Weeks Two and Three at WAC

by Jeremy Chance

Week Four has started here at WAC, and the start of a new week has brought the start of some new challenges. I have moved out of my first cabin, Looking Glass, and into Blue Ridge for the new boys who arrived yesterday. We have six new boys right now, a seventh coming in later today, and one that’s temporarily staying in our cabin while the rest of Looking Glass is in field.

But first, a relative recap of the past two weeks. I know I haven’t updated in a while.

I apologize for not updating as frequently as I mentioned I would. Only having one day off a week is kind of rough, and most times I don’t want to spend it in front of my laptop. I tend to get off campus and just hang out. I have a couple off periods today, so I’m hoping to bang out this post while I can.

Weeks two and three were relatively difficult. The kids seemed to get past the honeymoon stage and went straight to the frustration stage. Most of the Looking Glass boys have absolutely come out of their shells and are absolutely flourishing! A few minor complaints aside, they were very participatory, well behaved, motivated and driven to lose weight.

Regardless of the occasional frustrations, I’m absolutely 100% happy to be here. I don’t really particularly know what it is, but over the past week or so, I’ve confirmed that this field, childhood obesity, is where I want to spend my career. This is what I want to do with my life. Whether it’s in obesity prevention or obesity management, working with children and working with weight loss is what I want to do.

Working here at Wellspring, and reading all about the Wellspring Plan, I’ve really bought into this whole process for managing weight loss, especially for children. They’re consuming low-fat meals. They’re exercising basically all day. They’re receiving cognitive behavioral therapy that teaches them about making the right lifestyle changes. They’re learning how to deal with food temptations and how to conduct themselves in un-program-friendly situations. They’re learning how to eat healthily at home. Being here at camp for these kids is the best thing for them because they’re building a healthy foundation for when they’re done here.

I’m just very happy with the program here, and I’m very happy I get to use my own personal weight-loss experience to motivate and inspire these kids to work hard. One night at our weekly “Ceremony” where we honor the kids’ weekly achievements, I was asked to talk about my weight loss experience as the “inspiration of the evening.” The next day, they all had their timed mile, and afterwards one of the girls came up to me and told me I was her inspiration. One of her counselors told me later that this girl was crying the night before because she admitted to not giving 100% up to that point. After that point I’ve seen this girl bust her butt and work hard.

I know I’ve had some of the boys tell me different things I’ve helped them and inspired them with, and it’s hearing things like this that absolutely drives me to be here and continue to work hard for them.

This is absolutely where I’m meant to be, and I hope to have the opportunity to continue to work here in the future.

As for the weekly weight loss, the Looking Glass boys have continued to be really successful.

Honestly, it wasn’t necessarily the easiest thing to leave that cabin and head to another cabin. Ultimately it was my choice to make that change, but it sucked leaving the boys I had lived with for three weeks. They’ll be fine. I’ll be fine. I just hope I’m able to stay here all twelve weeks to see them through. We’ll see though.

All in all, I’m very happy to be here. I’m working very hard, and I think I’m making a good name for myself here.

I’m also working myself very hard. After binge snacking for the first little bit and gaining a little bit of weight, I got myself back in check, rededicated myself to my weight loss/management plan and am moving in the right direction again. I’ve lost about eight pounds since I’ve been here and am almost at 90 total pounds. Being up here in the mountains gives me the advantage of training at this elevation, and I think I’m definitely improving physically, which makes me happy. I don’t have a specific number for weight I’d like to be at, which could be a bad thing, but I know I’d like to lose just a bit more. Please, don’t worry about me becoming that person who becomes obsessed the way he looks, because I’m not at that point. Just know that I’m still working hard and trying to better myself just as much as I’m trying to better these kids.

I’m still super-psyched to come home for the wedding. It’s hard to believe it’s only a month away. I’m sure Jon, Kate and Co. can say the same thing. I’ve definitely done okay being out here on my own, and I’m glad to know I could live out here on my own if professionally I need to. However, it’s still been kind of rough. I’ve always been very family- and friend- oriented, so it’s been rough not being able to communicate much with those people, let alone not see them at all. I’m so happy and blessed to have this opportunity and to be out here. I just wish they could be a bit closer at times!

Plus I’d need a cell phone with better reception if I were up in the mountains all summer. AT&T doesn’t quite do the trick here at camp.

I think that’s all I really have for now. I have a day off Wednesday that I’m very much so looking forward to. Then I’m out in the field for three days with the boys. That will be interesting.

Thanks for reading, and I hope to keep the updates coming…more frequently, anyways!