Reality hit hard four years ago, during my senior year of high school when I stood on a scale in my parent’s bathroom and saw the number that shocked me into fear. 225. I had reached a point where I knew, really knew, that if I did not make a change, I would one day be 400 pounds.
First, let’s rewind to the beginning.
For as long as I can remember I have always been… well rounded, literally. At age 4, it’s pretty adorable to have chubby cheeks and round…everything. “It’s more to love!” as my Grandma would say.
But then you grow older and the world grows colder. Words like “chubby” and “plump” become harsher; they turn into every woman’s worst nightmare… the F word. I don’t think I need to say it.
So I was overweight and the world would not let me forget it. When I was 6, my neighbor called me jellyrolls. When I was 9, my twin brother called me fatty and then laughed about it. When I was 12 a boy in my seventh grade class called me a beached whale. My biggest fear growing up was a visit to the doctors, as it was always accompanied by a lecture on losing weight, followed by a stream of tears.
These types of comments continued all the way to my sophomore year of high school, when I climbed into the car with my uncle and entered into an unsolicited speech on the importance of being “thin and beautiful.” Being that my uncle has never been my favorite person, I eventually buried it with the rest of the comments that slowly chipped away at my self esteem over the years. However, when prom season of junior year rolled around and I was the only one out of my group of friends (all thin and beautiful) to not have a date, reality sank in.
The real eye-opener, though, came one night during my senior year of high school at a point where my weight was at an all time high. I was upstairs in my bedroom when I overheard a hushed conversation between my parents where my father, the most important person in my life, told my mother that my weight was out of hand. As the most hard-working and genuine man I know, my dad has always been my motivator in life; so, to hear that he was unhappy with my appearance was one of the worst experiences I think I’ll ever face. It took a lot of time after that to pick up the pieces.
This is probably the point where I tell you what led to my weight gain but honestly, there’s no specific reason behind it. Food was never an escape for me. I grew up in a loving home in the suburbs, raised by the most supportive parents I could ever ask for. I’m not quite sure how it got to the point where I would see a picture of myself and say “oh my god, am I really that big?” but nonetheless, it did get to that point. The truth is I was never happy in my own skin.
And so, while it may seem that I began my journey to please the people in my life (and maybe keep them quiet), that isn’t the case at all. Those people, as harsh as they may come across in this story, gave me the push I needed to become someone I am comfortable with.
Three years later, I am 80 pounds lighter and 10 sizes smaller. It took dedication, self-motivating and a few stumbles along the way but I changed my habits and my life, and I don’t intend on ever going back.