According to the Surgeon General’s office, every two out of three Americans are overweight or obese. It took me a long time to admibut I’m one of those two out of three. I could have stopped it, but I procrastinated when it came to working out and getting healthy. My weight gain was gradual.
Sure there were signs. Breathing a little bit harder when I went up a flight of stairs. That extra jiggle when I rode over a speed bump. But, I figured I was entitled to it.
I was complacent until I was at the Moon three weeks ago. In the line I gave my ID to the security guard and he almost didn’t let me in because he thought it wasn’t my license. I brushed it off. So what if I had gained a little weight, I thought. But later in the evening,
I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in two years and tapped her on the shoulder to say hello. She had a blank stare on her face like she didn’t recognize me.
When things registered for her she smiled hard and gave me a big hug. In the midst of the loud music and crowded she whispered in my ear, “Boy you got so big I didn’t recognize you.”
I went from looking like Al Shearer from Hits from the Street to looking like Ruben Studdard. When did I get another chin?
When did my chest begin to resemble that of a 12-year-old girl?
When did my belly begin to sit in my lap? I pulled out my license and put it in front of the bathroom mirror and examined all of my physical changes.
Sadness engulfed me.
“Why Lord!” I cried in my bathroom.
But I already knew the answer. Many of the foods cooked in my home, church, community and school were fried to a golden crisp.
I was doomed from the start. The only things my parents taught me were not to have two starches on my plate.
Thanks Mom and Dad!
Now I am in the process of making changes. I’ve been working out for the past two weeks and monitoring what I snack on. It’s hard though. And to make matters worse, I sneak to McDonald’s (don’t judge, they stay open late) every now and then to freebase Quarter Pounders.
Old habits are hard to beat, but hopefully I will beat this one soon. If not, you might see me on a TLC special.
Wesley Martin is a senior magazine student from Miami. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.