Just when I thought my life was over, I found a whole new beginning, maybe your ending is really a brand new start. ~ Justin
Recently Justin Wiseman joined the ladies on The View where he finally got to hug Rosie O’Donnell. After exchanging messages on Twitter about their mutual weight loss struggles, the two bonded. Justin credits Rosie with inspiring him to lose weight. Now he’s paying it forward by tackling the childhood obesity epidemic.
More from Justin and his amazing 420 pound weight story in his own words –
Tell me when your weight struggles began. My struggles began well before I was consciously aware of what I was doing. By the age of five I weighed 100 pounds.
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? I was a food addict pure and simple. Food was my whole world. Every time I ate, I ate to the point of being Thanksgiving-stuffed. That feeling was my high, my pure bliss.
What caused you to realize you needed to change? I had a gut feeling I was going to die soon, which was confirmed by a doctor. I had uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, my sugar was running in the 500s every day. It was so high that sugar was crystallizing on my skin. I had non-obstructive sleep apnea, the weight on my chest was causing me to stop breathing over 200 times a night and my oxygen was dropping below 60. I had high blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol, and was even suffering from cirrhosis of the liver. The cirrhosis was causing me to retain massive amounts of fluid.
How did you lose the weight? I looked into weight loss surgery, but at first I was too unhealthy to qualify. I started slowly by making healthier choices and following a lower carb diet. I ate a KFC grilled chicken almost every day. Over 6 months I lost 130 pounds. Following that initial weight loss, I had gastric sleeve surgery to reduce the size of my football-sized stomach. After that I followed the Atkins Diet.
What diet and exercise methods did you employ? At first I couldn’t do much. I could barely get up and down. The very first exercise I did was to dance in my living while Ellen was dancing on her talk show. Slowly I was able to do more.
Did you have any “ah ha” moments along the way? Yes, the first of many was when I started planning my own funeral because I didn’t think I could do lose the weight. The are so many people around the world who are given a death sentence and would do anything to live, but here I was willing dying. How selfish. I also realized how much life I had missed out on and how much I wanted one day of complete freedom before I died.
Biggest struggle in your journey? Fighting the addiction. In January 2015 I will celebrate my 2-year goal, but I still have that little voice in my head telling me to run back to food.
My biggest triumph was creating my Live It List kind of like a bucket list, but because I could have died at any point and wasn’t able to do any of the things on his list, I started calling it my Live IT List. It was stuff I wanted to live for so that one day I could do it. I got my one day plus a whole lifetime more.
Current/future goals? My goal now is to help as many people I can who are going through the same thing. I am also trying to shed light on the childhood obesity epidemic that is facing our nation. I am the perfect example of what it turns into if left unaddressed. I don’t want another kid waking up at 26 on death’s doorstep.