300-Plus Pound Student Exercised In Secret - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

300-Plus Pound Student Exercised In Secret

(CNN) -- When Jamil Macias looked down at his new sports uniform, he felt embarrassed by the size on his tag -- he knew it was the largest one on his middle-school baseball team.

Still, Macias' friends called him a giant "teddy bear," and he had gotten used to being one of the bigger kids.

But by seventh grade, his lifestyle was changing dramatically because of his weight. After years of team sports, he started looking for excuses to skip practice and games. As his interest dwindled, he chose to drop out altogether -- first from baseball, then, soccer and finally basketball. From then on, the gain accelerated. As a junior in high school, he weighed more than 300 pounds.

While his peers were trying out the latest Abercrombie & Fitch fads, he was trying to find pants large enough to fit his 44-inch waist.

"I felt a little bit isolated from society," he said. "After school, people would get ready for sports practices, and I would go home and do homework."

Yet it wasn't until Macias vacationed in Hawaii at age 17 that he really grasped the reality of his size.

While looking at the digital photos from the trip -- initially intending to show them to friends -- he was shocked by his appearance. "I never took very many pictures of myself," he said. "When I looked at them, I was too embarrassed to post them online. ... I (thought), 'Whoa, this is what I look like?' "

And soon after, during a routine physical, the doctor's scale showed 313 pounds.

That number, and the Hawaii photos, convinced him that he had to change.

But resolving to lose weight was nothing new -- on previous visits, his doctor had talked to him about going on a diet or getting a referral for a dietitian. Throughout high school, he'd sporadically headed to the gym, aware of his expanding size, except the habit never stuck.

But now he had motivation. Macias went home that night and began exercising in his garage to avoid being seen at a gym.

Unfortunately his third session on the elliptical ended badly; the strain of his weight broke the machine almost in half and landed him on the floor. His family wasn't there to witness it, but he felt humiliated when he thought about going inside to face them.

"I was really embarrassed because I had never thought in my mind that I would be big enough to break an exercise machine," he said.

So he began to work out by walking at night. After the disastrous session with the elliptical, he was careful to keep a cover between himself and any potential stares. >>>CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STORY

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