So….obviously my name is Andrew Babeu. I’m a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) student and competitor for Team Dave Trader Jiu Jitsu in Manassas, Virginia. Before I started training Jiu-Jitsu, I was a fat, sloppy, 15 year-old, 265 lb “wannabe gangster” and the only place I was headed was into more trouble.
When I was younger, I had always been a pretty good student and steered clear of trouble. Things changed quite a bit after my father died following a long battle with leukemia. Without my dad’s influence, I developed into somewhat of a trouble maker. I’m not trying to make any excuses for myself. I made the bad decisions. I just want you to have an idea of where I was coming from and where I am headed. My situation at school deteriorated in my freshman year. I started hanging out with the wrong crowd. Don’t get the wrong impression – it wasn’t really where I fit in. But I wanted to be in with what I thought was the “cool” crowd, and I paid the price for it.
My mom, a researcher for the Army, hoped she could straighten me out with some old fashioned military discipline and enrolled me in military school over the summer. She thought it would be great – I hated it. After that summer semester, my mom wanted to send me back to military school for the next school year, but when I told her she would have to physically force me to go back, she enrolled me at Emmanuel Christian School in Manassas, VA instead. Needless to say, “wannabe gangsters” don’t really fit in at Emmanuel Christian. Although I have to admit I was still somewhat of a troublemaker, I saw a great deal of hypocrisy on display during my time there.
Miserable and outcast at school, I wasn’t doing much to stay active. Although I have been overweight for most of my life, things got really bad after I got expelled from school. My mom punished me for getting expelled and acting out by taking away most of the freedom I had. Being hard-headed, I just adapted to her rules by staying home and eating, sometimes out of boredom and other times because I really didn’t have much of anything else that I enjoyed anymore. My mom started to notice and pointed out how much weight I had put on. She signed me up for a gym; she sent me to the doctor and to nutritionists; I tried every diet out there; and despite playing sports for nearly every season of my life, nothing seemed to work. I finally just accepted that I would be fat for the rest of my life.
To be continued……