By Jonathan Ruano

About 4 years ago I made a pledge to the Living Person to lose 15 pounds. Jurell and I made a few videos of the progress, they were never completed because I never achieved the goal.

I have been talking about losing weight and being healthier for years.

I have been “fat” for the great majority of my life. Society, my family, and the mirror have never failed to remind me about my weight. I can guess that I am not the only one with this struggle, in fact maybe many of you have had similar experiences. But 2017 is here and the promise of a new year makes me excited for what God has for me, and here is why.

When I was a teenager I enjoyed a number of summers in Delaware. The beach was an everyday occurrence and so was my decision to wear a shirt or not. I was often made fun of when I was younger about my weight and the comments made me very self-conscious. I always wore a shirt and always claimed it was to protect me from the sun.

As I got older the jokes didn’t stop. I desperately wanted to think differently of myself. I made a promise that I would try to love and embrace who I was. From then on I would embrace my “fatness.” At every opportunity that presented itself I took my shirt off or made a joke about how big I was. I wanted to let people think that I was comfortable with myself.

I knew well these were defense mechanisms.

These mechanisms have been in place for years now, I have perfected my fat jokes routine, I have embraced the “no shirt” look, but to be honest the jokes still hurt. What hurts the most is thinking about what I have been doing to myself. The junk food, the amount of food I consume, the lack of exercise, all these things are leading me away from being a “Living Person” because I might get sick or die. Years of lacking self-confidence have impacted me in many ways,

even far enough to cloud my knowledge if I am good or worthy.

In today’s gospel Nathaniel, when hearing that Jesus is from Nazareth, asks “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Nathaniel quickly finds out that something great comes from Nazareth. That same Christ that presents himself to Nathaniel, presents himself to me daily.

He is the one that gives me self-worth. He is the one who has helped me realize that I am not on this journey of weight management to look a certain way. Rather, I am on this journey of weight management to live to my potential. Weight has restricted me many times from living and giving my all to everything I do.

It can no longer be an excuse.

By working on this aspect of my life I hope it will help me be motivated more to work on all aspects of my life, to truly become the Living Person I set out to be 4 years ago. It's not to lose 15 lbs, but be a healthier me. It's not a New Years resolution, but a resolution for life. Always AMDG.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

JONATHAN RUANO

Jonathan is a campus minister at Gonzaga College High School in Washington DC. On his free time he enjoys spending time with his family and friends and if it's around a meal even better. He is a huge sports fan, soccer being his favorite. His faith is the cornerstone of his life and tries to live by the philosophy "Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam", for the greater glory of God.


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