Growing up, I was always the fat girl. I was the girl who never felt like she fit in because she was constantly seen as some big monster because of her weight. I would be teased on a daily basis at school and then come home to my father telling me that “when I get older and start becoming interested in boys they aren’t going to like me because of my weight”. I began to shut myself out from the rest of the world, and slowly but surely, food became my new best friend. I didn’t want to be overweight, but I felt as if I had no choice – I was destined to be that way.
In September 2009, I had just begun my sophomore year in high school, and didn’t want to look back and regret letting my weight get in the way of what I wanted to do or the person I wanted to be. As my self-image reached its all-time low, something clicked inside my mind, and I realized that it was time. At fifteen years old, 225 pounds, and only 5’3”, I needed to take control of my life once and for all.
At the beginning of my weight loss journey, I felt lost. I didn’t have any idea of how I would even begin accomplishing such a hefty task. I spent hours consulting websites such as WebMD and began watching programs like The Biggest Loser and The Doctor Oz Show in order to learn all that I could about healthy weight loss, and incorporated what I learned into my already hectic life. I had a thirst for all of this newfound knowledge, and as my brain began to soak up this information like a sponge, my weight began to melt away.
As of today, I am proud to say that I have lost ninety pounds. My weight loss journey is not a diet, but rather a lifestyle change that continues to test my perseverance every single day. After losing ninety pounds, I feel obligated to pay it forward and serve as a role model for other teens that feel just like I felt.
Lauren’s Teen Tips, with the help of noted nutritionist Cheryl Forberg, RD, is a way in which I can reach out to teens everywhere and provide them with the guidance and support needed to conquer their own weight issues. Each tip is something that I have learned on my weight loss journey, and my hope is that the incorporation of these simple lifestyle changes will motivate others to become healthier as well. Nothing is impossible as long as you take life one tip at a time.