As a young teenager in middle school, I suffered from extreme childhood obesity. During the summer before my freshman year in high school, I met Jared at a health fair in Kentucky when visiting my grandmother. Out of all the people, medications, and gadgets at this health fair, Jared was the most inspirational and realistic of it all. I got to hear his story, see his vision, and live his dream despite the difference in our weight loss totals.
After his speech about the Subway diet, exercise, and motivation, I was fortunate enough to talk to Jared and receive an autographed picture of both of us. “All it requires is a will and plan best-suited for you,” Jared said. “I have faith in you and know that you will be successful.”
To hear Jared, a celebrity and man of character, have confidence in me instantly sent my confidence through the roof. From that day forward, I changed my life for the better.
I went on the Atkins Diet, which included at least one Subway salad per day. My workouts increased dramatically. I would swim twice a day competitively for four hours and then did weights and cardio for another two to three hours. In the summer before my freshman year in high school, I lost eighty pounds with my plan, work, and inspiration from Jared. I have kept the weight off and continue to lose weight.
Currently, I am a freshman in college and still frequent the local Subway often for a salad or two. This reflection comes during my fourth year of keeping it off, and I am so happy that both Jared and I could successfully carry out our plans. But the words Jared told me ring loudly in my mind to this day and serve as inspiration to me still. I framed that picture of us and look at it constantly to remind myself of my goals, dreams, achievements, and positive outlook on life.
When I reflect on my success, I am reminded of a quote my Abraham Lincoln. He said, “The reason why I am a success today is because I once had a friend, who believed in me, and did not have the heart to let him down.”
Thank you for being my friend and inspiration Jared, and I have not let you down.