My journey began in the third grade when I switched schools; after filling out my health forms, the doctor told my mother that I was overweight. Although I was very active and played sports, my eating habits were careless. Diabetes became a possibility, (especially considering it runs in my family) but I disregarded that.
At this point in the school year everyone had their own cliques, making me an outcast. I eventually worked up the nerve to try and be friends with the “popular” kids, and I will never forget the nickname they gave me that stuck from 3rd - 8th grade:
they called me “chins;” every day, of every school year, relentlessly, along with many others. Lost and upset, my eating habits worsened. I would dream of being muscular, but I was without any confidence or self-esteem that made me feel I could do so.
Upon entering 9th grade, I weighed in around 250+ lbs. That first day of school I felt the worst I ever had in my life. My first class was global history, and as the teacher called out names to familiarize faces, I took a seat in the back. When he said my name he looked up and did not see my hand raised. As he repeated my name, a little laughter was heard, and a voice came out from seemingly nowhere, saying “That’s the fat kid in the back.”
As a teenager, my life felt over at that point, but it was not the end of the abuse for my first day. After entering the gymnasium of about 300 kids, I took a seat next to some football players. One turned and said, “What are you doing here, you don’t look very athletic.” In total shock and embarrassment, I put my head on my chest and didn't look up until the bell rang. During this time I was working at a deli where I would indulge my stresses, and eat constantly. Shortly before September of junior year the deli closed, and I began as an intern at NYCPT, later to be hired.
Every day from 3rd grade until junior year I was picked on, constantly, losing count of the cruel nick-names and fat jokes. At an all time low, my only escape was work: the one place where I was not just an employee, but a part of a larger family. Like I said, I always dreamed of having a nice body that I could feel comfortable in, but never had the drive, ambition, or confidence to push myself toward my goal.
Dr. Piazza had proposed a challenge, an office wide version of “The Biggest Loser,” complete with a cash prize. Seeking to finally reach my goal, I tried doing it on my own, but soon realized everyone was seeing results except me. Contemplating giving up, I decided to take a chance and ask Dr. Piazza for help.
From that point on he became not only my boss, but also my mentor, my drive, my confidence, and my ultimate source of success; turning to him was the best decision of my life.
Dr. Piazza created a Nutrition Reform Diet Plan for me, along with a comprehensive workout regimen. Every Saturday was training day, and whether we hit the gym, or used our office training equipment, Dr. Piazza and I were always up and working out by 7 A.M. I appreciated the way he always pushed and motivated me.
Dr. Piazza guided me through the purchasing the foods necessary to sustain my weight loss. By introducing me to a new world of healthy eating, I learned about the vitamins and proteins that were found in certain foods. As outlined in the Nutrition Reform's shopping list, I learned about the anti-oxidants in 85% dark chocolate, and super-grains like quinoa. My palate opened up to new flavors! It didn't feel like a diet anymore, but instead became a new way of life. Every question I had was answered in depth, and delivered with genuine and sincere words, as if he was doing it for himself.
The pounds flew off! With a total loss of 21 lbs. in 8 weeks, I actually won the competition! With a newly established confidence, I never stopped working on my health; I continue to follow Dr.Piazza’s advice, and he always pushes me to work harder. Over a year later, I've lost upwards of 75 lbs. I have met my personal goal, but to this day, I’m never quite satisfied. I am still making improvements; between using my work environment to my advantage, such as our Wellness Center’s exclusive equipment, and by making sure to reference Dr. Piazza’s Wellness Blog, I continue to learn, and improve.
I owe my thanks and success to Dr. Piazza, and all of the staff at NYCPT, for always supporting me and congratulating me on every milestone I reach. I have a new life, new health, new look, and restored confidence in myself.
To all our patients on the journey to losing weight, and living a healthy life, I want you to know anything is possible. You are never too old, or too injured to turn your life around. The only way to go is up, and at NYCPT, Dr. Piazza and the staff are behind you 100% of the way. Thank you Dr. Piazza for changing and increasing my quality of life. I am the healthiest I have ever been, and it feels great. Much love to my NYCPT family.