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Unhealthy Beginnings: I Was an 11-Pound Newborn!
I have always been overweight; I weighed 11 pounds at birth! Since a young age, I’ve had terrible eating habits. Junk foods like pork rinds, ice cream, cookies, and cakes filled my childhood. Dinner was a gigantic plate of white rice and super fatty meat without a vegetable in sight.
Thinking back, I remember waking up on Saturday mornings excited to watch cartoons. Raiding the kitchen, I’d find all sorts of unhealthy but delicious looking snacks purchased by mom the night before. I was an eight-year-old boy in a candy store. With an armful of colorful packages, I’d sit in front of the television, gobbling it all down.
My Cuban Heritage
I don’t blame my mother for wanting to treat me. She grew up in Cuba, in the countryside, where meat, milk, and fat are considered essential for robust health. This is primarily due to the scarcity of food in Cuba.
We immigrated to the US over 20 years ago when I was about 5 years old. The two of us were alone, so my mother labored 7 days a week as a hotel housekeeper. She worked hard to give me the best life she could and for this, I am deeply grateful.
Unfortunately, I spent many afternoons and weekends alone, locked inside our one-room efficiency. And let’s face it, I was bored, so I watched TV and ate. I know it sounds terrible, but she did the best she could. My mom had no choice but to leave me home alone. Her guilt led her to buy me all that nasty junk food, her way of providing for me.
As you can see, I developed an unfortunate relationship with food. A relationship that has led to weight gain and other health issues. For the first time, I am afraid of the future. I know something must change.
Where are All the Healthy People?
I’m worried because I know my bad habits will ultimately destroy me. My mother was recently diagnosed with diabetes and she is not even fat! She’s actually very active, but her diet is dreadful.
My 95-year old grandparents in Cuba have both suffered from diet-related diseases, including cancer. My grandmother has diabetes and Alzheimer’s despite her rural life and a diet low in sugar and junk food.
I have friends in their 30’s and 40’s with diabetes and heart diseases. Some have already suffered heart attacks and strokes.
Declaring War Against Morbid Obesity
I’m 25 years old, but weighing 350 pounds makes me I feel like I’m 35. Feeling sluggish and lethargic has become normal — I don’t remember the last time I felt healthy. My lifestyle is extremely sedentary. I sit all day at work and I don’t exercise at all. My feet hurt if I stand for long periods of time and I haven’t run in years. I can’t even do one push-up! As you can see, I am very out of shape. Among all my weight-related symptoms, I have terrible back pain due to the amount of weight on my body and heartburn.
I realize that I am doing the very things my family and friends did when they were my age. So, how can I expect to get different results?
If I don’t change I am heading down the same path, towards the same destination. And, this isn’t what I want. I want to be active and healthy, to run without almost passing out. I don’t want to fear for my life anymore.
For all these reasons, I’ve decided to change my destructive habits. I aspire to be my best self and to be an example for my family and friends.
I’d like to share this experience with you, so I will be sharing weekly updates. I plan to release a video every Sunday, so you can follow along with me as I improve my health. Among other things, I’ll share my weight, the methods I am using, tips for how to lose weight, and more. No more junk or fatty foods for me!
Thank you for reading!
Stay Strong, Rise Above