Kea’au Middle Teacher Brad Silva living healthy
We all know the benefits of keeping a healthy weight. The number one health care crisis in America today is obesity, as millions of Americans struggle with their weight.
For some kids being over weight could mean that you don’t get to play Pop Warner football. Being 175 pounds and in the sixth grade can have an impact on a young person trying to fit in to today’s society.
Such was the case of Keaau Middle School, special education teacher, Brad Silva. “I am a huge Dallas Cowboys fan and I’ve loved football since I was a kid, but could never play because I couldn’t make the weight for Pop Warner,” Silva said.
Silva had struggled with weight problems for all of his young life and topped the scales at 300 pounds as a young adult.
Growing up on Kauai, Silva first got interested in sports at the age of five when he played T-ball. “I’ve always loved sports and tried playing baseball, basketball and soccer as a kid, but I zoned out basketball and soccer and just focused on baseball after elementary school,” he said.
Silva played baseball throughout high school, but was too fearful of trying out for the team at the collegiate level. “I was too embarrassed about being overweight and was afraid of being shut down at the college level,” he said.
It wasn’t until Silva had to buy his own clothes that he decided to do something about his weight. “When I went to Wal-Mart to buy my own closes I knew it was time to do something,” he said. “Wal-Mart was the only store that I could find triple extra large shirts and size 46 waist shorts.”
Silva developed what he considers an “obsessive-compulsive exercise” routine and a strict diet and lost 115 pounds within one year.
“The weight came off because of my regular running and stretching routine during that initial year,” he said
“Today I’m into a regular routine of running my dog, walking, doing rubber band and exercise ball stretching, weight lifting, and stand up paddling boarding,” Silva said. “I try to get in a good workout at least five times a week, but will do at least one of the exercises everyday.”
What’s remarkable is that Silva started his “obsessive-compulsive exercise” routine ten years ago and has managed to keep the excessive weight off.
“I love to exercise as I like the mental and physical challenges that it gives me. It tests my determination and commitment,” he said.
“I like to sweat as it makes me feel like I am accomplishing something. It makes me feel good about myself and gets me energized for the day ahead.”
Silva is in his sixth year of teaching in the Special Education field where he teaches sixth through eighth graders in a fully, self-contained setting.
“I love working with the kids and teaching them new things, whether it be about academics or life, I just hate the paperwork,” he said with a grin.
To add balance to his exercise program Silva also employs a high protein diet with low carbohydrates. “If I do eat carbs they are whole wheat or whole grain,” he said. “I love protein so it is not hard for me to do that part, but I also love chips and Jack in the Box is a weakness for which I have to find healthy alternatives for.”
Silva knows what he should or should not do and tries to do everything in moderation. “I should be eating more fruits and vegetables, but I have a hard time doing that. I drink a lot of water which satisfies my hunger and it will stop me from over eating,” he said.
“My goal is to continue to make exercise a part of my life, keep my weight in a somewhat healthy number, and don’t get hurt doing it.”
So here we have it folks, a young man at age 32 trying to make a difference in the world by giving knowledge to our “special” students and serving as a role model within our community for health and fitness.
“I hope to be a great role model to my students and I try to achieve that by just being honest and showing some compassion. I gain their trust while showing and teaching them respect,” Silva said.