Michael Watson used to be an overweight teenager, but all this changed when he decided that enough was enough. Now, the young man is almost unrecognizable after he lost more than a hundred pounds!
Two years ago, Michael was at his heaviest. The 6-foot-4 inch teen weighed 325 pounds, and he was often bullied in school for his weight.
“My self-confidence was zero,” the 18-year-old Canton, Ohio native said.
In an interview with Fox 8, Michael admitted that he loved to eat. In fact, his favorite food was pizza, which he ate almost everyday.
The McKinley Senior High School student’s weight loss journey wasn’t prompted by the bullying, but rather, by when he took a hard look at himself.
“One day, I looked in the mirror and I was like ‘Yeah, you’ve gotten pretty far,'” he said.
To help him lose weight, Michael made a commitment to walk to and from school every day, which takes about 20 minutes each way. No matter the weather conditions, Michael didn’t break this routine. During rainy days, people would even ask him if he wanted a ride, but he always declined.
In addition to walking, the overweight teenager adopted a healthier lifestyle of eating. He ditched his favorite pizza and pasta combo and replaced it with oatmeal for breakfast and eggs for lunch. Dieting took discipline, especially when the high school student was working his after-school job at a fast food restaurant.
Michael maintained this lifestyle from his sophomore year until his senior year, and his hard work paid off. Now, when he walks the stage at his graduation later this month, the teen will be 115 pounds lighter!
His incredible weight loss didn’t only impact his health positively, but it also helped improve the social aspects of his life. Michael used to be so afraid of approaching girls when he was still an overweight teenager, but now, he says that he is surging with confidence and is having no problems asking anyone out.
Terrance Jones, a family specialist and graduation coach at Michael’s school, is one of the many people who were inspired by the teen’s story.
“It’s an example of courageous personal development that’s rare for a high school student. Mike’s decision to the initiative to live a healthier lifestyle and to stay consistent with it will always stay with me,” he said.
Michael’s story became the catalyst to the creation of the “McKinley Senior Limelight” on the school’s Facebook page, which highlights senior students’ different stories.
Michael belongs to his school’s vocational culinary arts program and he plans to work a full-time job after graduation. The young man also wants to pursue his dream of becoming an actor, after being inspired by a drama course that he took last year.
Michael may have already succeeded in his goal, but he says that he wasn’t always perfect when it came to dieting. But, whenever he lapsed, he would always tell himself that “Every day is a new day.” And with that kind of mindset, the teen was able to see a significant improvement in his physical health.
“Anybody can do it if they put their mind to it,” he said.
Watch Michael’s interview below with Fox 8 to learn more about his journey to fitness.
Talk about determination! Before it was too late, Michael decided that he needed to change from being an overweight teenager into a fit young man, and he succeeded in doing so because of his unwavering dedication.
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