• Wellness Success Stories
    My Wellness Success Story

    by Amy Beseda, Special Education, River Valley Intermediate


    The Midway ISD Wellness Program you lead has inspired me to feel great, make new friends, lose 12 pounds and exercise 4 to 5 days a week:)!!  I feel amazing and it helps me in every area of my life!   
     A. Beseda
    My Wellness Success Story

    by Susan Whitley, 1st grade teacher, Speegleville Elementary

    Before After

    Can 10 pounds make a difference?  I was headed to the beach about 18 months ago for spring break.  I thought I’d better toss the Valentine candy and say hello to grilled chicken.  We had a great time.  But 220 did not look significantly different from 230.  I was still rather fluffy.

    It is priceless the way God lets us repair our bodies even when we take a break from exercise for so long.  As I began my journey to fitness, I gained the confidence to log my calories on MyFitnessPal app and monitor my steps with my FitBit.  I ate a diet of lean proteins and low carbs in order to trigger production of dopamine and norepinephrine.  Increasing water consumption improved digestion and helped curb appetite between meals.  Now when I want to nibble, I ask myself “Am I really hungry or am I just thirsty?”  Most of the time, I am thirsty.  I also read that fully hydrated cells age at a slower pace.  We’ll see about that in 10 years!

    For the first 30 pounds the only exercise I added to my schedule was the added restroom trips from the increased H20.  But after I lost some, I felt like I could move more.  I walked at first, and then jogged.  Over the past year I’ve added races, biking, swimming, kayaking and yoga to my lifestyle.  I read that if you add muscle and raise your basal metabolic rate your body will burn calories even at rest.  Who does not love that idea? 

    Thanks to the MISD Staff Wellness initiatives I know my BMI and I’m now in the middle of the zone.  Yes, Hallmark should make a card for BMI day.  I had no idea that in just over a year I would lose 100 pounds.  I was very lucky to have the support of my wonderful friends on my campus and family.  Their words of encouragement meant the world to me.   Now my goals include lowering my race times, possibly doing a mini triathlon, and increasing upper body strength.  I still crave sweets, but now I replace desserts with Atkins low sugar treats.  I now crave exercise daily.  If you don’t have a physical activity you love, I encourage you to find one and in the words of Dori-“Just keep swimming”.  Just begin because you may be surprised that a small step toward healthier living could lead to amazing results.


    My Wellness Success Story

    by Jeff and Missy Fisher

    Background: On Sept. 28, 2015 while out running, Jeff started having heart attack like symptoms. After arriving at the hospital, he collapsed and chest compressions began. After 20 mins he was stable enough to be transferred to the cath lab for a stent to be placed in the left ventricle, which was 100% blocked.  Due to the length of him being unconscious, Jeff experienced kidney failure and had to receive dialysis treatment 3 times a week. However, due to his physical condition being so good, Jeff was able to slowly recover and was discharged from the hospital on Oct. 23 and returned full time to school in Jan. after the Christmas break.

    Special words from Jeff and his wife, Missy: Almost all of the MISD Staff Wellness initiatives apply to our family. One of the great things that came out of my illness was all of my family and a good deal of my friends went to the doctor, had physicals, and had their cholesterol and blood pressure checked; some even had stress tests done. As a result of my heart attack, my wife started running and we know both run 4-5 times a week. It has drawn us closer together as we challenge one another with personal goals. I know God kept me here for a reason and I am trying to live through him daily. Long term we want to celebrate our son’s wedding and walk our girls down the aisle on their special day. Missy said, "Start small and celebrate every vicotry. Life is too short to worry about a number on a scale.


    My Wellness Success Story

    by Nicole Grygar, 4th grade teacher, Woodway Elementary

    After having my third baby, I knew it was time for a change. If I ever wanted to feel strong and healthy like I was back when I actually got 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, there was only one option: Do it. Nike really knew what they were doing when they coined the phrase, "Just do it!" That's been my go-to motto for the last year and a half. Working at Woodway has also helped to provide the kick I needed. I am surrounded by people who are committed to, not just their success, but the health and fitness of those around them. Krissy Daily started the Tough Teacher Challenge that finally got me off my addiction of sodas. Cameryn Petree holds a PiYo class on Wednesdays for the staff, and Amber Pearson holds a Zumba class two times a week for anyone who wants to join. The support of the people around me has been crucial in my journey towards a healthier me. Thanks to my "support group," my "Just Do It!" mentality and my running obsessed mom, I just recently ran my first half marathon! I woke up in January, and decided I would pretend to be a runner, and thanks to that long but beautiful 13.1 mile run on the beach, I have finally confessed, "I am a runner." I have several goals I would like to continue that include running in the Bearathon, reaching my pre-first baby weight, and feeling healthier than ever! Thank you, Midway, for always pushing for us to be the best we can be, whether in the field of education or in our own personal lives. My only advice to others striving to reach their goals is to stop limiting yourself. "I can't..." and "I'm not..." surely mean "you won't." Change your attitude and your life motto, and you will be shocked at what you achieve!


    My Wellness Success Story

    by Danelle Clark, Instructional Services Office, MHS

    Editor’s Note: Danelle compiled the most wellness points (right under 1000 points!) during the 2014-2015 school year.

    My fitness journey began in 2000. My daughter was born in 1998 and I had gained a ton of weight with my pregnancy. I guess I thought the weight would just come off, but it did not! I joined the Waco Family Y and began trying different forms of exercise. I was too embarrassed to go into a group exercise class so I tried treadmills, the elliptical and basically just working out by myself. I quickly learned that alone was not going to be the answer so I started trying the different classes. I found a class, Intervals, and an instructor that I loved!! Her name is Laurie Hull and she is now one of my best friends. I started attending any and all classes that she taught and was hooked! Laurie is a fun and caring but tough instructor who pushed me when I needed to be pushed. She is also the reason I began running and was with me for my first half and full marathon in 2008! Laurie is also a big part of the reason I have become a group exercise instructor!

    With my second pregnancy, I was determined to do better about my weight gain and lack of physical activity like my first pregnancy. I continued to work out, with modifications, up to the day before I delivered. What a difference it made!! The delivery was so easy, the recovery time was less and I felt so much better compared to the first pregnancy!

    There are so many venues available today. You have gyms which offer many different classes like spin, dance, step aerobics, water aerobics, yoga, Pilates, weight lifting, kick boxing, Insanity and so much more. There are boot camps, CrossFit, local running clubs or home workout videos. You have to find that format that you love. For me, it was group exercise. The music and being with others is a motivator along with having a workout partner. On those days when you are thinking you don’t want to work out, that partner will tell you “No, you’re not skipping today. See you in class!” and you do the same for them!!

    I now teach body shaping and Insanity Live 5 days a week and I LOVE it! I get excited to be a part of new members coming in who are just starting their fitness journey! I think back to the time when that was me and I want to do everything I can to help them reach their goal!

    Danelle is shown here with her daughter at the Miracle Match Marathon in 2015.


    My Wellness Success Story


    by Kim Johnston, Instructional Specialist, Speegleville Elementary

     In January 2014, after my dad having multiple strokes and my mom being diagnosed with heart disease, I decided if I didn’t make different life choices that I would soon be on that same track.  I had been watching a friend on campus, Peggy Kilgo, getting healthier and losing weight.  I talked with her about what she had done and then decided I would try to be as successful as she had!  I began a healthier eating program based on what Peggy had done-the 4-Hour body.  The premise is a diet consisting of eating meats/proteins, vegetables, and various beans/legumes as your “good” carbohydrate essentially cutting carbs and sugars from meals.  Then one day a week, I have a “cheat day” which then boosts metabolism and helps burn fat when I return right to eating healthy after the cheat day.  In the beginning, I focused solely on diet.  After about three months, I added walking on a regular basis to begin getting exercise.  Then after about six months began working out at the YMCA with more friends and co-workers, Christine Cofer and Christy Glaser.  We learned how to work-out correctly-different circuits that include cardio as well as strength training then started into more intense workouts with insanity, body shaping, and even turbo kick!  It has truly been a support system that’s carried me on this journey.  My husband also changed diet with me and Speegleville is full of folks who have been encouraging me and also making healthy choices with both diet and going to the gym as well.  Bonnie Floyd kept talking about MISD’s Wellness Initiative.  I grabbed the sheet from her pretty convinced I’d never complete it, but as I looked at the sheet, I realized these new ways had become a part of my lifestyle-I was so excited to give myself credit each time I worked out, ate right, drank water, and slept enough hours!

    These changes have greatly impacted my life!  I truly had no idea how sluggish I had become until I had this new-found energy.  One night at the gym when I hit my 50-pound loss goal, the girls had me to pick up 50 pounds of weights and continue to do the step-ups we had been doing.  I had no idea the strain I had been putting on my body.  The most important thing to me, though, has been showing my 9- and 7-year-old daughters a lifestyle that incorporates healthy eating and activity on a regular basis.  I know it’s me as their mom that shapes their thoughts about their body image and the lens through which they see themselves.  It’s my prayer that the changes I’ve made will impact the way they see themselves as they become young women.

    The biggest thing I’ve learned in this journey is that old saying you always hear “You are what you eat” has a lot of truth to it.  I can truly say I had not ever known that.  The biggest impact on my body and how I feel comes from what I put into it each day.  I’ve found exercise to now be a constant in my life, and it’s a great stress-reliever! My goal for 2016 is to maintain my weight loss as well as get into the gym three or more times a week.  I’ve not ever really been a runner, so I’m hoping to move into the world of jogging!  My motto has been to tackle one thing at a time!

    Final thoughts-This journey to better health is truly a process.  Each day, I’m faced with decisions regarding whether I will eat right, work out, and sleep well.  Ultimately, when I’m making these decisions, I’m choosing better health for both me and my family!