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How Maroon 5 helped me lose weight and impress the girl

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 19 2014 11:10 a.m. MDT

Many modern American kids are overweight, and exercise has been labeled as a good way for them to shed pounds. But they need motivation. Here's one story about how motivation helped me lose weight and believe in myself.

BrianAJackson, Getty Images

Maroon 5 has always meant a lot to me.

They were the first band I saw live in concert. We packed into a college arena to hear Adam Levine belt out 2005 tunes about love, heartbreak and getting over a lost one.

Little did I know that seven years later, Levine and his alternative pop band members would help me drop 90 pounds and impress the girl I so passionately adored.

From out of the womb, I was a heavy baby. Folklore from the family said I floated between 9 and 10 pounds heavy upon first entering the world. Growing up in a small New England town with a population less than 20,000, many of my elementary and high school classmates always knew me as the fat kid. My recreational basketball coach referred to me and another heavy kid as “The Twin Towers.” Other sports coaches championed for me to play football or take up wrestling. I was rolled down the hill in a blood red fleece jacket and called “the frosted gumball."

This isn’t that unusual of a trend in modern-day America. Overweight kids have reported seeing high rates of bullying and teasing, a new survey found. And kids’ waistlines haven’t gone down too much in the last couple of years. Though they aren’t expanding, a new study found that they’re holding steady with about one-third of kids ages 6 to 18 being labeled as “abdominally obese,” according to HealthDay.

Some parents may not even realize that their kids are obese. Nor do some kids. And parents have been cautioned on putting their kids on diets, since it could result in eating disorders for adults and youngsters, according to the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior.

I always knew I had a big body. Words like “husky” or “big-boned” were equal to “fat” and “wide-load” in my mind. My mom knew I was overweight and tried her best to get me to drop the pounds. My aunt was especially honest about my size, telling me on nearly every occasion that I had my life together, but I needed to lose weight — which can be damaging to a person's health, especially in young girls, according to an article on Deseret News National. My cousin always looked to help me drop pounds, saying my life would change greatly if I did. But no matter how many times someone suggested I lose weight, I stayed with the status quo.

I watched girls blow by me and find other hunks to hold onto. I was always put in the front seat of the car because I was too big to squeeze into the back with my buddies.

I watched the scale tick up and stop dead cold on 309.

That’s when I decided to make a change.

In summer 2012, I had an internship in Erie, Pennsylvania. Without many friends — other than my roommates — to spend time with, I decided to take up a new hobby: running.

A recent study by the Stanford University School of Medicine found that people are gaining so much weight in America because of lack of exercise, and not because of their diets. People are staying still, causing the calories of the sinful sugars to conjure added poundage to the gut.

Running helped me buck that trend.

I didn’t necessary write myself a diet — though I did increase the amount of fiber — and ate mostly what foods I wanted. Burgers, grilled chicken, hot dogs and tuna fish sandwiches made up most meal lists. The diet didn’t matter. It was the exercise pattern — running for an hour for six days of the week — that helped shave off pounds.

But how did I keep the regimen going? When it’s storming outside and all signs are pointing towards staying inside instead of speeding over to the gym, how did I keep myself going? What was my motivation?

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