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How one Schneider associate lost 120 pounds with 'Shape Up Schneider' and lifestyle change

Schneider associate Aaron Teague shown before and after his 120-pound weight loss journey.

“Shape Up Schneider” is an annual six-week wellness event to increase awareness of the healthy culture at Schneider and encourage everyone to set and achieve a personal health-related goal and make a lasting lifestyle change. This year’s event runs June 5 – July 14.

Learn how one Schneider associate got involved with a local challenge and Shape Up Schneider in 2016 to make major changes in his life and encouraged others to join in his journey.

Charlotte associate Aaron Teague began his weight loss journey in April 2016. He has lost over 120 pounds to date and is determined to keep moving. His story in his words:

For a while, I had thought it would be nice to lose some weight. I would think things like, “It would be nice to be able to breathe while tying my shoes.” Or, “I’d like to climb these stairs and not be out of breath when I reach the top.” I thought I looked “okay” in the mirror. I thought my health was fine; not the greatest but not the worst.

One April morning a coworker asked if I’d be interested in doing a fun health challenge at Schneider’s Charlotte facility. I said sure. At the time, I was going to do it more for them and not so much for me. When weigh-in day came and I stepped up on the scale, I was floored. 400 pounds! Wow! I never dreamed I weighed that much, but there it was. That was the first motivator. So, that evening, I headed to the park and did my first walk. It wasn’t long into it and I was struggling. I had my work cut out for me. My days believing I was young and bulletproof were over.

“Most importantly, I kept moving! That was my constant phrase: JUST KEEP MOVING.”
Aaron holds an old Carhartt t-shirt up to his body to show the extent of his weight loss.

I made more little changes. I cut down on my food intake, cut out all sugars, decreased breads, eliminated sodas and cut down caffeine. I started eating more fruits and vegetables and stopped eating past 9 o’clock at night. I stopped eating drive-thru. Most importantly, I kept moving! That was my constant phrase: JUST KEEP MOVING.

Week by week, every Monday morning when I weighed-in, the pounds came off. Kim, our onsite physical therapist, cheered me on constantly. I felt great. Energy increased, my mood improved and sleep came easier. I wanted to keep moving at work so I got my desk raised to a stand-up configuration so I could march in place. JUST KEEP MOVING.

I got another motivator, a Fitbit. This allowed me to track exercise, steps, calories, water and weight loss progress. When the challenge was over, I didn’t want to stop so I moved onto the next challenge, Shape Up Schneider. I took the next big step and joined a gym. I went five days a week, all cardio at first and then gradually added strength training. The pounds kept coming off. It was always a proud moment when I added another hole in my belt to keep my pants tight.

Another motivator happened in June as I witnessed my father having triple-bypass open-heart surgery. I saw the pain and the long road to recovery he went through. I thought, “Not me — I’m not going to put my family through that.”

Then came the biggest motivator; my wife jumped on the bandwagon. She started dropping weight and feeling great too, with a current total weight loss of 90 pounds. People at work, along with my parents and friends, started noticing my weight loss and asked questions. They jumped on the bandwagon as well. It was a great feeling knowing I started a “movement” of people wanting to be healthier.

To this very day, I’m still on my trek. I’m 120 pounds lighter and dropped a total of 20 percent in body fat. Shoes are easy to tie and the stairs are fun to climb. I’m motivated more than ever. I want to keep going. I can’t wait to reach my goal. I wouldn’t trade how I feel or look for anything. It’ll just get better as I JUST KEEP MOVING.

“People at work, along with my parents and friends, started noticing my weight loss and asked questions. They jumped on the bandwagon as well. It was a great feeling knowing I started a ‘movement’ of people wanting to be healthier.”

I’ve learned a few things along this journey. When you start a lifestyle change, you’re highly motivated. Weight drops fast and you have new found energy that you never had. Clothes fit better and calories burn easily. As time goes by and your body becomes a more efficient machine, calories are harder to burn and weight doesn’t drop as fast. This is where I had to work hard not only in the gym, but now my mind had to work harder than ever. Frustration creeps in, this is where people give up and put the weight back on. I was determined to stay strong and JUST KEEP MOVING.

Getting advice from our onsite physical therapist, she recommended making my cardio workouts more intense. There was also another benefit of this lifestyle change in my routine. I started to gain strength and muscle tone. Clothes fit better than ever and confidence increased.

Without the motivation of the local challenge, Shape Up Schneider, and my family and friends cheering me on throughout this journey, I wouldn’t have come as far as I have. I look forward to continuing this new lifestyle journey and above all, to JUST KEEP MOVING!

We’ll help you meet your goals.

Schneider offers a wide range of benefits that our associates take advantage of – health care, a flexible schedule, education reimbursement – just to name a few.

About the author
Author Picture

Starting in 2002, Aaron Teague has had several roles with Schneider. He started as a Driver Associate before becoming a Driver Services Technician. To gain Operations experience, he worked as a Carrier Sales Assistant and then advanced to a Carrier Sales Coordinator with Schneider Transportation Management. Staying focused toward a leadership goal, Aaron moved on to being a Driver Support Representative before promoting to a Driver Business Leader. Presently, Aaron just started a new role as a Business Owner Advisor working with owner-operators.

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