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One 7th Grader's Story to Health

How did I get started on a healthier path?

My mom and I dreaded going to the pediatrician every year because we always got a lecture. I had been way off of the BMI charts since I was 4 years old.

In the spring of my 5th grade year and I was trying out for the All-Star Baseball season. I made the team but my dad noticed that I was struggling with keeping up. I am a catcher and the constant up and down was bothering my knees because of the extra weigh that I was carrying and I just couldn't get around the base path as fast as my teammates.

It was time to make a change.

My dad and I started a challenge, it began with giving up sugar. We decided to start with 60 days and see what happened. We had to talk to my mom and she got rid of all of the bad sugary, sweets that we had in our house and replaced them with healthy choices like fresh fruit.

Sixty days went by and people started noticing that I was losing weight, coaches, other parents, even some of my friends. I was beginning to feel good about myself but giving up the sugar was not enough. I had to give up some of my other favorite foods that were full of calories like queso dip, ranch and pizza. I continued making healthier choices. I felt so much better playing baseball in the middle of the hot summer after I had eaten a grilled chicken salad instead of a greasy hamburger with fries!

In May of this year, it will be two years since I have made these healthy changes. I feel so much better. My clothes fit and feel better. It was so discouraging to go shopping and struggle to find something to fit. Overall, I feel better about myself.

To me, it is important to be healthy not only to play sports better but to take care of your body! Your health is your life. The damage that is done to your body can be lifelong. My mom is a nurse so I am constantly hearing about kids that are developing diabetes at an early age, are on cholesterol medicine early in life and I knew that I didn't want this to be me!

Although I have lost 22 pounds and I am back on the BMI charts, my journey is not complete! This is a lifelong change that I have had to make and it is so worth it! I encourage you to find a friend, buddy or adult, reach out to your pediatrician and make a challenge! It is so much easier if you have someone to do it with!

Learn more about how the Healthier Generation Benefit supports kids like me.

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