Former fat kids know the struggle of dealing with bullying while growing up. Don’t let the negativity keep you down– channel your energy into becoming a better you, despite your past.
Submitted by Luis Peñaflorida
“Hey Piggy! Looks like you even got fatter again!” I remember hearing these words when people from my high school would see me as I walked to my classroom. I was overweight when I was young and people would label me as the fat guy of any group. Back in 5th grade, I was around 5’2ft, weighed around 154 lbs, and I hoped that I would become naturally thinner once I started hitting puberty. Sadly, I didn’t. When I reached 7th grade, I grew a little taller but I also became heavier. Yes, it makes sense to gain more weight when you grow taller, but I was only 5’4 and I weighed 174lbs. So I decided to be more patient since it has only been two years. When I reached 10th grade, I may have reached the height of 5’6, but I was still weighed around 184lbs. Not much of an improvement, and I was still a fat kid.
Then it made me think, I don’t want to be the fat kid back in high school anymore. I was never really a fan when people would call me names and mock me for just being overweight. I was also not happy with how I looked and how people would look at me. So I decided to make change.
Three words: “CHANGE OF LIFESTYLE”.
My daily routine back then is I would go to school, eat, play video games, and sleep. In fact, I don’t even remember playing sports or exercising that much when I young. I was the kid who hated doing anything that involves sweating and moving around. So that was the first thing I had to change: how I would spend my free time. When it comes to food, I had to cut down on eating sweets and fast food, and learn how to eat a balanced meal. Although my mom raised me to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, the food I would eat outside the house would ruin the clean eating I do at home. Lastly, the last thing I had to change was my mindset. I was sort of a pessimist and there was time that I felt like I would be fat for the rest of my life. But that did not stop me from reaching my goal today. What I needed was the discipline to control myself in whatever I do.
As I decided to change my lifestyle, the first thing I did was to say goodbye to playing video games all day. Don’t me wrong, but there’s nothing bad about playing video games. I still play video games now but not as much as before. I just made a decision that I would stop playing video games for a while until I lose the weight I wanted to get rid of. So I decided to look for a sport that would enable me to balance my time with school. I started playing badminton, which people would think is an easy sport, but I didn’t think it was. I even hired a coach to train me every other day during school days and every day during summer or Christmas break. I would go to the badminton court located in our subdivision after school and do different kind of drills for about 1-2 hours. I learned to love the sport but I wanted to lose more weight and gain more muscles. This led me to enroll myself at the local gym near my area. I would go to the gym if I didn’t have training on that day or if I was just available. Though I would sometimes struggle with my other priorities in school, I was still able to make the time to exercise and go to my trainings.
When it comes to food, I learned to control myself in what I eat. There were times before where I would be able to finish one bucket of caramel popcorn with a can of Coke in just one sitting. Also I would buy fast food every time I would go out with my aunt. I had to say goodbye to these kind of eating habits. I learned how to eat more vegetables and choose water or tea instead of sweetened drinks. There will always be times where I have no choice but to eat outside, but I always go for the less-guilty choice. For example, when having dinner with my family at a restaurant, rather than choosing fries or rice with a steak, I go for the sides that will help maintain my diet like steamed vegetables. When going out for fast food, I choose the meal that at least has a few veggies. Or when buying a drink in a coffee shop, I would always go for an iced Americano instead of a Frappuccino or any other sweetened drinks. With these few changes, my food habits have drastically changed and I have learned how to appreciate eating this way.
According to many people, a balanced diet and exercise is key to not getting fat. But what these people forget is the most important factor in losing weight: willpower. Having the discipline will enable you to get to where you want to be and what you want. It takes patience and continuous determination in order to reach your goal. I was struggling with losing weight since I was in high school. People would tell me back then that it would be impossible for me to lose all that weight. But today, I can say that I have already said goodbye to the fat kid inside me. I am now around 5’9 and I weigh around 177 lbs. I may still sometimes struggle with the everyday work of balancing a healthy lifestyle with work and a social life, but looking at those times back then when I could not see my toes, it encourages me to keep moving and maintain the healthy lifestyle I have today.
Below are some tips to that helped me through my weight loss journey:
1. Know what is stopping you from losing all that weight. It may be the people around you, the food you’re eating, or yourself, but don’t let these variables stop you from achieving what you want.
2. Change of lifestyle. When you have identified what is preventing you from losing those pounds, learn how you to adapt to it and change.
3. Let’s get physical. One of my mistakes is that I hated doing any get kind of exercises. But that had to change and exercising became one of my favorite hobbies.
4. Eat right. Other than working out, eating the right way will help you along the journey. Eating right may be difficult at first, but sooner or later it will be part of your lifestyle.
5. Have the right motivation. My mistake back then was to prove the people wrong who told me I could not lose any more weight. Basically I was changing myself for others, which is wrong. Have the right motivation for yourself and not for others.
6. Say goodbye to sweetened drinks. One of the biggest changes I did when I changed my diet was that I never became a fan of sweetened drinks again. Go for water or tea instead.
7. Never ever deprive yourself from food. Food is good and it will never be bad. Just choose the right ones.
8. Set small goals from time to time. These small goals will eventually will show your progress along the way.
9. Never give up. Yes, it’s not going to be easy and yes, there are going to be obstacles that will make it even more difficult for you. But continue what you are doing and you’ll eventually reach your goal. Have no excuses and show yourself you can do more.
10. Enjoy the journey. There are times that you will struggle along the way but this journey to the fit you should be fun and memorable.
Don’t let other people discourage you in what you’re trying to aim to be. You don’t really have to prove it to them since the most important person to show that you have the willpower to change is yourself.
You got this!