October 18th, 2011
05:43 PM ET

Human Factor: How big are your dreams?

In the Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle - injury, illness or other hardship - they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessed. This week 18-year-old author and motivational speaker Taylor LeBaron shares his weight-loss story.

When I was an obese 14-year-old, most of my dreams seemed unattainable.

Some of my “dreams” were things other teens took for granted. I wanted to walk to the mailbox without being winded. I wanted to complete a 20-yard dash with my classmates. I wanted to ride a rollercoaster and scale a rock-climbing wall instead of being told my weight was over the limit.

I dreamed of a healthy body. I was terrified of heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, all of which run in my family.

Though I weighed nearly 300 pounds, on the inside I was a fun-loving, adventurous, playful individual. I dreamed of doing everything from skydiving to ballroom dancing.


About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.