Two years ago, weighing in at 335 pounds, Michael Watson was overweight and in a rut with no self confidence. He was always bullied at school because of his weight and always had his mates make fun of him.
One day, the 6-foot-4 inch teen decided to make a change in his life and never looked back again. As it turned out, it was the best decision of his life. “My self-confidence was zero,” Watson told CNN.
The teen decided to make a commitment to walk to and from school every day, about 20 minutes each way. Apart from that, Michael also made some changes in his diet.
One time, a classmate told Michael he had something on his chin. When Watson rubbed his chin, the boy told him, “‘No, third one down. That really hurt.” Michael said.
But it was instances like that that fueled his desire to stay committed to his weight loss journey even more.
Now Michael is a senior at McKinley High School and has lost 115 pounds. He says much of his success was as a result of walking the 20 minutes to and from school every day, rain or shine.
Even if Watson wanted to take a day off, he couldn’t. “I didn’t even know when the bus came,” he said.
Michael also revealed that it took a lot of discipline to remain committed to his goal especially with his diet considering his part-time after-school job was at a fast-food restaurant.
Terrance Jones, who works as a family specialist and graduation coach at Michael’s school said that Watson’s story stuck with him. Speaking to CNN, he said, “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.”
Jones revealed that Michael’s story was motivation for him to create a “McKinley Senior Limelight” on Facebook to showcase students’ stories and Watson was a recent feature.
“After years of being overweight, Michael took matters into his own hands. He adopted a healthier lifestyle of eating and exercise by taking the road less traveled…” the post reads.