Come on, 224!

Now that I’m at 225, what I want more than anything is to see the dial move again. It took four weeks of changing my eating habits and exercising regularly to get to this stage, so I should be happy with my progress, right?

There’s something about a nice round number. 10,000 steps a day will help you burn one pound a week. 10,000 hours of practice will make you an expert on something. 10,000 is a nice round number. Not 9,999 steps, not 10,023 hours, just 10,000.

I wasn’t very good at math. I’ve never been any good at math.

When I was in the third grade, I struggled with fractions. They were explained to me over and over again but I just couldn’t make the numbers work right. The answers were never correct no matter how closely I followed what was being told to me. This created stressful moments in my life.

The man who is the father of my brothers decided that what I needed was incentive.

So one afternoon as I was struggling with fractions in my room, at my desk, he placed a bowl of food next to me and told me that I wasn’t allowed to eat it until I finished my homework. And I had to get each problem right.

But strangely, the numbers did not just magically come to me. I tried and I kept getting them wrong. And I just kept getting more frustrated and upset. And the worse part was I wasn’t allowed to eat until I got them right. I was nine years old.

It’s so difficult for me to accept that things don’t simply happen automatically because I want them to. They take time and effort. And what I still can’t seem to explain to a lot of people is that just because they want something for me, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen the way they want it to. Or if it doesn’t happen the way they expect it to, they accuse me of being lazy or just not trying hard enough.

The fact is the world works a certain way whether you like it to or not. I couldn’t just learn fractions because food was placed next to me. And I can’t just burn the fat away because I eat well and exercise. My body works a certain way. It naturally wants to keep some of my fat because that is how millions of years of evolution works.

I have to fight hard not to give up. And I have to remember that I am not answerable to anyone else. No one will ever hold so much power over me again and now, after nearly thirty years, I know the difference between a punishment and a reward.

Published by Nathanielle Sean Crawford

I was born in Bennington, Vermont. I spent some of my childhood in North Adams, Massachusetts. As a new decade looms over us in this age of uncertainty, I have made some decisions about the direction my life is heading based on the lessons that I have learned. I hope I inspire people to take charge of their own lives and to be proud of who they are.

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