My Experience With Childhood Obesity

My purpose for pursuing a graduate degree is to be one of the best human performance specialists and confidently provide leading information and techniques to those around me. My current degree goal is to attain my master's degree in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology. As a 5-year-old living with a single mother, a healthy balanced lifestyle was not at the forefront of our worries. My mother slowly began picking up poor habits, gaining weight, and smoking cigarettes to deal with her stress. Shortly after, I also began gaining weight and had no accessible source of information to guide me. By the age of 12, I was diagnosed as clinically obese. This event set a fire that helped shape the course of my future and still drives me to this day. The habits I had built of drinking soda, eating chips, sweets, and fast food led me to ask myself a question many people don’t ask themselves until they are much older. Is this what I want for myself? I made my choice and changed my poor eating habits, replacing fast food I had been accustomed to with nutrient-dense foods and cut out soda. I began going outside every day after school playing basketball, doing sit-ups, and trying to do push-ups until my mom would call me in for dinner. This taught me the value of persistence and having to sacrifice for what I wanted. As I got older I noticed that not many other people, family, or friends had discipline when it came to proper nutrition or exercise. Gaining this discipline is difficult, but I believe that challenging yourself both mentally and physically is something everyone should do regularly. One of the main reasons I want to pursue a career in this field is to help people conquer challenges and help them grow confidence in themselves and their abilities. Life is filled with challenges; building mental fortitude from being exposed more often, learning, and growing from them is one of my favorite aspects of this profession. Knowing the best ways to improve performance while minimizing the risk of injury to help people reach their goals is also what I strive for. I want to directly impact lives, grow strong connections with people in a society where there seems to be less every day. Ultimately, I want to be that person I never had growing up for others who may be in similar situations.