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Let me tell you how you might get to be over 300 pounds by the age of 16 (or maybe any age, for that matter): you eat.

Food becomes your everything. You replace emotions, friends, situations, fun… everything, with food. I can remember knowing that my friends were hanging out together and instead sitting home eating entire bags of Doritos (Family size, of course- I wasn’t messing around, and I had a LOT of void to fill) or pans of bars that my mom had thought she had cleverly enough hidden in the freezer.

As the clothes get tighter, your self-confidence gets smaller. You might put up more walls and stop allowing yourself to know love. It’s a lonely life, one that only knows a physical fullness. And usually that’s an uncomfortable-on-the-verge-of-sweating kind of fullness. It doesn’t make you feel good. And if it does, it doesn’t last. The moment of “pleasure” passes and you’re left feeling worse about yourself.

On the outside I was loud, “happy,” energetic, outgoing and… loud. On the inside I was trapped, sad, lonely, and completely defeated. I felt like I was riding a fast train to failure but couldn’t seem to get off. I acted like I was on top of the world, but the truth was, there were several times when I looked for opportunities to disappear into the shadows… to eat.

I missed out on so, so much. 

If this is where you are at right now my friend, please read the next part carefully:

There is hope. You aren’t trapped. And you ARE strong enough to come out of the shadows and live a full life. One where you allow yourself to be loved by others- and fill up with that love. Food gives you stomachaches, but love gives you peace.

By stepping out into the light and out of the shadows of fear, I’ve discovered many new things that I now love instead of Doritos and cake and whole pizzas and candy. (Don’t get me wrong- those are nice treats IN MODERATION, but they’re just stuff.)

Tonight I went to Zumba again. And let me tell you, the room was full of a variety of people that could dance, had no rhythm, were able to do the entire class without blinking, and were there for the first time. Each person came for their own reason, but for the 63 minutes that we were there together, we had FUN. I danced so hard I had to army crawl back to my house. And it was WAY more awesome than any major eating “feat” I can recall. The entire class was hootin’ and hollarin’ and completely there for each other.

Do yourself a favor… put down the chips, the king size candy bars, the entire loaves of bread (yes, I’ve been there)… and try something new. Head to the Wellness Center and find a class to try. Might I suggest… Zumba? Tuesday night- 7:45pm. You won’t be there alone, I promise. I’ll be there. And I’ll ROCK it out with you.

Love yourself enough to make good, healthy choices today. And when you conquer the unhealthy behaviors today, I promise you it will be even easier to do tomorrow, and each day thereafter. Small steps lead to big changes. And you CAN do this. I promise.


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