I'm Too Young To Have High Blood Pressure

Submitted by: Katherina Colston

Jon Ledbetter's Success Story

"This was my first year in Middle School. And even though I always felt like I was a little overweight, the Summer of 2008, was when I gained most of my weight, actually, from August 2008, until February 2009, I gained over 30 pounds. The more I ate, the worse I felt so I ate even more because I felt so bad which made my problem even worse. Every day at school people made fun of me and someone was always calling me a "fat kid", so I will wear my Northface jacket to school zipped up to my neck the whole day because I was trying to hide my weight. It was hard for me to do activities with my friends in the neighborhood because I could not keeping up with them. I was happy to play video games or be on the computer. I have always played sports, but I don't play any sports in the winter, so I didn't get much exercise.

It was February 2009, that I had to go for my annual physical. When the nurse took my blood pressure she told me that is was very high. I know part of it was because I was nervous, but I know part of it was from being overweight. I was 11 years old, and 11 year old boys are not supposed to have blood pressure problems, that is for the old people. When I saw the Doctor things got worst. After he examined me and I told him that I had some concerns about my body, he looked at me and said "of course that's because you are fat" and walked away. That made me so mad that I told my mother I was never going back to that doctor. When he came back he handed me a printout of my growth chart with my BMI and he told me that at my current weight and if I never gained another pound until I was 21 years old, that is how much I should weigh as a 21 year old man! That scared me very much and opened up my eyes to the real danger of my weight problem.

It was at the same time that my mom saw an article in the newspaper about the "My Slim Valentine" that Katherina Colston, a personal trainer at Firehouse gym was offering. It was a 3 week program with personal training sessions and nutrition classes. The first time I saw a model of a 5 pound piece of fat I couldn't believe how bad it looked and it made sense that Katherina was teaching me the importance of good nutrition and her encouragement me to lose the extra weigh. She always tells me to eat more fiber and to drink more water. The first time that I exercise I was very sore the next day but after awhile I got used to it and wanted to do more and more.

It is June now and Katherina is still my personal trainer. She is helping me to reach my goal. What is my goal? To feel happy with myself! I have already lost 30 pounds by reading every label in the grocery store, choose good fats over bad fats, eating healthy snacks and making better choices when I eat out.

Do you know that I never took my shirt off at the pool because I was embarrassed about my size? And, even though I still have a little way to go, I am very proud of my self because now I'm almost there.
I am very glad that I found Katherina to help me. She has helped me learn to eat healthy, exercise and be self confident. She is not only my trainer, but she is my friend, too. I thank her for helping me change my lifestyle.

By the way, you can find me at the pool without my shirt on

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