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    Posted December 2, 2013 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Your 'Aha' weight-loss moments

    Weight Loss

    Around 2003, I was pretty much fed up w/my weight problem. I had struggled with it my entire life. Growing up in the foothills of Appalachia in Eastern Kentucky, a way of life. Lots of eating. For example, going to the buffet regularly and eating to "get your money's worth," is common. My entire family has a weight problem and if I could help them change their eating habits I would do it in a hearbeat. If I had the money, I would pay for each of them to have personal trainers. I moved away to college, the first in my family to do so. Once away, and living in a major city, I learned things that I had never lived or experienced before. I learned an entirely different lifestyle. It was somewhat depressing and sad, because I was being exposed and educated in ways my family has never experienced, and probably never will. I try to be the best influence I can to memers of my family...but most of the time it comes across "upidy." For example, if I order my salad dressing on the side and dip my fork first, or if I order my entre w/out being prepared w/butter. They mostly snarl at me and think I'm weird. So needless to say it's a fine line I manage when retunring home to visit. But back to my story. After going to college i started changing my habits. I hated being everyone's teddy bear. I hated going to the beach. I hated and avoided swimming pool parties or anything outdoors. I feared being in a position of taking my shirt off in public. Terrified. I was depressed. I realized i needed a complete lifestyle change. So I joined Weight Watchers and never turned back. Once I started, I never turned back. I completely changed my lifestyle for good. I first weighed in at 276, but not sure what my highest weight ever was, but 276 is what I go by. I currently fluctuate between 185-195. I feel amazing and I'm physically active. I remember when I first started how difficult it was and I really didn't think it was possible. I felt like I was having a heart attack every single time I worked out (looking for excuses not to work out). I tell people today the secret to weight loss is discipline and patience. Once you make the commitment, stick to it. It will happen. I just took my time and changed the way I lived and it melted away. I still struggle though. Mentally, I still view myself as a fat guy. It's really hard to adapt and change. People treat me differently, yet I still treat them the same. Inside, I'm fat. I wasn't prepared for these changes. Romantically, it's hard to receive attention from attractive, "fit" men (I'm gay). It has taken me time to be comfortable around men who would have NEVER hit on me before. I'm very proud of what I've accomplished and would love to be able to inspire others to do the same. I always tell people, if I can do it, ANYONE can. I came from an impossible situation and found opportunity through educating myself. All it takes is the commitment.

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