All my life I have struggled with my weight. I was overweight as a kid and was always embarrassed because of it, and the older I got the worse it got. My diet consisted of fast food, chips, and other unhealthy things. And the only exercise I got was walking from one class to the next during school. My freshman year of high school I joined the wrestling team and I weighed 250 pounds, I finished that year, but never went back to the team in the following years. My entire high school career I was a part of the marching band, but even though we were practicing 8-15 hours a week, my diet never changed, so I managed to gain 55 pounds and I found myself unhappy weighing 305 pounds my junior year of high school. Through the years nothing really worked for me, my parents tried to help me to eat better, and I was on and off with the gym, but all these things would only last a couple of weeks. It wasn’t until one night lying in my bed that something changed. Something in my head switched and I decided that I had enough, that I would stop at nothing to lose all the weight. I took pictures to get a starting point and the next day I went into my front yard and started to jump rope. I fell in love with it and jump roped every single night and the jump rope soon turned into running in my neighborhood. Although by graduation I had managed to lose 40 pounds, I was far from perfect. I started at the University of Central Florida and this is when things really started to turn for me. I was working up to 35 hours a week and stocking my pantry with healthy foods. I continued to jump rope on occasion until I hit a weight loss plateau around when I weighed 250 pounds. I discovered a local trail that was just over 2 miles long and I began to run. Immediately the weight started shedding off again and running outdoors has been more than just weight loss for me. It has cleared my mind; it has forced me to do something I am not comfortable with and has made me a stronger person because of it.
My father passed away in August, but he always used to tell me how if I stuck with it, I would be able to run the route in our neighborhood not once without stopping, but twice. When I came home from college a few months ago I decided to run the route that we used to run together back when I started losing weight, and I managed to run the .8 mile long loop four times without stopping. To see how far I have come in fitness has been the most challenging and the most rewarding thing that I have had to endure. So now about 2 years later I have managed to lose 100 pounds. There is still a little way to go, but I feel like a completely different person. Being outside has helped me to stick with my weight loss journey and has released me from being in prison in my own body.
Morgan W. – June 8th 2019
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