By WAYNE JOSEPH
Having a supportive wife and a training partner can make a world of a difference in one’s health and fitness endeavors. That is the type of spouse Jonah Waters has to inspire him to lose 75 pounds and more importantly he has been successful in keeping that weight off.
Waters is a huge sports fan (no pun intended) and attended Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama. He participated in many different sports but found his calling in golf.
“I golfed all four years of high school for the Warriors,” Waters said. “During my high school days I could pretty much eat anything I wanted to without gaining any weight.”
But things changed for Waters when he became an adult as he found the weight beginning to stick onto his body with time.
“I used to love to play basketball, but can’t do that anymore as age has taken a toll,” he said.
Waters has been a teacher for 24 years and is currently an English teacher at Keaau Middle School.
“I have been teaching language arts and reading at KMS since 2000,” he said. “When I came to Keaau I weighed 290 pounds and I now weigh 215.”
Waters admits to never realizing the extent of his weight gain because when he was younger he had an easier time taking the pounds off and had a metabolism that burned those extra calories with less effort.
Waters is married and has three daughters — ages 12, 21 and 25.
“I gained weight prior to and during my wife’s last pregnancy,” Waters said. “When our youngest daughter was about one or two, I decided to dedicate myself into getting in shape.”
Waters included his wife into his mission of losing weight and has found himself a regular training partner.
“My wife Jean and I work out seven days a week,” Waters said. “We are in the gym from Monday through Friday at 4:45 a.m. and on weekends we sleep in and are in the gym by 8 a.m.”
Waters rotates between a cardio and weight lifting program on alternating days and in combination with diet has been successful in taking the weight off and keeping it off.
Much of his cardio workout comes from the elliptical machine because Waters finds it easier on his joints, especially on the knees.
“Lately, I’ve been doing a lot more cardio because it feels good,” he said.
“The combination with a diet that consists of lean protein, fruits, vegetables and whole grains I found that the weight just came off,” he said. “Within six months I lost about 60 pounds and it has now been 2 1/2 years.”
It should be noted that Waters’ wife, Jean, has never had a weight problem and she will go to the gym each day in support of her husband and to get a good workout in.
“Exercise and diet has never been a quick fix for me,” Waters said. “It is a change in lifestyle, a total commitment to be a healthier and fit person.”
Waters has also bought himself a juicer and prefers to extract the nutritious juice out of carrots, beets, and other vegetables.
“Although we are far from perfect, we really try to eat healthy, especially as we get older,” Waters said. “It is also good for us to encourage each other.”
Waking at 4:30 in the morning during the week is a difficult task in itself but when you have a supportive partner to encourage you to do so it makes it a little easier.
“We encourage each other,” Waters said. “There are times that she has to drag me out of bed to get me to the gym.”
The relationship that the Waters have established reminds me of what Gloria Steinem said: “Being married is like having somebody permanently in your corner, it feels limitless not limited.”
The Waters are blessed to have such encouragement within the family which is one of the secrets to staying with an exercise routine and a healthy diet.
“The benefits of all of this are feeling strong and healthy,” Waters said. “Also even though we get up early, we have enough energy to deal with whatever comes during the day.”
Since the exercise routine is well established in the Waters’ household, if that pattern is broken there becomes another factor for the family to endure.
“There is also guilt when I don’t go to the gym,” Waters said. “Working out is fun and we enjoy doing it together.”
But there is a difficult side to maintaining a steady course.
“Working out is fun, but watching what you eat is difficult,” Waters said. “At least for me!”
Johan Waters is very fortunate in finding a supporting spouse that will go to the gym at 4:30 in the morning during the work week, especially since she doesn’t have a weight problem.
I am equally fortunate to have found an exercise minded spouse that shares in the joys of being healthy and fit.
Of course, it isn’t a requirement to find a partner who will wake up before the sun rises to get you up and get going, but it sure does help.
And someday should you happen to see a lucky man come jogging through the back roads of Hawaiian Paradise Park, remember to smile, say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”
Email the Big Dog at firstname.lastname@example.org.