This piece is just an encouragement to those fighting obesity. I want to let you know that you are beautiful in your own way. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise. No matter what your size is, everyone is unique and special in his/her own very way.
What caused the change?
Growing up, I was on the big side and it was typically hard because I had to deal with peer pressure just from everyone. My schoolmates, neighbors, friends, you name it. I felt so bad that sometimes I dreaded going to school or anywhere at all. This continued until high school. I felt intimidated, mocked, and devastated on a daily basis. I hated everyone around me because everyone picked on me. Mostly due to my weight. No one thought I would be able to do or achieve anything. I even had nights that I awoke gasping for air due to my weight. I couldn’t even have a simple relationship because of my weight.
Yeah I know plus size people still have a good relationship and even kids but mine was seemingly difficult. There was a girl I crushed on, then in high school I really liked her. I just summoned up courage with my last nerve to talk to her to just befriend with me. When I did, her friends laughed me to stupidity. I was so embarrassed. They made fun of me and my weight. Her boyfriend told me never to come close to her again. If I did, he would cut out the excess fat in my stomach and shove it up my ass. Wow! He also said to me that I would never have a girl like her till I die. Gosh! I felt so bad I then decided to lose weight and prove all of them wrong. That was what brought about the change.
What was the transition like to change from obesity to lean?
- It was hell: This was the most difficult thing ever. I couldn’t handle it at first. In fact, I gave up a couple of times but my mom kept pushing me to try. Imagine not eating my favorites, it was just the hardest thing I had to do. I felt so scared to enter a gym because I didn’t want to risk ridicule. I thought that in one week I would lose 100 pounds but in the first week I lost only 3 pounds. Then I started with a healthy diet and eating mindfully. I controlled my food environment so that I didn’t unconsciously overfill my plate and eat when I was not hungry. Absolutely no junk food at home.
- Changed my routine: There were temptations here and there. I identified emotional triggers that could cause me to over eat such as stress, anger, loneliness, or even over excitement. Also, I set realistic goals on a realistic body image I wanted. I started regular exercise programs. I was more spontaneous with physical activities like: walking down the hall to see a friend instead of making a phone call or sending an email; taking the stairs instead of taking an elevator; rode a bike to school instead of using the bus. After one month, I lost 10 pounds! Wow, out of 325 pounds, I kept on and in three months I lost 40 pounds! I became more encouraged. In 8 months of diligent work out and diet, I lost a 100 pounds. Everyone began to see the changes and was amazed. I was gaining confidence and in a year and few months, I lost 150 pounds. It was so exciting I began to love my self all over.
Top three actions you took to make this change?
- Discipline: I knew that if I stayed overweight, it would be the dead end to not only self-esteem, but also health. Noted that my parents probably contributed to my obesity genetically, I could still change this fate deliberately. I disciplined myself very hard. From mouth to body and step by step to achieve what I wanted. No more high calories, junks, fast-food, and chocolate. I had to mentally adjust the new definition of tasty in my dictionary.
- Set realistic goal: Most of the commercials lie. They always say “lose 100 pounds within the first week, blah blah blah.” From my personal experience, it didn’t work unless you seriously risk your health. Imagine your body loses 1/3 of the mass or fat in a week, how can it adapt and adjust that quickly? Hormone, blood pressure, and so on will be all messed up. Losing weighs is a long term battle. You just have to be persistent. It took me about little over a year to lose 150 pounds naturally without any pills. I believe it’s a much healthier and sustainable approach. Throughout the change process, as I mentioned above, I changed my diet and exercise mentality and habits. Those are the long term actions that could keep me the shape I have even today. Don’t take any short cuts. That’s my recommendation.
- Believe: If even you don’t believe in yourself, nobody else will believe in you. Ignore what other people said. Don’t let people look down on you. Stand up and fight for yourself.
What are the outcomes of that change?
Virtually everything about me changed. I become happier and confident in taking up challenges. Knowing no one is going to pick on me, I can now take a bus without fear of ridicule. I can boldly talk to anyone anywhere. Interestingly, I become an excellent student in college too. I’m able to have a decent relationship with Emily, who is my wife now. I can pursue my career, get a job, and be whatever or whoever I want to be. I’ve learned how to eat healthy and maintain good exercise level. No one will ever believe I was once a chubby kid some years back.
What are the lessons did you learn?
Whatever it is you put your mind to with discipline it can be achieved 100%. Love yourself first no matter how you are, keep fit second to live happier and longer.
Although I still eat meat today, I do find more and more benefits to become a vegetarian. This is an interesting read here if you ever consider to be a vegetarian.
I’m sure you may have different experience than I have. Comment below or even better, share your journey of change with others!