCEA's Elementary Tech Conference. By the end of June, I was just in a boot and could travel a little easier. Then, finally on July 18th, I was able to walk without a boot. I was delighted to discover that I was 28 pounds lighter.

I viewed breaking my foot as a blessing in disguise.  Once I could move independently, I viewed exercise as a privilege and a gift. I started doing Couch to 5K and attending Arora (senior) classes at my gym. Before I knew it. I needed to add more food to my program and as the scale continued to go down, I got even more motivated to keep up my health journey.

In January, my husband joined me on this journey. For the past four months, we have been doing this program together and it has made such a big impact on both of us. As of May 3, 2024, I am down 77.2 pounds, In fact, a few weeks ago, I ramped up my fitness journey and started taking GTX training classes at my gym. Talk about a challenge!

A Year Later- Lessons Learned

Being on this journey has been a process of self discovery for me. I learned that I could do hard things and that my body needs the proper fuel to function at its best. I also learned how precious the ability to exercise is and never take it for granted. I have worked really hard on myself- how I carry myself, how I interact with people, and more.

Now, on May 5, 2024, I am the best version of me YET. I can’t wait to see where my journey goes as I transition from 3 and 3 to Optimal Health. If you are feeling discouraged right now, I get it. As my 49th birthday approaches in 15 days, I spent most of my forties feeling that. But then, I decided to take action on a post on my Facebook page and reach out to my coach, Michele Corbat. That action has changed my life forever. Don’t be afraid to meet that call to action- it will truly change your life. I can’t thank Michele and Optavia enough for this program and how it has helped me to find the ME I knew I could be as I went on my journey. You can do it too! 

1. What we fuel our bodies with matters.

Before this, I was not fueling my body properly. Michele helped me to find Optavia, which really helped me to reevaluate why I need to fuel my body with healthy foods. Eating Lean and Green meals (1/2 protein and 1/2 vegetables) made me focus on the nutrients my body needed.  Eating little to no sugar eliminated my cravings and made me more focused and productive.

2. Movement is a gift that we give to our future selves in the present.

When I was finally able to move independently in late July, I started Couch to 5K.  I was excited to see my pace increase the more I ran and see al of the benefits of regular exercise. Recently, I started doing a class at my gym called GTX, a small group training class where 50% is cardio and 50% is strength training. I am so excited to see what gifts this gives me in the future. But every class, I leave feeling powerful.

Next Steps

Consider how you take care of you and work to transform your health. I hope that hearing some of my story will inspire you too.  It is the little steps that we take every day that make the difference. But all of that starts with a call to action- that nagging feeling inside you that you can do better and that challenging things make you stronger. 

A reminder and a huge thanks to Kyle Hill for hosting the Recharge Learning Virtual Bash that features 50 workshops and  is offering free access to everyone who reads my blog to the Bash until June 2024.  Click this link to join. Two of my sessions are included in this bash too.