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  • Approved for CNN

  • Click to view charlesdstl's profile
    Posted September 27, 2009 by
    Saint Louis, Missouri
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    What if we reduced obesity?

    More from charlesdstl

    From Morbidly Obese Teen at Death's Door to Shirtless Sweetheart Having the Time of My Life!


    Dear CNN,


    As a child and teen I was morbidly obese and at death’s door! By the time I was seventeen I weighed almost 360lbs! I was on a path of true self-destruction – eating tons and tons of unhealthy food, not exercising AT ALL (I even got excused from PE class!), and really not even realizing the havoc that these habits were wreaking on my body. I had no energy. I no longer had the attention span I once had. I didn’t have any friends or a social life. I began to hate how I felt and even more so, how I looked. Coming from an Italian family with many overweight unhealthy relatives, I started to think that I didn’t have a choice-I was always destined to be obese and unhealthy-unable to fit in forever. I got to the point that I didn’t want to leave the house. I continued to feed the vicious cycle with more and more unhealthy foods and inactivity. Only after almost losing my eyesight due my bad eating habits did it truly hit home for me. I really was killing myself and if I didn’t do something drastic I wouldn’t live to see my high-school graduation!


    That was the day my whole life changed. At 17 years old, I made the decision to change my life and start a healthy eating and exercise regimen. In just two years at 17, I lost 160lbs! I have kept it off for five years now beating the statistic that says most people gain it all back and then some!  The good choices overhauled my overall health, energy, endurance, and self-image! After my weight loss, I began coaching others in making healthier food and exercise choices. After being inspired by my story, twenty one of my clients have lost over 100lbs!


    I have even been featured in Cosmopolitan magazine as a “Shirtless Sweetheart”! Most people that are morbidly obese like I was wouldn’t ever think it’s possible to lose weight and make their dreams really come true-but I’m living proof it all can be done!  I want to share my story with everyone that I possibly can. I have watched CNN everyday since I was an overweight boy in grade school.  I weighed over 200 pounds by the fourth grade! I was made fun of, ridiculed and teased EVERY SINGLE DAY that I remember. Most days I came home from school in tears. Now I've been lean and fit for over 5 years-beating the stats that say 99% of people gain it all back! I watch CNN everyday while running on the treadmill and would love to share my story to help others.


    With the rate of childhood obesity rapidly growing at an alarming rate, I would like the opportunity to be able to share my success story on CNN to help reverse it. I know CNN reaches out to so many students and families. I know that if I have the opportunity to share my success story with the kids and teens of America, lives will be changed! Perhaps a overweight child will be inspired and spared the pain I endured. I wish I would have seen someone my age that had done what I thought was impossible. I might have changed my ways much sooner. I wouldn’t have missed out on friends, fun, life in general.  I know that when CNN shares my story, many overweight children and their parents will see it and realize that if Charles could do it, they can do it too!  Not only will it inspire those in my former situation but teachers can use it to discuss bullying with their classes.


    CNN and Dr. Gupta, please help me to share my weight loss success story and join in helping to defeat the obesity epidemic that is facing our nation! This is a crisis, as you and I well realize. I know that together we can beat this! Thank you so so much for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon!




    Charles D’Angelo Jr.


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