12 Weeks to Fitness: Program results


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.

This week marked the last week that the students from the University of St. Thomas are filming me and documenting my progress. (The health and fitness program I’m involved in got switched to eight weeks instead of twelve weeks.) We finished up with the last interviews and ended with a group discussion about what was hard about the program. Problems like staying committed and sudden cravings were shared. When asked about what I thought of the fitness room mirrors, I replied with ”I don’t exercise in the fitness room because I don’t want to watch my muscle grow.” The hardest thing for me was changing my diet completely from unhealthy choices to healthier ones.

I have totally changed my eating habits. Most importantly, the program helped me start what I’ve wanted to do for a long time.

Here are the results: My body fat went from 32% in the beginning to 21%. I didn’t lose weight but I slimmed down into more muscle, which I consider an achievement. I was better in some simpler tests like reaching as far as I can in a sitting position and exhaling as much air as I could into a tube that measured my lung strength.

Overall, I feel better than when I started the program. I have more energy, and I’m happier and healthier emotionally, mentally and physically. A proud success is that I have totally changed my eating habits. I have made better choices and have kicked caffeine, for the most part. Most importantly, the program helped me start what I’ve wanted to do for a long time. It allowed me to kick this goal into gear and take responsibility for myself.

I plan to continue reporting on my progress for the remainder of the twelve weeks. I feel like if I could do two months with cameras following me, I can do it for one more month without them following me. I feel good about staying on track because it has been my responsibility all along through these eight weeks and will continue to be my responsibility to take care of myself for the rest of my life, or at least until I need adult diapers… You have to respect yourself to want to make a change that’s positive for your body. If you work hard to keep yourself in shape and eat right you are respecting your body and therefore yourself. The only thing that scares me about staying on track is that my final exams are coming up, but I feel confident that I can keep this diet going and continue feeling better and making better choices.

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

Kris's blog