I've pretty much always been heavy. Not always fat, but always a little bigger than the other kids—big boned, perhaps. And I've always loved to eat and cook. In fact, maybe I learned to cook at such a young age so that I didn't have to rely on my mom or dad to fix me things...it was a measure of food freedom. Most of the people on my mom's side of the family were also heavy, and some were extremely heavy (I didn't know the word obese at that time). They loved to eat, too.
I don't really remember my weight being much of an issue through elementary school, but it definitely became one in middle school. In the summer between 6th and 7th grade, my parents sent me to one of the coolest camps a kid could've gone to. It was located in Suffield, Connecticut, a short drive outside of Hartford, on the beautiful campus of Suffield Academy. I was there for 4 weeks. It was a Weight Watchers camp.
I don't think I told many of my friends what kind of camp it was. I was embarrassed. But I had a great time. I made a lot of friends, got a lot of exercise, learned about healthy eating, and saw a part of the country I'd never seen before. Oh, I also lost some weight. Not a lot, maybe 10 pounds, but then I wasn't really fat compared to a lot of the kids there. My parents were very excited to see me when I got home, and I was able to keep the weight off for about a year.
At the end of 7th grade, I got to take a trip to Europe with my grandfather. We were taking part in a reunion tour with the 10th Mountain Division, with whom he served during World War II. The trip took us from Munich, Germany down to Rome, and lasted nearly a month. Along the way, we retraced the steps of the 10th Mountain Division (backwards) as they fought to liberate Italy. At every step along the way, we were honored guests, with parties and banquet dinners. In the mountains of northern Italy, entire towns would shut down for a day, as the whole town came together to celebrate the return of their liberators. You can't imagine the amount of food I ate on this trip. I gained all of the weight back that I had lost the previous summer, and then some.
I held steady through the rest of that summer, and then slowly started inching up through 8th grade and into 9th grade. Along the way, my parents tried different things—we joined a gym, they had me participate in an exercise/healthy eating program at a local hospital, but the trend was always up. By the time I finished my junior year of high school I was pushing 250.
hey, i used to live in east hartford. right off of i-84 and silver lane. i covered high school sports there. i know about suffield. i covered the southern portion of the state, though. cheshire, madison, wallingford, etc.
Posted by kevin on 6/13/2008 12:36:52 PM
I remember that area as being so beautiful, and so different from what I was used to growing up in Texas. It was also fun hearing all of the northeastern accents, and having kids asking me to say things in my Texas drawl (I really don't have much of an accent).
Posted by Bryan on 6/13/2008 1:08:50 PM
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