No matter how far I’ve moved away or how many new friends I’ve made, there’s a part of me that’s still the loud, musical-loving, inappropriate-joke-making kid I was so long ago. What has changed, however, is that I no longer weigh over 200 pounds. At 5 feet 6 inches tall, that was quite an amount of weight to carry. I was born and raised in the midwest, Grand Rapids, MI to be precise, and was hardly the fattest person in my class. That said, I was definitely far from being fit.
My weight was never a prevalent health issue; my yearly check-ups never resulted in any alarms. My doctor once even mentioned I was healthy and it was just how I was built. I could actually run a decent mile for being as fat as I was. I was that person who was first to make fun of my weight. Others could try to put me down, but they couldn’t say anything I already hadn’t covered. I wasn’t that depressive fat kid in high school. My weight and image was just who I was. Sure I could have done more to maybe get in better shape. The amount of pop I would drink while playing video games for hours straight would have killed an elephant. The food I ate wasn’t healthy and I ate a lot of it.
Then I went off to college. I was on my own. Food choices were my own. I decided I would make good choices. That’s what college is for, right? Right. I lived on campus and learned very quickly how often temptations appear in daily life. My dorm was less than a hundred meters from a commons dining area which contained a source of burgers, or burritos, or late night chicken fingers. I had to be smart. I made little changes in my behavior over the course of my freshman year. I went on walks around the campus when the snow storms weren’t trying to kill us. I looked up bodyweight exercises on the internet and did them in my dorm for thirty minutes a day. I avoided ramen and stopped drinking pop completely. I’ll just gloss over how pop was replaced with other beverages…
Rather than being afflicted by the Freshman 15, over the course of my freshman year I actually dropped weight! The small changes added up! At my heaviest in high school, around my sophomore or junior year I was around 220 pounds. I became somewhat active my senior year and got down to about 200 pounds. By the time I was a sophomore in college, I was somewhere in the 180s. Another year later and I got to the point I’ve been at since, around 160 pounds. In that time, I never joined a gym and I didn’t try any fad diets or join any weight loss programs. I read everything I could about health and diet and exercise then in my regular life I implemented the ideas I read.
When I reveal to people my fat past sometimes they respond, “I can’t.” Whether it’s “I can’t give up pop” or “I can’t go without chips” they say “I can’t.” Now that I’m on the other side of it, I just think back to how easy it was once I got used to a life without pop and chips and being fat. Now I see pop and think “I can’t drink that.” Losing weight was no easy task, but a little positivity went a long way. Today, one simple thing keeps me motivated: I never again want to be the fat kid I was in high school.