My Journey | Paying it Forward
by: Vince Natividad
I don’t know how to properly start this thing so let me first tell you that I’m 21 years old as of this year, 2013 and I was dangerously obese as far as I could remember. I’m a Business Administration student of University of Asia and the Pacific. I was raised in Orion, Bataan by my mother together with my grandmother and as we all know about our grandparents, they like to feed us. Excessively. Never was a day that I starved. Never was a day that I didn’t have food in my mouth or a straw sipping two Coca-colas at a time. Never was a day that our dining table didn’t look like fiesta. That’s breakfast, lunch, dinner and I always had midnight snacks; bread and full on mayonnaise or koko crunch, whatever was in or on the fridge. My physical activity included playing playstation. I had more strenuous activity which was basketball, volleyball and the game of tag. That was almost everyday but I always stuffed my face with food right after.
I was always the big kid in class. Always the one that had a hard time fitting into the arm chair. It went as far as the faculty giving me 2 chairs for me to sit on. I always had trouble buying clothes and when people ask or measure my vital statistics, they all had this shocked expression on their faces especially when I buy pants at the mall. My biggest waistline was 44. Of course, I was also the subject of ridicule from my classmates. From kinder to 3rd year college, I was always made fun of because of my weight. PE teachers were cautious with me. My mom even called the PE instructor to take it easy on me. How embarrassing is that? I always knew I was fat and just resigned it to fate. I thought then maybe I was destined to be fat forever. So I adapted to the insults and just learned to laugh at myself. Even I would proactively make jokes about my body. Every insult I greeted with a smile and I would add to it just to keep it light and show no hard feelings but deep inside. I felt the contrary.
I knew I was fat, I knew I had to do something. I tried several times to reduce but it all ended up with me reverting back to the same routine. Eat, eat, eat and eat. Plainly, I just gave up to easily. Food was just too good. I remember for lunch I had those big 2pcs. chicken in McDo. I always had extra rice then large coke and fries. On every meal extra rice. Breakfast, lunch and dinner for everyday of my life, eating massive proportions. I was ridiculously obese at 20. 260lbs at 5’5. I always had people looking at me with mixed facial expressions. It was always among surprise, contempt and disgust. I still remember two scenarios when I was walking down the street. A stranger straight out told in my face “tabachingching” and a couple pointing at me and making me an example to their overweight kid.
2009 was the year I attempted to lose weight but I gave up on that too, I even had a buff trainer. At year 2010 I had my gall bladder removed, I lost some weight but gained it back. It was at the start of year 2011 that I really got fed up with myself. I remember that night. It was exactly January 1, 2011 when I became completely honest and infuriated with myself. It was midnight then. New Year. I watched Before and After videos on YouTube. Who knew that was night that would change my life. I saw people who were bigger than me but still changed. These before and after pictures are no joke. It re-ignited my hope. A hope that I would look normal and someday people will look at me without judging me because of my weight. All I needed was inspiration. I don’t know who the people in those pictures were but I always had them in mind when I started working out. I went to sleep that night, happy, envisioning what I would look like normal. I took a before picture before going to bed.
The following day I did my research and learned all that was necessary to losing weight and did my best to apply them. I never stopped researching and I’m still researching about it and other fitness aspects today. I was, all my life, a computer boy. When I started to lose the weight seriously, I knew I had to take out things in my life that are keeping me from the body that I want. I made sacrifices. As Hiphop Preacher says “Sacrifice who are now, for what you will become”
I stopped going to the arcade and started going to the gym. It was uncomfortable at first because people there would still give me that look. But I didn’t give a hoot what they thought about me. All I thought about was what I would look like after all this. I was focused and consistent. Never was a day that I didn’t think about sweating it out. Year 2011 was the same year when my Grandmother, who raised me from when I was a baby, lost a battle with cancer. It was very devastating for me and my mother. She won’t get to see the results I have now. I lost a chance to make her even more happy with me. That left me with my mother and my sister. So I had to transfer to a school in our province to accompany my mother in the house. But that didn’t deter me from the goal I had. I entered Letran-Abucay, still considerably fat but I’ve already lost weight. I was still the subject of ridicule but that just made me hungrier.. For success.
The insults were there again even when I already put some hard work in. Instead of getting beat down by it, I made it fuel for my workouts. I then shifted my general workouts to combat sports. I got into Muay Thai, then mixed martial arts. Ever since I got into the sport, it was smooth sailing since then but presently I’m into body building and working towards my next dream body.
2012 was when the real results came. I started with a weight of 260lbs, and came down to 165lbs. From XXL shirts to Medium and some of my shirts are body fit, at least on my upper body. From a waistline of 44, down to 34 and 36 on some pants, slim fit. And it all started because I saw people who had done it. All I needed was proof that it can be done. I once went to bed dreaming of this day, and now I’m living it. The trick is doing a workout you will have fun with and being consistent with the small ever day goals you have because these small goals in accumulation over time, make up your long term goal. Motivation is also one thing to look at and you need to dig reaaaally deep for it.
Now one of my reasons for doing this is to inspire people. It’s fun to think that somehow you had some part in people changing themselves for the better.
I think sharing this story of mine will be my way of paying it forward.
As I’m typing this, I’m almost in tears because I’m recalling all those nights I went to sleep envisioning this day. I can clearly and proudly say, I’m glad I started it and finished it. But I can’t really say I’m done with it because I’m still at it and I don’t ever see a day I won’t be working out and sweating at the gym. — END
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