Running off the Weight by Brian Jacobson

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Brian Jacobson is from Allendale, NJ. He completed his undergraduate degree at Quinnipiac University and received a Masters in Student Affairs Administration from University of Buffalo last May. In August he will begin working at Marianapolis Preparatory School in Thompson, CT as their Manager for Electronic Communications! When  not doing school or work related things he love seeing movies (literally,  all movies), reading, watching TV, and reading technology and pop culture blogs.

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Hi everyone! My name is Brian Jacobson, and I am from Allendale, NJ. I did my undergraduate work at Quinnipiac University, graduate in 2011, and then went to graduate school at the University at Buffalo for my Masters in Student Affairs Administration. At Quinnipiac I was super involved, but this also meant my “freshman 15” turned in to a “freshman 30” as I was always eating free food at events and getting meetings I was running catered with food (incentive for both the members and myself). No matter how many times I started to try exercising I never really lost a substantial amount of weight because I was basically always eating or downing Starbucks.

About six months ago, somewhere around New Years, I went out with some friends for New Years Eve. A few days afterwards, I saw the pictures of it posted on Facebook and I wasn’t thrilled with how I looked. Being a graduate student about entering the final stretch of my degree, I didn’t think I had that much time to work out and it was much easier to just order food after a long day of my assistantship or night of classes than it was too cook it. I don’t want to say I let my weight spiral but I was definitely pushing a little over 200 and wasn’t thrilled about it.

Around this time I was still contemplating employment for after graduate school or if I was going to take a month or two off and let myself have a little break before going to full out on the job search. Jobs in Educational Public Relations didn’t seem to be cyclical like Hall Director positions were so I figured I would give myself some time. I knew I might want to go back to the summer camp I worked at. So in a mixture of wanting to look good for job interviewers, wanting to play with my campers and feel good while doing it, and just overall wanting to push myself, I decided to set a goal of losing weight.

 

At first I set my goal at ten pounds, which seemed like A LOT and I truthfully would have been happy with just that.  I bought a George Forman grill, purposely blocked out time in my schedule and I was on my way.  My first struggle was finding foods I liked cooking. Thankfully, I lived close to a Wegmans and they had amazing pre marinated chicken breast that were super easy to cook. With a mixture of that and trying to incorporate salads in to my diet, the first ten pounds dropped very easy. Also, I am a HUGE Starbucks fanatic. But the drinks I was getting were 300-400 calories about twice a day. Now, I get almost black iced coffee with sweet n’ low instead of the sugar syrup. My average drink is about 90 calories.

Then there’s my running. I come from a very active family. My twin brother played sports all through out high school, my moms a workout junkie, and my dad cycles a lot. I was not one to really want to do much more than walk two miles on the treadmill.  I knew running would be a struggle. I started out with 3.1 miles (5K) every time and forced myself to run and run.  Eventually I pushed it to four, then 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 by March. Eventually, In April I tried and did 10 miles…which ended up being taking a toll on my legs and body. What I’ve learned with running is that I need to know how to pace myself.  When I started getting into daily eight-mile runs, I started feeling instant pain in my lower back. I chalked it up to my shoes and got new ones and went back on another run. In May, I was running and my legs got a shooting pain all the way from the back down. By this point running had helped me lose about 35 pounds and I was scared that if I couldn’t run I would gain it all back.  I went to the chiropractor and learned that I had injured my piriformis muscle. A few trips back and I gradually worked my way back up to longer runs…with more reasonable pacing.

By the time camp rolled around, I was employed (doing Education public relations for a prep school in Connecticut) and in the best shape of my life. Down from 202 pounds to 162 pounds in the course of six months. I feel great and just feel more confident about myself in general.  I’ve had to buy all new clothes but I can think of worse things in life! I’m having a phenomenal time at summer camp and am running their running club program where kids come run an extra mile early in the morning.

When I think of my advice for anyone trying to lose weight, especially young professionals, I think you just have to know that you have to make time to exercise. I used to hear my classmates all the time in grad school marvel about how much time I had to exercise and how they couldn’t understand how that was possible.  I just don’t like that excuse. Most days I exercised it would be at 6am before work and class because that would be the time I had to do it.  If you want to lose weight, or if you want to be fit, you need to put the effort in to it.

I think it’s also important to not eat at every free event you go to! I used to walk around the student union and just stop by every free table that was handing out food or treats and just eat it. Totally not necessary. I learned to eat before hand or pack my own meals in order to stay healthy while working.

Finally, when it comes to exercise find what works for you! I love jumping around and being active so when I don’t feel like running, I throw in a Zumba Class or some Cardio Cross training. Using “I can’t run” as an excuse is not realistic because there are so many ways to be active.

I am actually really surprised with how much I have loved getting in shape. I am now down to my lowest weight since probably 8th grade, 162, and am training for my first half marathon in September. Had you asked if I would be really fit after grad school I would have said never believed it. My busy grad school schedule forced me to figure in specific workout times into my day, and this habit has stayed with me even after graduation.  If anyone wants to swap stories or needs tips, feel free to email me at brianjacobson922@gmail.com

One comment to Running off the Weight by Brian Jacobson

  • Emilee  says:

    Great blog Brain!

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