Northport teacher loses 50 pounds in challenge with students - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Northport teacher loses 50 pounds in challenge with students

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Travis Rhodes after he lost 50 pounds with the support and accountability from his third grade students. Source: WBRC video Travis Rhodes after he lost 50 pounds with the support and accountability from his third grade students. Source: WBRC video
Travis Rhodes' "before" picture. Source: WBRC video Travis Rhodes' "before" picture. Source: WBRC video
Rhodes said the trust he had with the students helped him to stick to his diet and exercise plan. Source: WBRC video Rhodes said the trust he had with the students helped him to stick to his diet and exercise plan. Source: WBRC video
Rhodes in the classroom with his students. Source: WBRC video Rhodes in the classroom with his students. Source: WBRC video
NORTHPORT, AL (WBRC) -

A third grade teacher at Crestmont Elementary School in Northport is starting his summer vacation 50 pounds lighter, thanks to the support of his students.

Teacher Travis Rhodes wanted to give his students his all and be the best example possible, but he felt like some extra weight was holding him back.

"Some of the things I was bringing to school, I was setting a terrible example for them," Rhodes said. "And they would see me get sluggish in the afternoons because of what I would eat at lunch, and I would lose my energy level."

So, Rhodes agreed to a contract with his students, titled "Mission Impossible." The contract called for Rhodes to stick to a diet plan and exercise with the students during P.E. Under their deal, the students would also keep a watchful eye on their teacher.

"He said if we saw him eating something sweet, we'd get a chance to take it out of his hand and throw it away," third grader Jasmine Hall said.

Rhodes said getting started was not easy.

"The first couple of weeks were the hardest weeks of my life, but when I would go home, I would think about, 'What if I did eat something?' And the thing that stopped me every time was the fact that I know they trusted me and I trusted them. They were my accountability partners,' he said.

Four months later and 50 pounds lighter, the class has learned a lesson on health.

"Try to exercise, so every time you take in calories, you can burn them like that," Hall said.

The other end of the deal was if Rhodes met his goal, then the students would agree to live by a policy that no mission is impossible.

"The boys and girls in my classroom sometimes don't always come from the easiest places," Rhodes said.

"And the biggest thing I want them to understand, you may face adversity, life is not going to be easy, it's tough, but if you show your leadership, and you keep moving forward with everything you do, you can rise above it."

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