Alabama — as a state (and as a concept, really) — has its fair share of problems. The divide between rich and poor is as deeply cut as its ever been. Our public education system is crumbing under an incredible strain and years of budget proration. The new governor was in office barely long enough to get a cup of coffee before he stepped in it big time and brought the nation’s scorn and ridicule upon us — once again.
But, my god, what the state gets right is the food. If you can’t find it fried and/or covered in gravy, you’re not looking hard enough. Best food known to man, from the seafood on the coast to the barbecue as you travel up the plains and into hill country. (Although I cannot speak for the quality of the North Alabama white barbecue sauce, I will say I find the whole idea to be absurd. But, under the right circumstances, I might be willing to give it a try.) Point is, though, that if you eat this stuff long enough, it’ll kill you. Or give you enough complications from the diabeetus that you’ll want to check out on your own.
The state’s flagship university, however, is trying to do something to combat the problem of obesity and inactivity (at least in its employees) by offering the Strive 4 Five program this spring. With this program, teams of up to five employees sign up and try to reach at least two of the following five daily goals:
- Eat five. Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables.
- Drink five. Drink five or more cups of water.
- Think five. Five minutes of a calming or reflective activity each day.
- Move for five. Exercise 30 minutes per day for five days a week.
- Lose five. Maintain or lose five to 10 pounds of weight. (This, thankfully, is a program-long goal.)
We (as the College of Communication and Information Sciences faculty and staff and various and sundry GTAs) got an e-mail about the program forwarded to us about a month ago. As soon as I got it, I knew I wanted to try and get a team together. Why? Well, it’s something else healthy to do with my life. (And, if you haven’t noticed, I’m big into that these days.) Plus, it’s a way to make sure I’m doing the things I need to do on a daily basis, like getting those five glasses of water (something I’ve never done) and making sure to get those five servings of fruits and vegetables.
So I sent out my own e-mail and got three other takers:
- Brian. He is thin like whoa. Ran track in high school. Could probably kick my ass if we ever got drunk enough to fight. Eats, however, like a single college-age male should (in that his freezer is full of Hungry Man frozen dinners). He’s in this, as far as I can tell, to eat less like a bachelor and more like a human. (But those nights of bachelor chow are fond memories of my own. Want a big pot of beenie weenies for dinner? IT’S ON.)
- Professor X. Note: not his real name. He’s been fighting weight for quite some time. Signed up, I believe, for the accountability and group support.
- Professor Y. See previous.
Yesterday was our first team check-in at Rose Administration. Brian, Professor X and I (Professor Y didn’t make it) walked over from our building around 9:30 and officially signed in. At Rose, we were given the paperwork for the program and a little scpheel about each one of the goals. (Professor X and I also signed up for 7 a.m. workouts on the Quad that will start up in a couple of weeks. Oh boy. I might regret that one.)
Here’s my score sheet with all of yesterday’s goals met:
Note: we’re going from Thursday to Wednesday as a week, so that’s why I have all of the furious scribblin’s there at the top.
So here’s how I did yesterday:
- Eat five. One banana (which is two servings, making it amazing), a snack pack of baby carrots and three servings of carrot veggie wedgies. I think that covers it?
- Drink five. This is going to make me sounds stupid, but I had no idea how easy it would be to get this water in. To drink five 8 ounce glasses, I only had to down two 20 ounce bottles of water. Maths. They work.
- Think five. So yesterday was a pretty taxing day. I taught my lovely undergrads in media law, and I had my own class in media history. But it’s the prep that really takes it out of you. So, after my last class of the day, I went into my office, shut the door and, well…got my nerd on.
Yep, right there in the office, I booted up Star Trek Online (jeeze, I’m getting nerd all over my blog). That’s my ship (one of them, anyway) there in the picture. She’s the U.S.S. Montgomery (a capital name for a capital ship…BWAHAHAHA), and, well…here’s her captain:
Yeah, that’s my character. Vice Admiral Will Nevin. (Don’t ask why I used my real name. Plz.) And I’m very happy to be a vice admiral. You should have heard the jokes my wife made when I was Rear Admiral Will Nevin.
OK, yes, that’s more than you ever needed to know about my Star Trek Online habits. Suffice to say, it was a nice way to unwind after a long day.
- Move for five. Nailed this one. An hour of cardio plus 15 minutes on the free weights.
- Lose five. It seemed like the program organizers were only interested in those losing weight here, so the team didn’t officially sign up for this goal. (Professors X and Y will continue this goal on their own, I believe.) Definitely would have done this if it was an option.
So that was Day One of Strive for Five. And I’m already a banana into Day 2. (Alas, I’m behind on my water.) We’ll see how the rest of the program goes.
(And I’m sorry for getting my nerd everywhere.)
[EDIT: Today's think five is only slightly less nerdy -- enjoying the episode of Price is Right I missed yesterday while eating lunch in the office. Nice and quiet and relaxing.]