Have you ever completed a task (a rather large one at that) and after doing so said to yourself: “holy crap, I did that!?” Well that’s exactly how we feel about this first year of Smart Fit Girls (SFG), and we couldn’t have done it without the support and love from our friends and family! We know many of you are interested to hear how the first ever SFG program went, so we’ve included a brief synopses/timeline for you here.
I remember this like it was yesterday. Chrissy and I were warming up at the gym on “our” ellipticals and a conversation about young girls self-esteem and body image came up. Chrissy then had the brilliant idea of Smart Fit Girls. It happened that instantly and yep, she’s that smart. Once I found out I was going back to school to get my PhD, we decided why not do some research with SFG? In that moment, I had found my dissertation topic. Luckily for us, I am fortunate to be in a department that has been supportive and extremely helpful in bringing SFC to fruition (shout out to Dr. Denise Anderson for all your guidance and wisdom!).
I met with Riverside Middle School in Pendleton, SC regarding our program. Their principal, Dr. Black, was eager to help us and requested we start the program a semester earlier than planned (spring 2014’ rather than fall 2014’). Lots of prep (including IRB approval) happened during this semester, doing our best to prepare for our inaugural Smart Fit Girl Program. A HUGE thanks to all the staff at Riverside Middle School-we couldn’t have done this without you!
With the help of Mrs. Kristin Neff (gracious, my dear!), we successfully launched SFG. We met with the girls twice a week for 12 weeks and discussed topics related to body image, self-esteem, and of course, nutrition and exercise. Our primary focus was teaching the girls proper lifting mechanics as well as why women should lift weights. Like any pilot program, we learned A LOT and are eager to include those adjustments in this fall’s SFG program. We are so grateful to all our girls and their parents for participating in this journey with us. Nothing I write can describe how impactful this program was (not only on the girls but on us as well!), but maybe a few pictures and a quote can help…
“…the first time I…came in here, I felt …dang, I don’t like my body, I need to lose weight…and then when I got in here, like a few weeks later I’m just like “oh my gosh, I’ve got like the perfect body for me and I don’t need to lose no weight or anything”~SFG Participant