Shaequan Edmonds

GMA Weekend Kid Fit Challenge.

Shaequan Edmonds

Hometown: Parkville, Md.

Age: 16

Weight: 227 pounds

Goal: Lose 20 pounds

Shaequan's essay:

Hi, my name is Shaequan Edmonds. This is my story. I'm 16 years old, and I weigh 215 pounds. I attend George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology. My mom found your Web site and asked me if I wanted to enter the contest.

I have been overweight since I was about 10, and it has steadily increased at a fast rate. I'm not active at all except for my Acting and PE classes at school. My dad was shot and killed when I was around 7 years old. I don't think about it as much anymore, but when I do I eat sweets to help me feel better. Problem is I crave sweets all the time.

I have been in and out of the hospital since I was a baby with asthma. I have suffered many asthma attacks in my life, and deep down I know it is because of my weight. I have had low self-esteem for a while now; it was worse when I was younger, with kids calling me fat. Recently, my mom had me evaluated because I was not doing well at my old school. They found out that I have anxiety and a learning disability in math only.

Ironically, my old school was a magnet school for math. With that and my weight issues, I felt like I didn't belong. So with my families help I auditioned for the Theater Arts School in my neighborhood and I got in.

Since that time I still struggle with my grades, but I feel like I'm in a place that is accepting of who I am. I have performed in numerous musicals, improvisations and plays. I can also sing. I have all these talents, but my weight makes me shy. But when I'm on stage I can lose myself and be someone else for a moment but when it's over it is back to reality.

I feel if I lose weight no matter what, I can always be me. The me I feel is inside screaming to get out. I feel I will have a better life in terms of wellness and socializing. I would love to be chosen for the Imagine Me Challenge, because I have never had friends who understand the things I feel and go through.

My family is not in a position to be able to afford such a camp, so I figure here is my chance to help me make a change. I also have a little sister, Mi- Mi. She is 10, very active very different from me but I see that she explores the same eating habits as I do.

She is also beginning to be overweight. I don't want that life for her. I want her to be able to look up to me. I would use this challenge to teach her a better way because in my heart I believe there is. Imagine That!

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