You may or may not know the story, but I felt like taking some time and sharing a little bit of my history and motivation with you. This is hard for me to talk about and get’s me a bit emotional, but I felt like today would be a good time to reflect.
Between kindergarten and first grade I got fat. Really fat. I know now it was most likely due to my dietary habits. My grandmother meant well, but unknowingly let me eat things that were detrimental to my body composition. I remember in first grade, kids started making fun of me. I had a hard time with the presidential fitness tests. I also remember distinctly trying to do forward rolls in PE and the kids laughing at me because I was fat and couldn’t do them. The tormenting started there and continued through my school years.
I had to wear ‘husky’ size shirts which were a patronizing name for fat kid clothes. I remained fat and unpopular all through grade school. By the time I got to middle school I was extremely overweight. The kids in 6th grade called me jelly rolls.
I was a straight A student but made a B in PE because I couldn’t run a sub 7 minute mile. That was what our entire grade was based on. Not relative improvement but pass or fail on sub 7 minutes. (I still can’t run a sub 7 mile, so I’m still a B student in PE.) At the school I attended, I was fat, smart, and a minority at my school. It was the trifecta for getting your ass kicked. I was jumped and physically abused weekly. I was an emotional punching bag daily. I was extremely unpopular and continued to stay grossly overweight. I had no friends. No peer group. I would come home crying daily. That year was the worst year of my life. Kids don’t realize how cruel they can be.
One day, I was especially emotionally distraught. The ‘popular’ girl decided she wanted to date me. I thought it was chance to be accepted. It turned out she wanted to date me because I had a cool jacket and she wanted a Christmas present. When she got the present she dumped me and solicited all her friends to make fun of me even more. I was extremely depressed and decided I didn’t want to be here anymore. I snuck into my grandparents room when they weren’t there, took a gun and almost ended it.
The only thing that stopped me was I remembered my Grandfather randomly talking to me one time about how suicide was a permanent solution to a temporary problem. I decided that it was a selfish thing to do and I put the gun away. That’s the closest I ever got although I did contemplate it several times after that incident.
Near the end of my 6th grade year I began to excel in music and made some friends in the band program. One of those friends became my best friend through the rest of middle school, and she doesn’t know it, but probably saved my life. In 8th grade I changed schools and my situation improved. Although I still remained very overweight.
High school was a good time for me, but I never did really slim down. When I went to college, my first semester I went through a depression and struggled greatly. This was the first time that I began exercising and I lost 25lbs! ?Finally I had slimmed down enough to be happier about my image.
I bounced around college majors and finally began studying sports medicine and exercise. I continued to work out and studied it furiously. I began personal training as a side job and continued that through my career.
To this day, my inner fat kid still lives there. Every day I look in the mirror and am not satisfied with the way I look.
I train because I am motivated to better myself. I am in the best shape I could be at this time in my life, but I still sometimes see the kid in 6th grade in the mirror.
I don’t know if I will ever be happy taking my shirt off, but I hope to get there one day. I struggle excessively with nutrition. If I am put in a situation where I have the option to eat poorly, I will. I have a hard time controlling myself. In order for me to succeed I must put myself in a situation to succeed.
I wrote this to let you know that I am human. I struggle just like you. I make a decision every day to do the things that will benefit me the most. You guys motivate me to do better, and my hope is that I do the same for you. Every day I am involved in this community it makes me want to be a better person, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
This truly is the greatest thing I have ever done, and I wake up every morning excited to get into the gym! My history and you guys motivate me every day!
If you need help, I understand where you are. I am here for you. We can do this together.
What motivates you?