“Fuerte” aka Big-Boned
“Fuerte” meaning strong or big-boned depending on how you’re using that word in Spanish, is what I was called many times as a kid. I was very young when someone pointed out how much bigger I was than the other kids. And ever since then I remember always struggling with my weight. It sure didn’t help that every time my brother had a baseball game we would go out to eat at my brother’s choice of place. My favorite things to eat during those days were double cheeseburgers and fries. Let’s not forget the soft drinks. Of course, my parents tried to limit my food intake and encouraged me to eat healthier but there was only so much they could do. They weren’t with me at lunch while I was in school drinking soft drinks and eating pop tarts as dessert. I was so used to finding comfort in food that I became an emotional eater. Happy, sad, angry I always resorted to food until one day I decided enough was enough. I needed to change.
The need to change arose from feeling uncomfortable in my own skin, from feeling exhausted for just going up a flight of stairs, from being unhappy with the way clothes fit me, from the dirty looks I received from others, from the unsolicited advice from the Tia (aunt) who weighed 110 pounds, from carrying the memories of how I was made fun of for always being the bigger kid. And let me assure you, there’s nothing more terrifying than weighing in, in front of your entire 3rd-grade class knowing you’re the heaviest kid. So one day, I woke up and said enough was enough.
The day I decided to hold myself accountable for the damage I had done to my body is when my life changed. I didn’t find my balance right away but I had finally started my journey. This journey was a roller coaster ride of trial and error, of trying and failing, of learning and growing. I used to be called “Fuerte” because of my size, now I am known as Fuerte because of my will power and discipline.
If you’re trying to start your journey or if you’ve already started, have patience with yourself. While your journey will be different from what mine was, know that you have the power to change and to achieve your goals. It all starts with you.