In America, staying in shape and avoiding obesity is something many people are really trying to work on. Some people take extreme and unhealthy routes to lose weight, but end up doing potential harm to their body. There are ways to lose weight the right way and become healthier; it just takes hard work, dedication, and motivation. Brett Ward, SFA senior, found himself over his ideal weight and size and decided to make a change. He went to gym gym for months at a time, but found that the motivation was not there. The looks from other people in the gym and using dirty equipment was not something he enjoyed. For Brett, it was not about gaining muscle mass, it was about trimming down and making the process as painless as possible.
Brett played golf in high school and remembered how much fun he had doing it. He also remembered that he was in the best shape of his life during that time. After a little bit of research, he found that the Woodland Hills Golf Course in Nacogdoches offered SFA students a semester long pass for $220. After this one time payment, it was unlimited rounds of golf with free range balls as well. The Fall 2013 semester was only a week away and Brett knew this was going to be a way for him to lose the weight. His goal was to walk nine holes every other day, equaling out to around 2 1/2 miles per round. Brett found his motivation.
Exercise is very important in order to lose weight, but it is not the only thing that needs to be done. Eating healthy and watching what you put into your body is just as important. The hard work and dedication came when Brett decided that fast food would no longer be on his diet. Brett knew that he needed to change his diet in order to make a true effort at becoming more healthy. Eating healthy would now require him to cook, and cook is what he did. Brett said “cooking is the best. I saved so much money on going to the grocery store and buying meals for the day. Also, I knew exactly what I was putting into my body. Making a conscious effort to eat smaller portions of healthier food was almost more important than golfing”. With a diet and plan of action in place, it was time to hit the golf course.
In the first few weeks, Brett played golf almost everyday. Brett said “making a routine was vital. Here was my daily routine; wake up, breakfast, class, lunch, golf, dinner, study, sleep.” With this schedule, it focused on the two most important things for Brett, losing weight and making good grades in school. Brett found that he still had a great golf game, and started seeing changes in his physical appearance. After the first month of walking at least nine holes five days a week, Brett went to one of his fraternity parties and he was the center of attention. People kept commenting on how much better he was looking and all that did was motivate him more. Brett said “receiving positive feedback from my friends made me feel amazing. I woke up everyday excited to go to class so I could get out to the golf course.” Soon, these 9 hole rounds started turing into 18 hole rounds. Brett said “at first, I was exhausted after walking 18 holes. The heat was bad enough, but my legs and body were so sore after playing. It was a great feeling to know I was losing weight and getting healthier. I started my weight loss journey just over 230 pounds, and my goal was to be under 200.” As the end of the Fall semester approaches and his membership comes to an end, Brett is ready to step on the scale and see how well he did. With a trip up to the Rec center at SFA, he went to go weigh himself. Brett is proud to say that he reached his goal to be under 200 pounds. His current weight, as of November 30, 2013 is 196 pounds. Brett said “losing the weight is fantastic. But honestly, the best part is knowing that my body is considerably healthier than it was at the beginning of the semester. Eating right and walking over four miles a day on a golf course was the most enjoyable way to lose weight. My body had no choice but to shed the pounds.”
Here are a few questions Brett answered for me:
1. What was your favorite part about going to the golf course?
“It’s a great way to escape the hectic pace of everyday life, and also gain some alone time to gather your thoughts and connect with nature.”
2. What was the hardest part during the semester?
“It was definitely hard to stay in some nights when I knew all of my friends were going out to party. Learning to control late urges to eat was also tough at first, but once I got set in my routine it became second nature.”
3. How many rounds do you think you played over the semester?
“Around 60 rounds, over a thousand total holes played.”
4. What would you recommend to someone looking to lose weight?
“To be physically active in any way they see fit for at least an hour a day, eat 5 to 6 small portioned meals a day, and most important of all…stick with it! Creating a habit takes 21 days.”
Why Are Staying Active and Eating Well So Important?
- A HEALTHY HEART
- Regular physical activity and a healthy diet can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels and can reduce the risk of illnesses such as type 2 diabetes or heart disease.
- STRONG BONES
- Exercise, combined with fat-free or low-fat dairy products and other foods rich in calcium, is necessary to build strong, healthy bones and can help slow the bone loss associated with getting older.
- A SENSE OF WELL-BEING
- Being in good shape can give you more energy, reduce anxiety and depression, improve self-esteem, and help you better manage stress.
- A GOOD SOCIAL LIFE
- Staying active is a great way to have fun and make new friends.
- LOOKING AND FEELING BETTER
- You look better when you’re in shape and eating right. Staying active helps you tone muscles and improve your posture. Both moving more and eating healthy are important to maintaining a healthy weight.
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- If you would like to learn more about golfing at Woodland Hills Golf Course, visit their site by clicking here