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Name: Natt Smith
Before Weight: 211 pounds
How I Gained It: I have been a bit heavy my entire life and coming from a family of naturally thin people, I would often ask the question "Why me?" When it came to food I never felt satisfied and I would beg my mom to give me seconds or thirds. She did her best to distract me, but when she wouldn't give in I would scream and cry till she gave me what I wanted. If she didn't, I went in the fridge when she wasn't looking and took it on my own. When I was in second grade, a schoolmate told me I was fat, so I started a series of very unhealthy yo-yo diets. It continued on throughout my teens, when I ballooned to 211 pounds. The problem with overeating is the vicious cycle it creates. I was depressed because of how I was getting teased at school -- it was so bad that I memorized where certain bullies were throughout the day so I could try my best to avoid them. To numb the pain I would go home and drown my sorrows in a box of blueberry Pop-Tarts and a large Little Caesars pizza, which would only propel me to feel worse for the amount of calories I consumed. The pain never subsided.
The Breaking Point: I was walking down the science hall and one of the notorious school bullies poured milk over my head and followed me around making mooing sounds, pausing only intermittently to ask why I was so fat. I went home and had a good cry, and from that moment on I decided I was no longer going to give the power to other people's cruel words. I wanted to be the healthy, beautiful person I knew I was on the inside.
How I Lost It: I started off walking. I would walk for four to five miles a day. When I became stronger, I started kick-boxing classes and running on a treadmill. I figured out my resting metabolic rate, and would not eat calories beyond what I burned. I had lost 56 pounds when I stepped foot into high school, and for the first time in my life I was thriving. Unfortunately, over the course of high school and university I ended up gaining most of the weight back, as is the case for many people who lose a significant amount of weight.
In 2009, I moved to Busan, South Korea. Deciding to embrace the new change in my life, I continued my journey to become a healthy adult. I thought cardio was the key to weight loss, and while it is important, it was when I started doing a combination of cardio and strength training that I started seeing real results. About eight months ago I started researching a plant-based, whole-foods diet. I watched documentaries, became part of the vegetarian movement here in Busan and read everything I could before deciding that veganism was the right option for my life and what I wanted out of it. I have since lowered my blood pressure and decreased my body fat. I wake up feeling energized and fall asleep easily. I have stronger and healthier hair, skin and nails, and I have managed to get to a very healthy 137 pounds. I have never been happier, and I will carry on my life fighting the good fight for a healthier mind and body.
After Weight: 135 pounds
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