I’ve been obese since I was around 10 years old. When I was 17 years old, my doctor told me that, according the the BMI scale, I was morbidly obese. Now, at the age of 19 (20 in two months), I am at the heaviest I’ve ever been. I currently weigh 285 pounds.
By some stroke of luck, I don’t look it. Most people guess that I’m somewhere from 180lbs to 220lbs. It definitely helps that my daily outfits consist of skinny jeans and over-sized t-shirts, occasionally changing it up with sweat pants or leggings. Maybe it’s just because I’m used to seeing myself every day, but, I don’t think I look terrible. There’s definitely room for improvement, but, depending on what I’m wearing, I don’t think I look that bad.
And, that’s kinda the problem.
I’ve been wanting to lose weight since I gained it. I’ve always been bigger than the other kids, and that did horrible things to my self-esteem. When I was younger, my desire to lose weight made me incredibly unhappy. I constantly picked myself apart and I hated myself when I couldn’t lose the weight.
When I was a teenager, it all got worse. It became a vicious cycle — me hating the way I looked, me attempting to do something about it, me failing, and then me comfort eating, which only made the situation worse.
There is one main reason why I’ve always failed to lose weight: my motivation was fueled by negative thoughts and emotions.
I wanted to lose weight because I hated the way I looked; I thought I looked hideous. That was my main source of motivation. When I couldn’t lose the weight, I put myself down. I beat up on myself and completely destroyed my own self-esteem. Even though I was surrounded by my group of friends, I thought that everyone would like me more if I was skinnier. I thought I’d be worth more if I was skinnier.
Now, here’s the catch: my mind is made up of a weird mix of positivity and negativity. Even with all the self-hatred going on in my head, I still had days where I didn’t mind the way I was. My friend group consisted of a bunch of guys that couldn’t care less about my appearance. Even though I was bigger than everyone else, I wasn’t teased that much. I usually just slipped into the background, so I didn’t get that much attention — which, I didn’t mind in the slightest.
The problem with my old way of thinking was that it was completely based around negative feelings — but, I didn’t always have negative feelings. If your whole motivation for losing weight is that you think you look terrible and one day you don’t think you look terrible, then everything kinda gets pushed to the side. I went through that cycle for years.
Right now, I’m 19. In less than two months, I’m going to be 20 years old. It’s hitting me that I’m starting to get older quickly. Time is flying by and it doesn’t really care if you’re hanging on or getting left behind in the dust. So, I decided that it was time for a change.
I want to lose weight because I love myself.
Looks don’t really mean much to me right now. With how hard I’m working and how much I’m accomplishing, looks aren’t that major to me. I have a boyfriend, so it isn’t like I’m looking to catch anyone else. If we weren’t dating, I still wouldn’t be interested in catching anyone else, just because of where I am in my life. To me, there’s so much more to worry about — like my personal heath altogether.
I want to lose weight so that I’m healthy and happy. It isn’t so much about looks as it is about the way that I feel. I’ve been sickly since high school, and there are still days when I feel like absolute crap — and it’s partially because I don’t take care of myself. My poor body is sore sometimes because it has to carry around a lot of extra weight. The food that I eat doesn’t really do anything for me. Because of my busy lifestyle, most of my meals consist of fast food. All of the junk food that I’ve been putting into my body makes me feel sluggish and sick half the time. Most days, I hardly drink any water and I either don’t eat enough (and what I do eat is fast food) or I eat way too much, and none of what I eat is good for me.
I want to live a long, healthy life. And, I can’t do that at my current weight.
Even though I haven’t developed any major illnesses because of my weight, if I continue down the road that I am right now, it probably won’t be long before I do. And, I have so much that I want to do. I have so much that I want to see. I want to be able to travel long distances and not worry about what it might do to me because I’m in bad health. I want to be able to walk for miles in a day, exploring new places. I want to be able to spend an entire day hiking, instead of just a few hours because I’m really out of shape. I want to have the best possible quality of life that I can — and that means I have to lose the weight.
I have no doubt that it will be far from easy, despite my motivation. Undoing 19 years of bad habits is going to be difficult. When I’ve had a rough day, I’m going to want to curl up with some cookies ‘n cream ice cream and binge watch Netflix. When I’m rushing to get from class to work, I’m going to want to just swing by whatever fast food place is closest and grab a burger and fries. When I wake up in the morning exhausted from closing at work the night before, I’m not going to want to get out of bed and work out. I’m not going to want to make myself a healthy breakfast instead of just searching through the house for something quick to eat. When I’m with my boyfriend, I’m going to want to go out to eat at somewhere that has amazing cheese fries.
But, I’m not going to do that.
When I have a rough day, I’m either going to write about it, read to take my mind off of it, or work out to occupy myself. I’ll prep some meals ahead of time for myself, so that I have something to eat besides fast food when I’m rushing from class to work. When I wake up exhausted in the morning, I’m going to push through it and work out anyway. I’m going to put effort into my breakfasts instead of grabbing whatever is easiest. When I go out to eat with my boyfriend, we’ll pick places that have tasty healthy food.
I need to lose at least 100 pounds to be in a healthy weight range again. That isn’t going to happen anywhere near overnight. And, I know it won’t be a perfect, straight line of improvement.
It isn’t going to be easy. But, it’s going to be worth it. Because I’m worth it.