My Story: Being PHAT
This is me, Nick Paolino. Thank you for visiting my blog. PHAT Like Me grew out of my own personal weight loss journey. For me, being PHAT (as I like to call it) is a state of mind where we stop viewing exercise and eating right as a chore, and start seeing it as an opportunity to take care of the one life and body we have the best we possibly can, in order to live the one life we have to the fullest!
The story of PHAT Like Me goes back to my days as a toddler. You see, since I can remember I have always been overweight. And not just in your “oh, he’s pleasantly plump” kind of way. No, I was diagnosed by my PEDIATRICIAN as morbidly obese. So for me, being unhealthily large was always a way of life.
Being on two blood pressure medications at age 16 was my way of life.
Eating like it was my job was my way of life.
Having to special order my jeans and pants online because they didn’t carry my waist size in the store was my way of life.
Masking my true, deeply sorrowful emotions with food was my way of life.
Having self-confidence as fragile as thin ice was my way of life.
And then…a bomb dropped on my life.
After graduating college in May 2010, I didn’t get into grad school.
Now, I know you’re probably thinking, “What!? That’s the big bomb that shattered your reality as you knew it? No grand, soap opera-esque, melodramatic “A-HA moment” that made you, all in one swift instance, realize you needed to drastically change your life!?”
And my answer to that question is no. I never had an “A-HA moment”. Life isn’t really like “The Biggest Loser” when it comes to losing weight. LORD, I sometimes wish it was, but it’s not.
How then, by any stretch of the imagination, did not getting into grad school help me finally overcome my life-long morbid obesity? Allow me to explain. You see, all my life I had been putting others, and other things, before myself on my priority list. School in particular had always been priority numero uno. I always had a yearning to lose weight and be healthy, but with other things I deemed more important in the way, I merely dabbled in the art of weight loss, never fully committing to the cause.
But suddenly, with no schooling in the picture, my world became all about me again. At first, it was weird. I felt shell-shocked, honestly. But I soon realized that I needed to seize the opportunity I had been handed to change my life. I had been given a whole year to make my dream of being healthy a reality. So, on June 28th, 2010 I started exercising with a personal trainer I cleared my bank account out hiring. I promised myself if I was really going to do this, I was diving in head first into the deep end. I slowly changed my eating habits and built up from low-intensity to high-intensity conditioning training. I learned a lot about nutrition and a lot about effective, productive exercise.
Now, fast forward a year and a half, and I have gone from 350 pounds to 196 pounds. That is 154 pounds lost. I have gained my health back, I have gained my self-confidence back, but most importantly I have found myself again. And I love the person that I am.
No more blood pressure medication, no more excuses, no more self-loathing. Just love for me, and my life.
Oh, and one more thing. I re-applied to grad school. I got in this time. ;)