OVERALL BIGGEST WINNER
Bryan Paschal, 44, Knoxville
– What an incredible year it was for this Gresham Middle School teacher. When he applied to be on the team, Bryan told us he had always
wanted to change the world by being a teacher. However, he'd noticed that his former students seemed to remember the life lessons he taught them more than the math lessons. Diabetic, recovering from a debilitating blood disorder and borderline obese, Bryan made a decision to change his corner of the world by changing his own life. The day he was accepted to be on the marathon team, he started working to lose weight. During his time with the team, he lost 70 pounds. He progressed so quickly that halfway through the marathon team program, he was no longer classified as overweight. But that's only half the story.
Bryan's cholesterol dropped from 260 to below 100. His triglycerides went from a steady 500 to steadily less than 100. And he started an incredible campaign to with the teaching staff at his school to make a healthier school. In addition to healthy meals and training talk in the faculty lounge, Bryan began incorporating health-related subjects as math problems in the classroom - including his changing weight and body composition. Then he took it one step further and pushed for a new student fitness program.
Gresham Middle School started a student marathon, taking a cue from the Covenant Kids Run. The honor-system effort encouraged kids to keep track of their active play. Every 30 minutes they logged counted as a mile. When a student logged 26.2 "miles" of active play, he or she received recognition for completing a "marathon." More than two dozen students finished that race. Bryan is counting on a ripple effect, hoping it will spread to their families and communities.
Leaving behind his diet of fast food, Bryan says that on the first day of this journey with the Biggest Winner, he made a commitment to do whatever he had to, to change his life. Obviously, it was a risk worth taking. Check out Bryan's blog for all the details about his weight loss, health improvements, and the ways he's still working to be an ambassador for health and fitness. Click here to read Bryan's blog!
|Advice from Bryan:
- See your doctor and be honest with yourself about your weight and health.
- Commit to making a change and realize that it will begin with one small step.
- Seek out the help you need and realize it won't be easy.
- Remember it will be worth it in the end. Keep your eyes on the prize.
- Celebrate every victory along the way!