Me at my maximum weight.
So… This is me…
This is me until very recently.
You see, in April, my doctor insisted I have a blood test before she would give me my blood pressure medicine. When I got to the appointment to get my prescription, she had the audacity to tell me I was diabetic. I really shouldn’t have been surprised. I love to eat food. Obviously, too much of it! And, although I play volleyball, it wasn’t enough exercise.
After a bit of crying and feeling a bit sorry for myself, reality set in. Is this what I wanted for the next half of my life?
To get me on the right path, I used one of the tools I was most comfortable using–my iPhone! It is amazing the number of apps out there that can promote a healthier lifestyle.
My apps for a healthier lifestyle
Check out THIS row. It starts with SparkPeople, then RunMeter, Pedometer, and Get Running. I want to stress there are a ton of similar apps out there that will do just as well. I just happened to find these first.
is an incredible website that allows a person to track their food intake, exercise, etc. It is also a social networking site that allows you to collaborate with other people wanting to get healthy. There are exercise videos, inspirational stories, REWARDS… And best of all, it is free. If you are interested in trying to lose weight, having the ability to track what you eat can be an eye opener.
Next in the row is Runmeter
. It will actually use the GPS in my phone to map my run, share info with Twitter and Facebook, tell me my route, distance, speed, etc. The only downfall is sometimes it can’t find some satellites and therefore the data is inaccurate. But, for a beginning runner, it works fine.
The last app I want to discuss is Get Running
. It was awesome! This is a Couch to 5K program. I went from being a NONRUNNER to running 30 minutes straight in 9 weeks using the program. It worked. I can’t believe I can say that I am a runner now.
Julia's Run for Hope
The apps worked for me. When people have asked me why, I see two key ingredients:
- They focused on the zone of proximal development.
- They provided a measure of accountability.
Ok, both of these are very “schoolly” reasons. Let me explain what I mean.
Zone of Proximal Development
Most diets and exercise programs fail because we try to be “perfect”. We have an image of where we want to be, so we immediately set out to run 3 miles, or eat a very strict diet. And we can’t keep up. So, we give up…
These applications have found a way to ask questions and find out where each individual is–their level of competence in running… or choosing what to eat. Then, they tailor the programs to give you a level of challenge that meets your level of competence right in the middle. This is the zone of proximal development (ZPD
). The “sweet spot” if you will, where a learner can progress with the help of a knowledgable other. In this case it is my iPhone! The ZPD was first explained by Lev Vygotsky.
The second ingredient is accountability. I sometimes get teased by friends because of my tweets of runs, etc. However, just knowing that someone else is going to know I attempted to run, has me trying just a little bit harder. I don’t care how fast or slow I go, but I will go. Research says that people do need a level of accountability if they are to do their best.
Although this post is about my trek to a healthier me, educators, I want you to think about the instructional practices that you provide your students. Are you giving them a level of accountability? Are you meeting each child where they are, so that they may learn in their zone of proximal development?
Will it work? You tell me…