Healthy Horizons

Success Stories

David McCullough

David McculloughDirector of University Bands David McCullough entered Healthy Horizons weight management program in April 2013 and has lost 35 pounds. McCullough says that advice and encouragement from Healthy Horizons staff helps keep him "on track" and has changed his thinking about food and exercise.

Here is his story, in his own words. 

How has Healthy Horizons’ weight management program helped you? ~ Show Response

I hit some stress eating that really blew me up around my birthday on April 3, 2013. Test confirmed that I was obese. This is when I made the choice to join Healthy Horizons weight management program.

We all like encouragement.  With Healthy Horizons, you're working with friends. Healthy Horizons has incredible helpful suggestion changed the kind of food choices I make.

I work out at the HRC an average 4-5 times per week, and use the HRC stipend, available through Healthy Horizons. Getting weighed as part of the program every other week keeps you honest, even when the scale goes up.

I can do aerobics exercises now that I couldn't have done before. I can lift more weight and  do more reps. I ride my bike to work, when weather permits.  

By the time the students came back in August, I had lost 35 pounds. It was thoroughly rewarding when students said, "Mr. McCullough, you look good." What a motivation.  I sleep better, come to work ready. I'm more creative.

Healthy Horizons never forgets to see me as an individual. What they're doing for other faculty and staff is not the same thing that they're doing for me.

Someone on this campus you know is doing something with Healthy Horizons. You'd be surprised at how many people they are. Don't be afraid to ask someone about it.

How do you stay healthy? ~ Show Response

I feel guilty when I take time for myself that isn't directly benefitting my students. But, If I am not in good health, are students really getting my best effort?

It's an ongoing shift in thinking to say, 'No, put your pencil down, go to the HRC, walk around campus.' When I come back to the office, I'm refreshed; I come back with ideas for restructuring rehearsals.

Respecting myself is respectful of my students. To prioritize myself for just 45 minutes to an hour a day is still hard, but my students benefit from it. You're not taking away from your students, from your teaching or job for Butler. You are benefitting Butler.

My tastes have changed. Fast food restaurants are not as appealing as they were. I want different food rewards now. I don't make healthy choices all the time, but I still make better choices, have a sliver of cake.

Gone are the days when I could eat half a container of ice cream or an entire jar of peanut butter, which I've done.  I can have sweets in moderation.  It takes a little discipline to put a handful of nuts in a bag for the day, rather than have a can of nuts in the office.

What have been some obstacles you have faced? ~ Show Response

Being a band director is not a normal 9-5 job, or even a normal teaching position.  You work lots of weekends and evenings.  My wife is also a band director at Cathedral High School, so scheduling regular dinner hours is tough. When work gets stressful, especially budgeting and planning time, I didn't make the best food choices. We'd usually just pick up something to eat,

That why having a dorm refrigerator in my office helps me. I can plan and bring my meals rather than eat out. I can also control my portions.

What did you do to overcome those obstacles? ~ Show Response

Your goals have to be realistic. You're not going to lose 10 pounds in a week. I revised my exercise goals at the advice of Healthy Horizons, such as the time and types of my work outs. As I reached and surpassed a goal, Healthy Horizons helped my revise the workouts and up my goals.

Healthy Horizons and the personal trainers at the HRC have a breadth of knowledge they will share with Butler personnel. They will do research to find answers for you.

What keeps you motivated? ~ Show Response

I'm motivated by my students, How could I stand in front of my students and tell them they're supposed to be healthy when I wasn't setting the right example?

I'm also motivated by my grandchildren. I want to be there for them. And, try following a 2-year-old around if you're not in shape. I keep my family photos by my office computer as a reminder.

My colleagues in Student Affairs know what I'm doing. They keep me accountable. They helped create Butler's wellness model and, when we all go out for a meal, they also want a restaurant where they can get healthy choices.

Our cost for our health care and insurance is higher than it could be if folks at Butler were all in better shape. You'd help Butler-and yourself-save money. Butler created a wellness model because we want faculty staff and students to be well. It has many benefits beyond cost savings.

What staying healthy tips do you have for others? ~ Show Response

  • I set my watch alarm as hourly reminder to get up from my desk and at least walk down the hall.
  • I walk to a restroom further away my office, rather than to the closest one.
  • I brush my teeth a lot during the work day. It keeps me from snacking.
  • I meet friends for activities not focused on food.