A Commitment to Change

Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, or risk you have taken and its impact on you.

For most of my adolescent life, I had always hidden behind the somewhat comforting excuses for my weight: “You’re just big boned,” “You just have a slow metabolism,” “Someday you’ll grow into your body.” But there was no denying the obvious truth: I was fat, plain and simple. Since the beginning of the third grade, I was always known as just another one of the “fat kids” in the grade, and it was a reputation that stuck. No matter what I did, no matter what I accomplished, I was just seen as a very big kid and nothing else. From the endless stream of insults to the constant snickering behind my back, I never heard the end of it. I could almost never go a day without having someone poke me in the stomach, expecting to hear the Pillsbury Doughboy’s “Whoo-hoo.”I took the insults and harassment throughout the years, accepting that that was all that I would ever be–one of the fat kids. But the summer before my freshman year in high school, I took a long look at myself and how I had shaped myself throughout my life. I knew that if I wanted things to change, I would have to change myself. This was the time in my life to reinvent not only my physical being and reputation, but my life as a whole. It was this crucial personal decision that catalyzed the biggest change in my life, a promise that I still follow to this day–a commitment to good health and exercise.I understood that my entire lifestyle had to be changed to change myself, and it was all up to me to change my diet and exercise habits. For my entire life, I had never had any regard for what I was putting into my body; I never thought twice about the fast food, salty snacks and sugary treats that I ate. And my exercise routine was inadequate when attempted. These careless habits had undoubtedly led to my obesity and needed to be changed if I really wanted to transform myself. I began by setting a diet of only healthy foods for myself and sticking to that list no matter what. Freshman year I also started serious hockey training, including daily intense workouts of running, lifting, on-ice practices, and games. Over a period of about six months, my weight went from 200 pounds to 140 pounds, and my whole physique changed to the thin and healthy build I maintain to this day.I knew that a mission like this would be anything but easy, but it did not deter me. Whatever I had to do to achieve my goal, I did, and I still practice the wholesome habits I learned along the way. Whether it is enjoying a salad with each dinner or riding my exercise bike when I am bored instead of watching television, how I live has changed for the better. I set my mind on changing myself and never stopped until I did it. I am now a much healthier person compared to what I was a few years ago, both physically and mentally, and it is all thanks to my will to change for the better in pursuit of a goal.

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