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September, 2011:

Running Yourself to a Healthy Weight

The race to the finish line sounds like the approach that many take in their
weight-loss journey. As a runner throughout the years, I have realized that
weight loss is more like a cross country race. It is a journey to be enjoyed,
properly paced, and to have a realistic goal which is also challenging.

Many people as they decide to lose weight (again), they usually set goals that are unrealistic because the time frame is too short for healthy long-term weight loss. Researching healthy weight loss goals for your specific age, sex, and personal health will give you more realistic and achievable personal goals that are tailored to you.

Looking at healthy and natural approaches will be a way for you to work towards your goals and “pace yourself” accordingly. A great runner always “paces” himself in order to maximize his efforts while keeping the end result in mind.

By having a realistic goal, it means having a realistic timeframe. Too fast of weight loss can result in cycle dieting where more weight and more fat return and works against you.  Too slow of weight loss may mean that you are not  challenging yourself enough to make those healthy choices through diet and exercise. Too slow of weight loss usually results in frustration and lose of seeing the end result and can sabotage you ever achieving your healthy weight.

It helps to have a team in place and a coach to guide you, encourage you and even push you to achieve your best.  Your team is your circle of friends and family that truly encourage you.  Your coach can be a personal trainer, health coach or weight loss coach that will help you stay accountable and on track.  These two things along with your commitment to yourself with lead you to finish your personal race and to realize that you still have to keep running with your new healthy habits to ensure long term success.

There is also your psychology that can lead you to succeed or fail. Understanding some of the subconscious beliefs that you have about your weight, food and exercise will shape your behavior.  Find a way to understand your belief system and how it has affected your weight throughout the years. Utilize counseling or personal meditation time to do this. A great starting point to uncover these issues is reading What’s Eating You.  A personal coach can help you uncover even more if you need help with that. Once you have beliefs that will support your race, you will be able to enjoy your journey, pace yourself properly and have realistic and achievable goals which will lead you to long-term success.

The Ripple Effect of Teamwork


As principal, I have never received an e-mail like this before!
As I read the words from the Cross Country Coach at
nearby St. Colette, I admit that tears came to my eyes with
an overwhelming sense of pride. Our coach and cross
country team truly served as the “hands and feet of Jesus,”
and represented what it truly mean to be a Christian athlete!
As the Cross Country coach for St. Colette School in Rolling
Meadows, I’d like to bring to your attention a behavior I
observed from the Holy Family Academy Cross Country
team and coach [parent Ian Norman and “Coach L”] at
this week’s meet in Clark Park, hosted by Queen of the

Here’s the story

Saint Colette School, although

small, does its best to field a team and give all students the

opportunity to perform in the field of sports. Not just the

athletically gifted and not just the fastest runners. So

our Boys’ Varsity Team is a mixed set of talents. While we

had two of our runners place in the top 5 for this race, one

of our runners was also the last to cross the finish line . . .

over 10 minutes behind the lead runner.

After all the other runners had crossed the finish line, we all

realized that one runner from St. Colette School was still

somewhere out there, probably walking the last leg of

the two-mile course. Somewhat concerned that he just

gave up, I waited at the finish line hoping that our last

runner would finally show up and have some pride that he at

least finished the race. Along with the timing official, our

athletic director, and several other concerned parents, we

waited . . . and waited at the finish line . . . for our last

runner to come over the hill and finish his race.

Just as we were about to give up, finally, we saw a mob of runners from

Holy Family, including the coach, come over the hill

surrounding the last runner . . . and encouraging him on to

the finish line. When the other schools saw this, they joined

in and by the time the last runner crossed the line, there

were dozens of runners jogging along side and cheering

him on. While I was proud of our runner for not giving up …

I was even more proud of the sportsmanship of Holy Family

Academy’s team and coach who brought the last runner in … and made him feel good about his race.


Throughout my many years as a parent and coach of sports

teams, I know that teams like this don’t just happen. Teams

like this learn sportsmanship from their school and from their

coaches. Your team set a new benchmark for

sportsmanship that day, one that made us all feel proud of

the values and attitude learned in Catholic Schools.

My best wishes to your school, your teams and your

coaches in all their future adventures. It’s a pleasure

to play with teams and coaches like yours. They are all