“Undress to your waist and step on the scale,” commands the young, attractive doctor during a routine check-up. After examining the measurements displayed on the computer, she looks at me triumphantly and declares, “You are obese.” Well, that's a surprise. I didn't need to weigh myself to know that. I can see it. I'm fat. I've had those extra pounds for as long as I can remember.
I have great parents, but a person's eating habits are shaped within the family. They say a child is a reflection of their parents. I've been steadily gaining weight since the first grade. My parents never restricted my food intake. We never had a personal scale at home. But there was always something sweet to snack on. Family trips to the store often involved buying boxes of sweets. At first, I would sneakily indulge, but then my mom started packing sweets in my school bag, saying, “That's for your snack!” I finished elementary school with honors and a single “B” on my report card – in physical education.
In high school, I lived at a boarding school during the week. Every Sunday, I would return home with a bag full of clean clothes and loads of food. Schnitzels, sweets, and, of course, pastries were never absent. It seemed normal to me. At the beginning of the week, I would eat the best parts – Kofila, Milena, or KitKat. By the end of the week, I was left with muesli bars. Of course, I ate those too. No going back now. I successfully avoided physical education throughout my entire school career and settled for an “ungraded” mark.
While at the boarding school, I had warm and relatively healthy meals every day. But when I got to college, I was granted freedom and independence. I began my day with a purchase of the sports newspaper, a two-liter bottle of Kofola, and a pack of sausages and rolls. The cheapest and easiest dinner options were pizza or a roll with Májka (a popular Czech spread). I spent more time in the pub drinking beer and rum with cola than in class during the early years of my studies.
In college, I started to feel bothered by my excess weight, and I decided to lose it for the first time. “I need to do something,” I told myself. I approached one of my roommates who regularly went to the gym, and we went together. The student gym was a modest place with a few machines and weights. It was new to me, and I was enthusiastic, eager to try everything right away. Gradually, I used every machine and even lifted any random weight I found. By the time I was walking back to my room, my legs had already started to stiffen. The next day, I couldn't even climb the stairs to the next floor. “That's just muscle soreness! You shouldn't overdo it,” my friends laughed, and I suffered like an animal. I haven't been to the gym since then.
After college, I started working and living on my own. I bought a personal scale and tried various diets and exercises. However, I never committed 100%, and after a few days, or at best, weeks, I would forget that I was on any diet at all. The results were short-lived or nonexistent. I ate my way up to 133 kilograms (293 pounds). That's my personal record, you could say.
Now, it's probably clear to everyone why I'm fat. I'm not crying or complaining. I don't blame my parents for anything. I've had plenty of time to realize that I have a problem and start addressing it. When you eat like a pig for thirty years, you can't expect to look like an athlete. That's a given. But what do I do now?
For a few years now, I've made a resolution to lose weight. It's on my list this year too, but I'll approach it a bit differently.