Every year in the United States, there is something called The Conference Board Job Satisfaction survey. Using a series of questions about the workplace, they determine something called job satisfaction. In plain English, do you like your job?
Roughly half of Americans like going to work each day, but the other side of this is that 50 percent of people don’t really look forward to getting up in the morning and going to work. It would be ideal if we could somehow spend all day everyday davening, learning, doing chesed and giving tzedakah. However, this isn’t the way our world works and we have to be able to pay for our basic needs in order to sustain ourselves. So there has to be some source of parnasah.
That said, if we have to go to work, why not be happy and productive in what we are doing? I do what I do to make a living, but the satisfaction comes from clients who work hard, succeed and reach their goals. Permit me to share some nachat with you.
AJ just finished our 10 week program. He lives in London and did the entire program via Skype sessions. AJ is a lawyer and works in a high pressure law firm. He works a six day work week and many Fridays he can work until an hour or two before Shabbat begins. The stress of his work created a situation where he neglected his health. A former exerciser, he was barely doing any exercise and with his eating had lost all control. At a 170 cm, and a weight of 93 kilo, he had become obese with a BMI of slightly over 32. He had gout as well. But AJ was serious about regaining control over his life right from our first session together. By the time we got to our 10th week together, he had lost more than 14 kilos, was exercising five times a week, trying to be more active with his walking from place to place, and his stress was now far more controlled and managed. Not only does he look much, much better, you can see how the stress has melted away.
ZA has been battling high blood pressure for years. His doctor has had him on medications for a long time but somehow, he hasn’t been able to get his blood pressure down into a normal range. But his doctor also is an open-minded person and told him he might do well in our program. ZA was not very overweight at all. He really needed to shed about two kilo to be at a decent weight. He exercised everyday already. So we started looking carefully at what might have been contributing factors. Our dietitian reshaped his eating in terms of what he ate and when he ate. We worked on taking his exercise time and making it more balanced and productive. ZA is a very focused person and he was all in as our partner in this project. When I checked his blood pressure on week 7, and I took it three times to make sure, for the first time in years, he was in a normal range that would not need medication. ZA was very overcome with emotion having finally conquered this long-time issue and actually shed some tears. But it was his ability to focus and believe that this could be done via natural means that led to his success.
RS really is the ultimate success story. A mother of six children, who held down a job to help support her family, RS’s weight had gone out of control and it was really inhibiting her daily function and energy. She had done diets before but now she just couldn’t get the weight to come off. After speaking to some others who had done our program, she decided she would also try it too, but was skeptical as our “not dieting” weight loss program seemed different if not strange to her. After all, how can a program where you aren’t hungry help you lose weight? RS gave it her all. After 10 weeks, with a three week break in the middle to travel to America for a family wedding she lost about nine kilos. But that isn’t my greatest nachat here! My greatest nachat here is that she couldn’t afford to stay with us for continuing work, which she really still needed. But in a recent conversation, she told me that she has lost even more weight and over Pesach, she only gained 1 kilo which is long gone. When I see people long after they finish with us be able to maintain their weight loss or lose more, it means that all the work on behavioral change has paid off. She keeps telling peole, “It’s not just a diet.”
MS is a man with overwhelming responsibilities. Over the past few years he was in charge of all the education institutions within his chasidus as well as looking after all administrative responsibilities connected with the chassidum and their Rebbe. Under the type of stress he endured for so long, you can expect health issues and weight gain, and he had all of that. When he came to us the first time, his triglycerides and cholesterol were high as well as his blood pressure and his weight was on the border between Class 1 and Class 2 obesity. He had just been put on medication to lower his blood pressure. He was determined to get off that medication as soon as possible. MS wasted no time and started following his new food plan and started daily walks as well. As the weeks went by we gave him some muscle building exercises to do and he learned about eating on Shabbat. He just finished his first 10 weeks with us. He is about to go off his medication, his triglyceride and cholesterol levels are now perfectly normal and he is down 8.5 kilo. He feels much better and looks great! When people ask him if he had weight loss surgery he responds, “Yes, it’s a new kind where they don’t use a knife.”
Eliyahu and his mother came to look into our program 4 months ago. I generally don’t take anyone under 15 in my programs, but his mother convinced me that he was a very “grown up” 11. She was right. To date, he has dropped seven kilo since he started and that is while growing a few centimeters in height. At a recent Shabbat gathering, a lot of people who haven’t seen him in the last few months couldn’t believe what they saw. And he isn’t hungry or feeling deprived.
I end with a story that brings everyone involved great satisfaction. I was contacted by Dan’s sister in January of this year. She came and met me to talk to me about her brother. He was coming to Israel for a family simcha and she talked him in to staying an extra 10 weeks in order to come to join our weight loss program as well as personal training. Dan has been very obese almost his entire adult life and was never really motivated to take care of the problem. It has effected every aspect of his physical health, including blood pressure, cholesterol, blood pressure, skin issues, and his ability to function on a daily basis. Simply walking from place to place has its challenges. It also causes social awkwardness.
Not only is Dan losing a lot of weight, the exercise has helped him stand straighter, walk quicker, and look a lot better. Dan and I have a lot of work left to do, probably more than a year’s worth. But we are going to continue our work together even when he returns home. He will still have regular visits with our dietitian and I have already contacted a trainer in his locality. We will continue weekly coaching sessions via Skype. When someone is 57 years old and decides to take charge of his life for the first time and succeeds, is there greater nachat than that?
I love what I do to make a living and I hope you do too! Thank you for letting me share these nachat stories with you. Getting nachat from your daily work can also “add hours to your day, days to your year and years to your life.”
Alan Freishtat is an A.C.E. CERTIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER and a BEHAVIORAL CHANGE and WELLNESS COACH with over 19 years of professional experience. Alan is the creator and director of the “10 Weeks to Health” program for weight loss. He is available for private coaching sessions, consultations, assessments and personalized workout programs both in his office and by telephone and skype. Alan also lectures and gives seminars and workshops. He can be reached at 02-651-8502 or 050-555-7175, or by email at email@example.com Check out the his web site –www.alanfitness.com US Line: 516-568-5027.
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.
Like this article?
Sign up for our Shabbat Shalom e-newsletter, a weekly roundup of inspirational thoughts, insight into current events, divrei torah, relationship advice, recipes and so much more!