Jesse was the fattest kid in my class back when we were in high school, and I was the next in line to him. Probably, it was our features that naturally pulled us towards each other or the fact that we shared the same hobby which was ‘eating.’ Well, Jesse was worse at eating than I was.
Jesse would eat a large food in the morning as breakfast, pack a lunch bag with a variety of fatty foods, and still bring lots of protein bars to chew at every hour. The excess sugar in these protein bars when not burnt as energy gets converted to fat, adding to the fat in his body.
We eat the chocolate bars together. I was practically the same as him and slightly different at the same time. I eat quite as often as I could, but far less than he does at once. But you should know that my food would be heavy too. Many at times we would get sent to detention for eating during a class.
Mrs. Cornwell, who happened to manage the detention, was also a plump woman who liked the food. She would welcome us with open arms as if welcoming one’s best customer to a store.
“My two favorite detainees,” she would start immediately she saw us. “What do we have today?”
Jesse and I would roll our eyes and give each other a high five. We never hated detention; instead, we looked forward to it.
I do not know how Jesse did it. During our last years in high school, Jesse started to shed weight a lot. And by the time we were in our final year, he was as slim as the rest of the guys, leaving me alone with my fat body.
At the beginning when he started to shed those weights, he would tell me about some exercises he was doing, and how mountain biking helped him a lot.
Perhaps at some point, he must have felt like I wasn’t doing something about my fat body; he also started to distance himself. I didn’t blame him though. His new set of friends didn’t move with people like me. Therefore, he would have had to choose between them and me. Who would choose me though? I wouldn’t choose myself over the fun those guys promised.
My last school year was terrible. I had no friend, and I was constantly abused and sneered at by my mates; that almost made me want to stop coming to school.
As at then, I had resigned myself to my fat body, and I continued to eat more every day, adding pounds of flesh over pounds of flesh.
I became fatter than Jesse used to be and I didn’t care. I had no reason to. It was only after my breakdown that I realized how much I had almost eaten myself to an early grave.
The doctor recommended quite some exercises that could help me shed my weight naturally, but the one that caught my eyes among the others was mountain biking. Jesse had mentioned it before, and it was one of those exercises he said he did that helped him out. So I thought maybe I would give it a try too. And for the first time, I felt like giving shedding some fat a try.
Few weeks after I was released from the hospital I signed up with a gym, where I got a personal trainer helping me with building my stamina and strength. Then I approached a mountain biking coach. At first, he said I was too big to ride.
“That’s the major reason I wanted to ride,” I told him.
“Not because you like the sport or you have a passion for it?”
“It’s a great sport, sure, and I admire people that are into it, but as you said, it isn’t the kind of sport that appeals to people of our stature.”
“So what are you doing here if you know that?”
“Because I believe I can make it a sport for me. I want to burn this fat in me, and I’m certain mountain biking can help me.”
“It’s too much trouble kid.”
“Please, don’t turn me down… I need your help.”
He didn’t say anything for a while, and I knew he was weighing all his angles. He had a choice to turn me down, and I was sure he was going to turn me down. He looked up and stared at me. Maybe he felt I was out of the little office at the mountain base to kill myself, and I do not know. Perhaps if he knew I wouldn’t kill myself over anything he would not have said what he said.
“Okay… I will give you a try. But you should know I will not hold your hands while you ride, or climb on your back to teach you how to handle a bike…..”
“…. I have ridden before. I know how to handle the bike.”
He smiled briskly. “Okay… fine. That should make the job easier then.
So I started hitting the gym in the mornings. The daring run from my house to the gym started paying off in my level of stamina and weight loss. I started feeling confident and more productive.
In the afternoon, I would ride to the nearest mountain for training. My coach would lead on a bike while I followed on mine. When he was sure I could take the simple rides across the mountain, he started to introduce task to the rides. Simple tasks.
I started to live more on protein bars and reduced my intake of food that has a high level of calories, and also burning the excess proteins through exercises so that they never store up to become fat.
A couple of months later, I started to feel good. Jesse came around to support me. His slim, fine figure gave me the desire to do more. He became my friend once more, helping me through the process.
Instead of food, mountain biking became the thing Jesse, and I shared a passion for.And when I felt confident with my almost slim body, I started doingsmall jumps with my bike.