I should have known when I bought them that the size 30 pants would never fit me. But, I liked buying pants in a smaller size than my 190-pound, 5-foot-6-inch frame needed. It helped me believe I wasn’t really as fat as I was at that point. However, getting those size 30 pants was probably the best and worst choice I have ever made. After quite a few minutes of hard work I had proudly stuffed myself into those new pants. I was about ready to pull out of my driveway, when a combination of the most hilarious and depressing thing happened: the pants ripped. Generally, I would have laughed to no end if this would have happened to anybody else but me, but since it indeed happened to me, I was just kind of shocked and disgusted with myself. I can honestly say that for most of my life I have lived to eat. My parents didn’t really care that I was a chubby kid, because they always told me that I would grow up to be tall and I would even out. I believed them, so I ate whatever I wanted no matter how unhealthy it was. But, as the quote goes, we should eat to live, not live to eat. Coming from a Hispanic family, I have been blessed to be around people who know how to cook. My grandmother even makes artisan bread and cheese. And as cliché as it sounds, my mom is the best cook in my book. However, at a certain point I stopped attributing the good feelings I got from eating with family to just eating in general. After my mom died from cancer when I was 13 years old, nobody really cooked at my house. We just ate sandwiches or whatever we could throw in the microwave. I definitely missed the meals my mom used to make, but I got to a point where food was just a form of comfort. Through high school, seeing food as comfort only got worse. I had friends whose parents didn’t cook for them at home, or for various reasons, they really seemed to enjoy the fast food lifestyle. I got sucked in, and probably went to get Sonic, BK, or Wendy’s about four or five times a week. The fact that I worked at Subway didn’t help much either, because even though there are healthy options available, I wasn’t really in a mindset to actually want to eat healthy. I was enjoying the free soda and sandwiches way more than I should have, and that showed. I weighed more than 190 pounds the fall semester of my freshman year at Seward. After the day my pants ripped, I certainly couldn’t ignore my weight problem anymore. That semester I was also in a psychology class with SCCC instructor Katy Redd, and she had given the class an assignment in which we all had to set a goal for ourselves and keep track of it for a month. My goal, naturally, was to lose some weight. I started by wanting to lose 30 pounds and get down to 160. I completely changed my diet, cut out soda and started going to the Wellness Center to do cardio workouts. It was hard at first, but I stuck to it and some of those changes became easy after a while. I managed to reach my goal, and I was happy with myself. And people around me also noticed. But even though I managed to lose so much weight, I wanted to lose more. During the summer I extended my goal and strived to get down to 140 pounds. I also worked out several hours a day, played tennis with my friends and ate healthy. Towards the end of the summer, I managed to get down to 133 pounds, which is also where my current weight is. People have asked me a variety of questions regarding my weight and how I did it, ranging from, “What did you do?” to “What pills did you take?” or even a comical one when somebody I knew asked me what happened to my fat, as if my fat was a pair of shoes. In the end, losing weight might be hard, but for me, it was not as much of a challenge as people make it out to be. One has to set reasonable goals, do small changes in order to make them everyday habits and stick to what they’re trying to do, no matter how frustrating things may get. I’m glad that with the help and support from my friends and family I have been able to reach my goals, and have also been able to influence them to make more healthy changes in their diet. My family no longer buys soda, which not only saves us money, but also helps us keep the weight off. My sister, Anahy, now cooks at home more often in order to make sure that what we’re eating is healthy, and when I go out to eat with my friends, they are also now more aware of what they’re paying for. It’s funny that a pair of ripped pants had so much influence on me, but in the end I truly am glad they did because I don’t know what possible health problems being overweight could have caused for me. I’m glad that sign helped me set a goal for myself, and lose more than 60 pounds with a change of diet and more physical activity.