12 Weeks to Fitness: Introduction and Reset

Welcome to 12 Weeks of Fitness, a weekly blog series by Kris Mitchell, a sophomore at the University of St. Thomas and alumnus of ThreeSixty Journalism. Kris is involved in a 12-week program at St. Thomas to lose weight and improve his health. A team of videography students will document his progress for a class project. Check back weekly to read about Kris’s experience.

Sweat drips down my face as I smile in victory. Exhausted and beat down by the fierce competition of a one-on-one basketball game, my opponent and I shake hands and go to McDonald’s. I order my usual Big Mac meal — super-sized, of course — with a huge cup of Mello Yello. Next, I completely demolish any fitness beneifts from my two-hour workout!

Oh! I believe introductions are in order! My name is Kris and I am a sophomore at the University of St. Thomas. The preceding paragraph is a snapshot of how I have lived for at least five years. I have always known that grabbing an apple is way healthier than a bag of Doritos, but the convenience and appeal of Doritos has been tough to resist. That choice and others have left me overweight and needing a major improvement in my life. I want to change and motivate myself by taking part in a 12-week program where I am trying to reach my goal weight of 190 pounds, down from 220 pounds. I want to slim down mainly to improve my health including back and shoulders problems. The program is administered through a videography class at St. Thomas. The students running the program will address my current sleep, diet and exercise patterns.

My first major obstacle was caffeine. Most of us drink it every day and absolutely love it, whether from pop, tea, coffee or energy drinks. I was accustomed to drinking two liters of Mountain Dew just to be able to function, probably because it compensated for the lack of energy from my previous diet. I decided caffeine needed to go and stopped drinking it completely. The experience showed me why quitting cold turkey is both hard to do and not recommended. My system crashed and I slept most of the next four days with the 2nd day being the worst of all. After a few days of feeling completely sleepy and drowsy, I now feel renewed and full of energy – largely because of my new diet! What is it? Well come back in the next few days to find out! Until then, I bid adieu!

- Kris Mitchell, University of St. Thomas sophomore and ThreeSixty Journalism alumnus

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