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At sixteen years old, Micky seemed to have everything going for him. He was a high school sophomore, excelled in his classes, was a member of the football team and had a bright future ahead. To all appearences he seemed the typical high school student. But life for a teenager can be hard and some have it harder than others. When Micky started a new prescription for anxiety the summer between his freshman and sophomore years, one side effect was an increased appetite. "I was constantly hungry from when I woke up until when I went to bed. And not understanding good nutrition I, of course, opted for the $4 giant cheeseburger instead of the $8 salad. I went from physically fit to morbidly obese within a year, and my weight just kept climbing."

Micky had seen bullying in school before, but wasn't the brunt of it and had never participated in it. "I didn't notice it that much. It didn't seem extreme, that is until I became the target." As his weight went up, his self-esteme went crashing down. His sophomore year was so bad he transferred schools. When that didn't help, he left school altogether. Throughout high school Micky stayed at home, did some homeschool, saw none of his old friends. Many days he stayed in bed. He was tired and hurting, inside and out. During those two years he battled his weight, his emotions, and his health. "They all tie together. Once a downward slope starts, it's so hard to turn it around." At his highest Micky weighed well over 300 pounds and saw no hope for the future.

Micky and his mom, Leigh, had heard about the Kim Bensen Weight Loss Center and he got up the courage to visit a meeting in September of 2013. They joined that day and Micky took the opportunity given to him to change the path his life was taking.

In the beginning, especially, Micky and Leigh worked together as a team. But if you think his mom did all the work, think again. Micky preplanned his meals every day. Together they learned Kim's Options® program. They tried new recipes. Sometimes Leigh would cook, other days Micky was in charge of the meals. He wrote his own recipes. Weighed and measured. Took control of his food, his choices and, in the end, his health.

Micky got creative. He loved the Fiber Gourmet® Mac 'Mmm Cheese and added various vegetables, sometimes bacon crumbles and other times a homemade chicken cutlet. He drank tons of water and came to meetings every week. And all that hard work paid off. Over the next 16 months, Micky lost 150 lbs. He added exercise and now works out six days a week at the gym!

But success didn't just come in weight loss. As his health improved, so did his self-esteem. As Micky said, everything ties together. Since hitting goal, he has come to the Center with his bright smile and gentle demeanor to lend a helping hand and to encourage others in their journeys.

Micky shared his story at our Grand Re-Opening this past September. He continues to touch many lives and inspire those around him. Last month he got his driver's license and ... his GED!

Weight loss for anyone is a lot of hard work. But for someone young, someone with debilitating emotional challenges, it can seem insurmountable. Well done Micky! We all love you and are so proud!

I'm sure Micky would want me to say this to anyone with emotional scars —  When the future seems dim, when nothing seems to be going right, don't give up. Reach out for help. Keep fighting.
Your future is bright! You just can't see it yet.


Come on ... it's YOUR turn now!