In January 2010, I hit rock bottom. I was 30 years old and I weighed 351 pounds. I would often go to a restaurant and have a hard time fitting in a booth. And sitting in a chair wasn’t much better; I always worried it would break. But I had bigger problems than just embarrassment: I knew that if I didn’t do something soon, I was going to die. I started dieting and working out, and I dropped 187 pounds in 54 weeks. Now I’m under 10 percent body fat and am the happiest I’ve ever been!
I went to the doctor’s office and read the bold lettering on my chart: 'MORBIDLY OBESE.' I can still see that image in my mind. I knew I had to do something right then and there, and I never looked back.
- John David Mugovero
My Turning Point
My brother weighed close to 400 pounds when he had to undergo an operation on his heart -- one he wouldn’t have needed if he’d been a healthy weight. He didn’t survive. I grieved for a long time and struggled with the fear of dying. When I thought of my parents having to bury another child, it was too much for me to handle. I went to the doctor’s office and read the bold lettering on my chart: 'MORBIDLY OBESE.' I can still see that image in my mind. I knew I had to do something right then and there, and I never looked back.
My Support System
It’s amazing what human beings are capable of when their alternative is death. I was afraid of dying for a long time and that was a powerful motivator. I wanted to keep living for my parents’ sake, but I also wanted to live for myself. My parents were my rock. They gave me the inner strength I needed to change my life around. I also made a number of friends at the gym who were a huge encouragement to me. They made exercising a joy, and their kindness and motivation kept me going.
My Biggest Challenge on the Road to Success
Sure, it would have been easier to lose weight with surgery. And I could have fallen for all the gimmicky weight loss options out there. But the truth is, I wanted to lose the weight on my own. Naturally, that was a challenge in and of itself, but I knew that if I believed in myself and gave it my all, anything was possible. If you want to do it you can too. I found a way to love exercise and now I work out every day. I live it and I love it!
My Secret to Success That I Hope to Share With Others
Exercise was hugely important for my weight loss and it’s something that I look forward to every day, but if you’re like me, you cannot work off a bad diet. Tracking your calories is a must. Another suggestion: Stay consistent and keep learning. I frequent the community message boards all of the time to learn more about nutrition and fitness -- and if I can teach and help others too, all the better!