USF College of Public Health alumna Charlotte Noble crosses off each day she works out with a red “x” mark on her calendar.
In her car she keeps a gym bag and headphones at arm’s reach and at her home, a refrigerator full of protein and vegetable loaded pre-prepped meals for the week.
“At the beginning, the challenge was convincing myself that I was worth putting that time aside,” she said. “As a mom, student, and full-time employee, so many other things just started to take priority and, eventually, I just had to decide that if I wasn’t at 100 percent health-wise, I wasn’t able to give 100 percent in all these areas of my life, so I just decided to put myself first.”
Though she started exercising in July 2016, on Sept. 22, 2016 she made a commitment to her new healthy lifestyle and has been to the gym every single day since.
“Now, if there a reason I can’t make it to the gym, it’s got to be bigger than the past 183 days,” Noble said.
Noble, currently earning a PhD from the Department of Anthropology at USF and also the full-time program coordinator for the MCH Train-A-Bull program in the Department of Community and Family Health, said she found herself continuously putting off her health.
“Over the years I’ve had fits and starts,” she said.
But, all of that changed when Noble decided to join a local gym and hire a personal trainer—a reason she said kept her going early on because she knew someone would be waiting for her.
Her gym started a nationwide weight competition that also sparked her interest, offering a free yearlong membership to the individual who lost the most weight.
Though she did not win the competition, she said her motivation to continue has prevailed.
“I have my red [FitBit] band on today because this was one of my rewards because when I hit 50 pounds [lost], which I did this morning, so now I get to wear the red one,” she said.
While she celebrates that achievement, Noble emphasized that she’s focused less on weight loss and more on goals or “non-scale victories,” such as being able to do 35 push-ups in a row.
She couples her fitness goals with weekly meal preparation, focusing on lean proteins and veggies.
“I tend to be pretty budget minded type person, so what I tend to do is see what’s on sale that week,” she said. “On Saturday I’ll do shopping to see what’s on sale and then on Sunday, I’ll do a massive meal prep and take two or three hours to cook, box it up and put it in the fridge.”
Now, she starts each work week with two or three meal options in her refrigerator.
According to Noble, her new healthy lifestyle doesn’t have a date when she’ll be “finished.”
“If you’re really doing this healthy lifestyle, there really is not end date,” she said. “I think I’ll always be pushing myself now that this is a normal part of my life.”
Story by Anna Mayor, USF College of Public Health