Many people gained weight during the first year of the pandemic. Not so for Andrew North, Oats Overnight’s people and culture manager. For him, the challenge with maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regimen came after life returned to “normal.”
This December he chose to address this setback along with a group of Oats Overnight employees who also had goals they wanted to achieve. Katherine, our head of content, sat down with him to hear about taking on “one more thing” in the midst of life’s busyness.
Katherine: Okay Andrew, give us a very quick sketch of who you are…I mean, just the things that are appropriate for work.
Andrew: Yeah, so I grew up in Devon, England and came to the States when I was thirteen. We moved because my father started and ran a huge cheese plant in Clovis, New Mexico. I played rugby as a teenager and young adult, and got a business degree in college.
Katherine (to herself): Wow, why would you do that? (out loud): Huh. Okay, tell us about this group you joined in December and why you joined.
Andrew: We just decided that as a company we wanted to support our employees’ extracurricular goals through community and encouragement during December. Like, kind of getting out ahead of the New Year’s resolutions we typically make in January and starting early. The goals could be anything from learning an instrument to becoming a better parent to overcoming a lifelong fear.
Katherine: So tell me about your goals for the December challenge.
Andrew: I wanted to get back in the gym, to eat better, and basically shift into being a healthy person–so, working out three to four days each week and less snacking at night. I had been going to the gym six days a week during 2020 because I didn’t have a job during the lockdown. Fitness was my way of coping with the stress of applying for jobs and a way to do something other than play video games all day. I’d dropped 60 pounds, was eating so clean, and I was feeling so good about myself.
Katherine: But what happened to mess things up?
Andrew (chuckles): I got this job! Which I love, but as you know, we’re growing and it’s pretty busy around here. I found it harder and harder to get into the gym, and when I did go it was so packed with people compared to during the pandemic that it creeped me out. I found reasons to scale back so that I was only going two to three times a week, then once a week, then once a month. You know the story.
Katherine (to herself): Yes. I. Do. (out loud): So you’re not interested in any number on a scale, more just feeling healthy and being proud of your appearance?
Andrew: Right. Before COVID, I was so overweight that I couldn’t bend over and tie my shoelaces without losing my breath. I don’t want to go back to being that unhealthy. And I have support already–my fíance encourages me by sending me “then vs. now” pictures that show my progress–but I needed something more. So we’ve been doing weekly calls here at Oats for support, and Rob Gonzales, our director of photography, calls me at 7 am each morning to make sure I’m getting my butt out of bed to lift. Also, when I walk past Nate Bullis’s (Commercialization Manager) office towards the company snack closet, Nate will just whisper, “It’s not worth it.” And then I make a u-turn and avoid the sweets. Somehow it’s harder to dismiss people like Rob and Nate than it is the ones you are closest to. I don’t totally get it, but it works.
Katherine (to herself): I need me a Rob and Nate. (out loud): How has it gone so far?
Andrew: Good, I’ve been in the gym 3-4 times a week since we started. And I’m getting that itch to be there more often, so that’s really great. Internally it’s less of resisting it and more desiring it. And I’m not snacking late at night. I’ll just have Oats Overnight as a dessert if I have to and it gets it done. I feel as if I’m making the kind of change that I’ll sustain in the long run, and that’s worth celebrating.
Fueling Your Growth
At Oats Overnight, we believe that small, healthy choices add up over time. Something as simple as switching up your breakfast routine can lead to healthier habits and positive changes to your lifestyle. You have goals for the new year. Starting your day with our nutrient-dense flavors is a great place to start.
If you need to restock your supply, check out some of our new flavors.
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