Sherwood Teachers Inspire Others to Reach Their Health Goals

by Adina Brenner ’20

From the keto to the paleo diet, when it comes to losing weight there are what feels like hundreds of trends to try. But the biggest issue for those trying to change their physical health habits is finding the right method that works best for them. Whether you or someone you know is looking for a lifestyle change, knowing where to start can be the hardest part. With lots of hard work and determination, however, success can be right around the corner. Some of our own Sherwood staff have dealt with such obstacles in their lives and are happy to announce they have achieved their weight loss goals. Whether it’s five or 80 pounds, losing weight can be one of the hardest tasks, but with lots of motivation and positivity, anyone can achieve their goal.

For internship coordinator and staff development teacher, Catina Wist, weight was a struggle for several years prior to her decision to finally lose it. “When I saw a picture of myself in December 2018, I was shocked and sad. I didn’t realize how much weight I had gained over the past 10 years.  I was determined to make some big changes for 2019 in my eating and overall health,” said Wist. A big step in Wist’s plan to lose weight was accepting the changes that she felt needed to be made. She discovered a healthy living and weight-loss program called Optavia Healthy Living. The plan consisted of eating fewer calories, more protein, and less carbohydrates. Putting in the work has become difficult at times, so having her niece as her “support coach” has helped Wist stay on track. With all of the hard work put into bettering her health, Wist has lost a total of 40 pounds since early 2019. Wist now maintains her progress by eating right and hiking with her dog every day after school.

For medical science teacher, Deborah Parsley, nearing retirement age meant finally putting in the effort she always wanted to when it came to her weight. With hopes to spend more time with her grandchildren, Parsley knew she had to increase her level of energy and thus began her weight-loss journey. In order for her to stay committed to her plan, Parsley has participated in a health coach-based program that has taught her how to analyze healthy and unhealthy eating habits as well as how to reprogram her body to burn fuel more efficiently. Her plan has also taught her to eat small meals every few hours to avoid intense hunger episodes. Additionally, she sticks to mainly a “lean and green” system (meals that consist of proteins and vegetables).  “My sister and extended family have been a terrific support system, even through vacations and holidays – time periods that usually derailed my previous attempts at regaining control of my health,” said Parsley.

For science teacher, Nathan Hilburger, back pain took over his life and finally after one excruciating episode suffered during school, he decided it was time to make a major change. By losing the weight, Hilburger hoped to put less pressure on his back. “I knew I never wanted to feel that amount of pain again,” said Hilburger. With a steady balance of eating smaller, healthier meals consisting of mainly protein and vegetables as well as walking as frequently as possible, Hilburger saw a difference pretty quickly. He was not only looking better, but finally feeling better. Another benefit was being able to keep up with his wife and children everyday. He has lost a total of 30 pounds and plans to continue his regime. Hilburger hopes to be an inspiration to others looking to better their health.