As a teacher at a middle school, I began noticing that our students, girls especially, were overweight, inactive, and suffering from low self-esteem. Most of them had no interest in sports and because of the boys in the physical education classes, they were too embarrassed to participate. I would talk to them about their diets and it appeared they had no clue about nutrition. I knew that something needed to be done. Even if I helped only one girl feel better about herself, it would be worth it. I wanted to give these girls the confidence to lead a happy productive life. This is how Tiger Fit Club began.
Tiger Fit Club is an after-school program that meets each Monday at Dunnellon Middle School. We are a girl’s only club focusing on fitness, nutrition, and self-esteem. Each week the girls complete a workout and our goal is to complete it with 100% effort. We try to make the workouts fun and do lots of different activities in hopes that each girl will find something she loves to do. We have practiced yoga, kickboxing, running, and even tried a cross-fit workout. Currently we are training to run our first 5K race on May 3rd in our small town. Training and completing a race like this will give the girls a sense of accomplishment that will inspire them and everyone around them.
The girls’ favorite part of Tiger Fit Club is the snack. Each week we provide a healthy snack and talk about the importance of nutrition. Our girls used to tell us they would eat a bag of cheese puffs for lunch, or worse, that they would not eat lunch at all. We want them to know that an unhealthy snack on occasion is okay, but 80% of the time they should try to choose the healthy option. We have shown them some alternatives to their favorites in hopes they will see that the healthy versions are just as tasty as the unhealthy ones. For example, one of their favorite foods is pizza. We have had a fun time creating new ways to make pizza healthier. We made cauliflower crust pizza one week and zucchini pizza bites another week. We also made protein cookie balls that the girls absolutely loved, and they were just as tasty as a cookie! Each week they get the recipe for what we make and often the girls come back to us talking about how the recipe turned out for them, how their family reacted to it, and even a healthy choice they made on their own. Our students are gaining a very basic understanding of nutrition and we want them to be able to make the healthier choice.
So far, we have been working with no equipment and we are excited to use the Fabletics Grant to create a gym space within our school for the girls. We know most of our girls cannot afford a gym membership and it is amazing that we are given this opportunity to provide them with something like this. With this grant, we are able to purchase yoga mats, yoga balls, dumbbells, resistance bands, medicine balls, jump ropes, etc. We are also able to pay the registration fee for the 5K race for all the girls who are participating.
This is an amazing opportunity that our girls deserve. Thank you Fabletics!
One of the girls’ favorite recipe: