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From a very young age, I have always had a negative relationship with my weight. Ever since I was a kid, I have always been heavier. Though this recent experience has changed my relationship with my weight and inspired me to think long and hard about what food I eat and how much I eat. 

This past winter, my father received a troubling diagnosis of congestive heart failure (CHF). A month ago, I had a doctor’s visit where I reviewed my family history: one that includes cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and congestive heart failure. At just 20 years old, I am mostly healthy. However, the only piece seeming to be missing from my overall health and wellness is my weight.

I would be lying if I said this was the first time that I had tried to lose weight. Usually, whenever I went on a diet, I never stayed on it long enough to make a lasting impact on my weight. Meanwhile, I started to associate food with stress and shame, and eventually made a lasting habit of eating to relieve stress, whether I was hungry or not. It led to me blowing off my diet, always reminding myself I could start tomorrow. It led to secret binges at the McDonald’s Drive-Thru or sneaking in some junk food from the Dollar Tree. My weight skyrocketed in the fall semester of my freshman year at college, during which I had gained about 15 lbs in a matter of months. Once again, I vowed to try to lose weight to bring myself back to the weight I had before going to college. Now, almost two years later, I find myself prompted to lose weight once again. I think my weight has been a sensitive topic for me, prompting me to get defensive about it when brought up, especially amongst my family. However, I have decided to be more transparent in my weight management and hopefully, my weight-loss journey will be successful this time. 

I hold no shame about my weight, but I will hold myself accountable for taking care of myself and my body. I think before I had very little regard for myself and my body. I was slightly embarrassed when it came to looking at myself with my weight now. Seeing myself in pictures was hard before. But I hope to lose weight and also be honest with myself about my self-confidence when it comes to my physical appearance. It will take a lot more than wishful thinking to make my weight-loss journey a reality.

 

Hello! My name is Tayo Omoniyi, and I am from Tinley Park, Illinois. I am a 2nd-year student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, studying Biology with a pre-medicine track. My passions are writing, travel and medicine. My ultimate career goal is to become a pediatric doctor. Outside of school, I love spending time with my family and friends. I have two younger sisters.
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