Growing up I didn't really have a say in what I was going to have for dinner.
Or any other meal for that matter. So I ate what my parents ate. Mostly boxed, processed foods with large portions at my disposal. They learned from their parents and in-turn, I learned from mine.
As a result of consuming the Standard American Diet (SAD), I became overweight by the time I entered the 9th grade. This is around the time I became aware that my weight was becoming an issue and eating habits a major problem. Because I played football, my family nor my coaches or other adult figures didn't see it as a major problem. Upon entering 10th grade, I was informed by my doctor that not only did I have high blood pressure, I was also on the cusp of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Weighing in at 275lbs, I knew I need to make a change and was still unaware as to how I should proceed.
Even with the news from my doctor my diet didn't change. I continued to eat as my parents did. I don't blame my parents for what they chose to feed me. They acted out on the knowledge and means they had at the time and honestly, I wasn't quite ready to give up fast food, TV dinners or Little Debbie snacks. Time progressed and I graduated high school in 2006 weighing over 315lbs.
Now that I wasn't in my parents house, I was now solely responsible for what I ate, healthy or unhealthy. As much as I wanted to change, I was a broke college student who had a thing for convenient foods like Taco Bell and Mcdonalds. Finishing up my first year in college, I weighed a little over 320lbs. This was a turning point in my life because around that time I had a few family members develop certain diseases and disorders that were 100% preventable through a balanced diet. This also led me to begin researching food/ingredients and the different steps I could take to produce food. A couple month later I came to the conclusion that the only way I was going to achieve my weight loss goal is to go cold turkey and a 180 degree life-style change.
As long as I had 1 foot in the door and 1 foot out, the opportunity to digress was too much in my favor. I wanted to get rid of any and all opportunities I had to cheat myself. This mentality allowed me to go from eating whatever I wanted to reading ingredients and nutritional labels. I would even read ingredients on food items I would never consume, healthy or not.
My new conscious approach to dieting coupled with working out allowed me to loose a little over 100 lbs in about 8 months. Now I know that’s a lot, but the power of nutrition coupled with a genuine unhealthy dedication to working out is how I achieved significant weight loss. I also believe that’s one of the reasons I've been able to keep the weight off is due to my natural holistic approach to losing weight. Instead of drinking skinny teas, or taking a fat burner or appetite suppressant, I opted for salads, lean meats, fruits, vegetables and of course, maintaining a fitness regimen.
I know that losing weight can be hard, grueling and damn near impossible. I also know that once a person genuinely commits their mind and actions to a goal they will surpass all expectations. I know this because I've done it and succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.