It's tough to be young and fat. You're prone to getting bullied because of your size and appearance and this is exactly what Edgar Hernandez went through when he was 16 years old. Hernandez, who then stood at 5-foot and 9 inches and weighed about 370 pounds, was frequently bullied by other kids in school because of his "wobbling fat." The bullying has eventually affected Hernandez's self-esteem and he even needed to see a therapist to help him deal with depression.
Being overweight did not just affect the teen psychologically though. He was also diagnosed with prediabetes at age 16. Prediabetics do not have diabetic blood sugar levels but they're at elevated risks of developing type 2 diabetes. Their condition also makes them 50 percent more at risk of stroke and heart disease than individuals who do not have the condition.
Risk factors for prediabetes include a family history of diabetes and being overweight or obese. Hernandez incidentally came from a family with weight problems and both of his parents were diagnosed of type 2 diabetes.
Despite Hernandez's apparent elevated risks of developing prediabetes because of his weight and having a family history of diabetes, the result of the blood test still came as a shock to him and his family but instead of wallowing in self-pity, the teen decided to do something about his situation. He decided to stop blaming others about his condition and took responsibility.
He started an exercise regimen, ditched the processed foods and replaced them with chicken, fruits and vegetables. He also started to walk adding distance until he managed to walk around 2 miles in a day. He also started to run in intervals and months later, was able to run a mile. In April, he ran his first half-marathon and planning to participate in another marathon soon.
Changing his bad eating habits and adopting a more physically active lifestyle have finally paid off as Hernandez , now 18 years old, now weighs 185 pounds and managed to drop nearly 200 pounds within two years.
He is also fit enough to change his 48-inch pants and double XL shirts to 33-inch pants and medium sized shirts.
"I won against obesity and now I have one motive and that's to change the world and help people the best I can to stay healthy," Hernandez wrote on his Facebook page. "I remember the dark times of being made fun of... I can't allow that for anyone. Use it all as energy, surpass your fears and go out and change."