Losing It | Teen Ink

Losing It

November 17, 2014
By ilovethecity GOLD, Westbury, New York
ilovethecity GOLD, Westbury, New York
15 articles 4 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page."

The digital clock on the night table glowed 12:17 a.m. My mother's room across the hall was dark and silent. The only sound to be heard was the rain patting against the roof, and the occasional car that whirled by on its way home. But downstairs inside the freezer, a pint of Häagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream called out my name. And that night, I simply refused to answer.


Growing up, I was obese for as long as I can remember. At age three, my favorite foods were macaroni-and-cheese, Chicken McNuggets, and ketchup. Kiwi? What was that? Throughout my childhood, my entire diet consisted of those tasty, addicting, yet starchy foods -- a recipe for disaster.


From the time I entered middle school, my weight continued to escalate. Never had I experienced such freedom of choice as in the school cafeteria. I hardly exhibited self restraint.


In ninth grade, my doctor stunned me when she said: "You need to lose weight." I sat in silence for several minutes, at a loss for words. I had been in denial. The reality was a shock.


Trapped inside my prison cell of fat, I began to wonder whether I would ever get out. The bars enclosing me, the chains around my ankles, and the constant ridicule were starting to get to me. I realized I had no future waiting around for a miracle to occur. I needed to break out. I set myself on a grueling journey to lose 50 pounds, a journey that has instilled discipline, confidence, and self-worth.


My first step in the weight-loss process was joining my school's cross country team. My teammates were state-ranked PSAA champions, but little old me was only a beginner. My coach sent me out on my first mile; unsurprisingly, I nearly collapsed. Running, for me, was a seemingly unconquerable chore. However, I wanted to prove myself wrong. There will be a positive outcome, I told myself. So, I persisted as much as I detested exercise, and miraculously, the pounds started to shed.


I continued to indulge occasionally, but I soon discovered another diversion: my schoolwork. When discontented with my weight, I funneled nearly all of my energy into hitting the books. Every once in a while, I would get mad at the mirror, but then, I would turn to world history and try to exercise my talents in a whole new manner on the academic stage. Every essay submitted became more polished, each history paper a gem of perfection. Weight loss had given me the inspiration to persist without end and to remain a driven individual in ways that I never thought it would. It has empowered me.


Not only has losing weight affected my school life, but is has also governed the way I reflect upon social issues. Educating myself about weight loss led me to explore and investigate numerous topics related to our global food systems. I've learned about the dangers of genetically modified foods, factory farms, and intensive agriculture. I am proud that my weight has turned me into a socially-concerned citizen, and in some respects, experiencing obesity has given me a positive worldview.


My weight loss could have sent me down a dark path toward under-eating, over-exercise, and social isolation. But instead it has given me the insight that things come slowly but surely with time, and that patience is a learning process.


In all candor, weight loss is still a challenge for me. But the battle to get where I am today has only managed to connect me with others, to boost my self-esteem, and to spur me to be the best person I can be. And I no longer come last in my cross country races. That's right -- I have finally made it to...drumroll please...twenty-third! But it's all okay, because I have witnessed in myself nothing but positive transformation since that somber day in ninth grade.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.