Eleven years ago I managed to lose over 100lbs and since then, other than a few minor setbacks, I have managed to keep the weight off. Even though I have traveled this journey I am still the fat kid.  In my heart, I still want a freaking whole large pizza to myself and if you reach for a piece, be prepared to draw back a nub. I still want to bury my face in a tub of ice cream just to drown my emotions. To eat an amazing meal transcends me to a place of nirvana that is truly hard to describe. I am still a fat kid at heart. Do you want to see my eyes light up? Let’s talk about our favorite foods!

Overcoming these thoughts may be the death of me because they are so deeply engrained into my subconscious.  I’m like the kid in the movie Dick Tracy, even though he is stuffing his face, he is still asking “when do we eat?”  I know most of it is from the association I began at early age that foods equal’s happiness.  To me it’s a deeper than that though… Struggling with still being the fat is more about the mental insecurities that lead to numerous problems that continue with me today.  I seriously struggle to see myself the way others do.  When someone pays me a compliment on the way I look it feels like their just lying to me to make me feel better.  

Still the fat kid is a phrase I do say a lot because it is my battle.  I say this for two reasons.  The first is even though now I have the tools to overpower those negative thoughts; it is still deeply ingrained into my subconscious. When I act out of emotion and in a thought of simple reflex-reaction, it is often from that old “fat kid” mentality. I still want to be liked and gain acceptance, and I worry what others may think. I still want to turn to food when I become stressed or something negative happens. I have to consciously and actively work very hard to not think in that manner. To me, it is about the paradigm shift of looking at my past, not as a negative, but as a learning experience that strengthened me to be able to do what I am able to do today. 

The reminder of my past struggles is also what keeps me grounded and allows me the ability to connect and help people. It has been a rough ride the last ten years of keeping the weight off, and it has not been easy at all. I cannot take for granted all the growth I’ve been through and the lessons I’ve learned the hard way. For that reason, I do keep reminders around of the old me. Reminding myself of my journey not only gives me the motivation to press on but to help others overcome, as well. In regards to public perception, a lot of people see me now and assume it’s easy for me to live the way I do now. They simply have no clue the internal battle that rages inside of me every single day–the battle to suppress the old me and become the person I believe I was destined to be. It’s an extreme duality of thought that is my burden to bear, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I fight every day to be a better person but also to never forget where this fire was forged. 

I believe every one of us has a similar story to tell, and that is why I am starting my podcast called “Still the Fat Kid.” I want to help people tell their stories of overcoming their own personal version of their “fat kid.” Most of us have had some kind of personal battle we had to overcome. We learned from it; we grew from it. Now you just have to drop your pride, be vulnerable, and share! People are in desperate need of relatable stories of hope. They need to know they are not alone, and there is a way to fight and win these battles.