Dear Jillian Michaels,

I respect you.
I think you do a lot of good in the weight loss community.
I think that your books and television programs move people and I also feel that you give good advice to people fighting the weight loss battle.

With all of that being said, you do not inspire me. You never have, and you never will.

That is not an insult.
That is not a smack at what you have done.
That is not to belittle your accomplishments.

That is to tell you how far I have come as an overweight person.

How anyone can chew on a star when they reach for the sky.

It was not that long ago that I was a 420 pound monster sitting in my 1997 Acura at 3am on a warm Thursday Florida night. To the right of me I had $40 of Taco bell food, shoveling it in my mouth. I was not hungry, yet, had the desire to eat. My stomach was hurting bad, yet I was still inhaling burritos.

It was not that long ago that I would cough blood. I never told my wife about it. I would just walk, cough and blood would gush out of my mouth. It did not scare me then because I was going to die. How many 400 pound men live to be 100.

It was not that long ago that I could not hug my wife.
It was not that long ago that I slept in a different bed because of my weight.

It was not that long ago….

Yet I needed to find the one person that could inspire me.

My wife would have given anything for me to lose weight. Her tears did not stop me from eating, do you think you would have?

I promise you, if you knocked on my door I would not have lost weight.
If I was on a ranch I would not have lost weight.

I needed to talk to the one person that would inspire me.

I did…

Myself.

See, the biggest misconception is that overweight people are lazy. They are weak.

Nope.

Overweight people eat. That is it. They eat more calories than they burn and they do not move as much as they should.

And I could not be overweight anymore.

Jillian, I did what most people dream of. I lost weight. Over 220 pounds.

I did not quit my job, I did not go on a Hollywood diet and chances are you have not heard of me.

I lost 220 pounds for me. I kept it off my wife, my baby, myself.

I write about it now, yet I am no “rah rah” guy.

I will always look at this from an overweight perspective.
Every day is a beautiful struggle.
There are failures and successes.
There is no cure.
No new product is going to make my life easier.

Yet I am not a tortured soul.

I am a guy who can do what normal people can do now.

I get emails from people who say I have inspired them. The funny thing is, I send myself emails because I inspire myself.

Trainers at the gym now offer to train me for free. They would love to put me on a poster with them.

This is not their journey.

This is mine.

Jillian, I think you are good for the weight loss community. Keep on kicking butt. Keep on inspiring.

I hope you respect that this “overweight guy” is not inspired by you.

Yet, I am sure there will be a day where we are on the same talk show. I will introduce myself and shake you hand. You will know who I am because this is all I will say to you…
“Winner’s do one thing, win.”

Sincerely,

Tony

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