Well….I really did not prepare to talk. But, here it goes.

Okay, please raise your glasses. I am not so good about giving these, but, I mean, they did ask me to talk.

A toast to you “420 pound” Tony.

You know, I have known you for a long time. We have been through so much.

Wow, I remember when we went on our first diet together. Do you remember? It was the early 90’s. We ate 700 calories a day. We only ate foods that were in our paperback calorie counter. Yeah, those were the days.

We lost 50 pounds at the tender age of 14!

Alas, we gained it back.

How about the other diet, when we ate Stacker 2 diet pills like it was candy? We lost 80 pounds then.

Yeah, we gained it back.

There were so many others. We have been together through so much. That is, until you turned into “420 pound” Tony.

But I have a confession. I used to hate you, 420 pound Tony.

You see, you were always funny. You had this crazy work ethic as well.

I mean, do you remember the time when you worked for 22 straight days. 14 hours each day to get that kitchen back up to par in the Florida Mall?

You never quit. You pushed it every day. At 420 pounds, no one could question your drive.

But they did question your drive.

Including yourself.

Because as much as you worked, you ate. You did not care about yourself. I can say that now.

That is what frustrated me the most about you.

I knew you could be strong. We feel so hard to come back up.

Sometimes in life, you really have to fail to succeed.

I used to ask you all the time “Why don’t you change your life?

Yet, it took so long.

Sometimes in life, you have no idea where you are going, yet do not want to turn around.

We were like that.We got comfortable in an uncomfortable situation.

In fact, you never blogged.

“360 pound” Tony started a blog. He did it without ever reading a weight loss blog, just a sports blog.

I guess I spent so long lately wondering why you did not believe in yourself? Why didn’t you see the great father and cool person that I see now.

That Rebecca has seen for so long.

I guess I wondered why you let yourself go. The day you could not wipe your ass in the bathroom, why didn’t you decide to change your life then? Or the day you coughed blood? Or the day you called your insurance company to see if you qualified for disability because of your weight? Or the day the doctor kept you in the office because your heart rate was 200/140? Yeah, I never forgot that. I know you kind of wish I did, but I did not.

The truth is, I stopped wondering.

We are the same person. Everything you kept inside, I try to let out. Everything you wanted to be, I try hard to be. I should have never hated you. In fact, I love you more and more every day. And every bit of success I get from weight loss, or work, or being a dad, you deserve as well.

You made me into the person I am. A loud mouth on my blog, but incredibly humble in life. One that does not back down easily, but knows how to pick battles.

We will always be together.I am not embarrassed by you at all. I am so proud to have your pictures on my blog. There has not been a day where I forgot about you. Today, someone told me to tie my shoes or I would trip.

I laughed.

Remember when you could not tie your shoes? I still do not tie my shoes to this day.

So please put your glasses in the air to someone I care a lot about. Someone who I think more people should love more.

A toast to “420 pound” Tony.

A toast to me, where weight is just a number. It only took me 34 years to realize that.

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