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My Weight Loss Journey

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I was at my home when it first hit me, I was looking in my bathroom mirror and although I had felt similar to this before, this time was different. I was tired of seeing what I looked like and have never felt so miserable about myself in my entire life. This time, however, I was determined to stop feeling sorry for myself and actually do something about it, instead of wishing for it I was going to work for it.

I cannot recall the exact date that this change happened within me, however, I do remember it was shortly after the start of the new year in 2010 so I suppose one might call this my new year’s resolution. It was sickening to me when I looked in the mirror. Ashamed and humiliated of the shape I was in and the person I had become, I was desperate to find anything that would help me change my body. I was 315 pounds at my heaviest, along with this came the usual health problems like borderline high blood pressure, also the social insecurities and low self-esteem were immense hindrances to me. I was 16 years old, and I wanted to experience and have the things that any other 16-year old would have. I wanted a girlfriend, I wanted to be active and be confident in myself. All of these things seemed near impossible in my current situation. It is arguable that I wanted to transform my body more than I had wanted anything else in my life and I knew that I was on my own for this, no one else could do it for me, I had to do it.

I had known previously from watching the ones around me go on diets that reducing my daily calorie intake and the amount of food I ate in general would be an excellent place to start. This was also one of the biggest challenges I faced, I loved to eat, so keeping my diet completely in check would be next to impossible but I was committed and was not going to stop. The next challenge I faced was exercise, I knew that I should do some sort of it but had no idea where to start. Should I lift weights? Should I do cardio? Or both? For how long should I exercise per day? These were all questions I faced and I did not know where to go for the answer. Now I know the internet is not the best source for this kind of information and I cannot believe everything I read on the internet, however, in my situation, it was the best alternative for me to get the information I needed short of hiring a personal trainer which I could not afford. I already had some workout equipment such as a treadmill and a few assorted weight plates, this would be where I would start. With the information I found and some random equipment I started on my journey. Little did I know that looking back it would not only change my body, but my entire outlook on life.

I can recall I dropped a few pounds in the first couple of weeks, this however was mostly my body getting rid of water weight. Within the first month I saw a noticeable change in my body and my sense of well-being, I felt energized even after losing only a few pounds, but there was more to come. Month after month, the needle on the scale kept going lower, I was truly happy, this is what I had yearned after. Whenever I hit a plateau I would drop my calorie intake even more, however in hindsight, this was dangerous to my body as I dropped way below what I should have been eating in a healthy diet. Months passed, and I was making great progress, when I saw some friends I had not seen since before I lost weight they barely recognized me and would complement me on the progress I had made.

Not all the changes I was making, however, were purely physical. I was noticing a huge difference in my levels of confidence and self-esteem and a change in my personality in general not only from the obvious ways my body was changing but also from having a sense of accomplishment and knowing that I was doing something good for my body. Up until this point in my journey, things were going good, however I had set a goal weight for myself to reach and the last few pounds proved to be the toughest.

I contemplated on stopping where I was at that point and being content with what I had accomplished, however, I realized I needed to lose those last few pounds not for physical reasons, as I was already within an ideal weight range, but to prove to myself that I could do it and finish what I had started and to learn that I should never settle for second best. I had my mind set to lose those last few pounds, no matter how trivial they may have been to anyone else, they represented an obstacle for me to reach my goal—an obstacle I intended to overcome. After seemingly endless hours of hard work, I had finally accomplished what I had set out to do. Within ten months, from January to October, I had completed my goal and went from 315 pounds to 195 pounds. A total of 120 pounds. I felt great about myself not only physically but for the first time in my life I had a much higher level of self-confidence than I previously thought possible.

It was truly amazing and with this new found confidence came some of the things I had wanted from the start. I actually had the confidence to talk to girls now, something that was unheard of before, and met my first (and hopefully last) girlfriend. At this point I thought life could not get much better for me. I would soon embark on an even tougher journey, one that would prove to be harder than losing the weight and more difficult than I had thought possible. It is normal for anyone who loses a significant amount of weight to often times have loose skin from the fat that stretched out the skin before and I was no different, I had a considerable amount of loose skin and on top of that I was skinny, not the type of skinny where I wanted to be, but borderline anorexic skinny and I had almost no muscle tone. This is where I began the task of building muscle and gaining back some of the weight I had worked so hard to lose although, this time, it was not going to be fat. I intended to pack as much muscle as I possibly could onto my frame, but this was no easy task. My genetics were not in my favor as most of the men in my family are tall and skinny. That is where I am today, still trying to put muscle onto my frame and it has turned out to be more difficult than I ever imagined.

My decision to lose weight and transform my body was definitely one of the most important decisions I have ever made in my life. It has changed me, not only physically but mentally as well. I now have a drive within me and a mindset to never settle, to always strive to be better and that is something I have never had before.

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