“My name is Adrianna Styer, I am from Orlando, Florida. At the age of 20, I weighed 353 pounds. I have always been obese. There wasn’t a time in my life I wasn’t the ‘chubby girl’ and I was always the heaviest person in the room. I weighed more than 3 of my close friends combined! I have always looked up to food. When I was happy I ate, when I was sad I ate, when I was bored I ate. Food wasn’t so much something I went to for the purpose of being hungry; my life revolved around it. My next meal or my next snack was always the first thing on my mind. I don’t think there was ever a time I was ‘hungry’ because I was constantly eating. I was ordering off of the adult menu at restaurants at the age of 7, I would finish my meal in the cafeteria at lunch and half of my friends. My father used to hide the snacks so I couldn’t indulge in them, because my parents knew if they were left out, I would eat them all. I think my eating habits really became a problem when I got my drivers license. I had a job and my own money, so any opportunity or funds I had would be spent in a drive-thru. When going out to eat with my friends or family, I would look for the largest meal on the menu and even after finishing it, I still wouldn’t feel satisfied. In college, I had a meal plan and I sure had plate after plate of food at the buffets. Food was an addiction for me.
Being obese affected my life in so many ways. When I was in 2nd grade I outgrew the girls clothing section and had to begin shopping in the women’s section as a 7-year-old girl. I never had cute ‘little-girl’ clothes because I had to wear women’s jeans that my grandmother had to hem. I had grown up playing basketball and loved it. When I tried out for the middle-school team I was ‘cut’ because I couldn’t keep up with the other girls, due to my size. After that, all of my physical activity was cut. I was too embarrassed to try out the following season. I couldn’t shop or share clothes with my friends in high school because none of the trendy stores carried plus size. One of the most embarrassing moments in my high school career, was when I went to a theme park with all of my friends and the boy I had a huge crush on. We had gone onto a roller coaster when first arriving and I was kicked off for being too large. How embarrassing, being a 16-year-old girl and having to do the walk-of-shame back to the end of the line because you’re too fat to buckle the seat-belt. I still get red thinking about it. I was always the fat friend, but I never really got picked on because I think I compensated for my weight with being the ‘funny friend.’ There was a time on social media when girls would post pictures of their legs when they were tanning and they would caption the picture ‘hot dogs or legs?’ I then posted a picture of my legs in the sun with the caption ‘Italian sausage or legs?’ This was my way of validating that it was okay to be overweight. I always ignored all of the problems being obese caused me, because again, food was my happiness.
On May 1st of 2017 I went to the doctor because I had to get a physical for my health insurance. I avoided the doctor at all costs even as a child because they always got on me about my weight. I have always been in the obese bracket and have heard that since I can remember. When I stepped on the scale at the doctor’s office that day I read 353 pounds, and my heart sank. The only feeling or emotion I can think of to describe how I felt at that moment was heartbroken. How could I have let myself get to that point?! Especially at 20-years-old? I knew I was large, but not that large! I would crop pictures of myself from the chest up and was aware of the lifestyle I was living, but I always thought it was okay because other people liked me. When I got home from the appointment, I sobbed in my bed for a little bit and then went through my fridge and my pantry and tossed all of the unhealthy food away, cut up every reward card for food chains, and went to the grocery store and filled my kitchen with healthy food. Ever since that day, I never looked back. It took for my heart to hit rock bottom to change. I believe anyone who overcomes an addiction has his or her ‘ahh-haa’ moment and mine was seeing the scale. I changed my life-style going forward. Instead of spending my free time laying in bed scrolling through social media or going out to drink with my friends, I now spend my free time at the gym, or at the beach, or engaging in physical activity. Instead of ordering the largest thing on the menu, I now order the healthiest thing on the menu. I can genuinely say I enjoy being active and I enjoy a good salad. I still enjoy food as much as I used to and I still look forward to my next meal, but instead of one meal consisting of 1,500 calories, my daily food intake consists of 1,500 calories.
Since May of 2017, I have lost over 185 pounds naturally with diet and exercise. I have gained a new life. I probably saved myself from being diabetic (I wouldn’t be surprised if I wasn’t pre-diabetic at 353 pounds, but I wouldn’t know because I avoided the doctor), and so many more health risks. Despite my health and the number on the scale, I feel more alive than ever before. Like I said, being obese has kept me back from so many things. I can ride a bike again, I can kayak without the boat sinking, I can run around with my friends, and I can ride roller coasters. The little non-scale victories made my weight loss journey worth it, whether it was fitting into a pair of jeans I never thought possible, wrapping a towel around me, or being able to be picked up by my boyfriend. I cherish all of those moments daily and they are my biggest motivation to keep up my healthy lifestyle when I feel like I just can’t do it anymore. I didn’t go on a diet, I changed my lifestyle, forever. I am happier and healthier than ever before and I hope to inspire others to do the same. Step by step, you will reach your goals and the number on the scale is nothing compared to the happiness and the victories you will accomplish!”
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