Ross Gardner used to consume 15,000 calories a day, tipping the scales at 178 kilograms. But when he was forced to pay for two seats on a plane, he decided to make a change.
The 39-year-old chiropractor from Florida went on to lose nearly 90 kilograms after quitting fast food and becoming a gym junkie.
According to The Sun, Gardner lived on a daily diet of pizzas, burgers and Jack Daniels, which saw him consuming six times the recommended daily amount of calories for men.
At his heaviest, he struggled to squeeze into XXXXL sized clothing and had to wear slip on shoes because he couldn't reach his feet to tie shoelaces.
"I didn't recognise the person staring back at me in the mirror, I was absolutely huge. And I was left completely humiliated when I was forced to buy two plane seats on a flight from Ohio to Miami," he told The Sun.
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"I would drink nearly a litre of Jack Daniel's every evening and then binge on food until 2am before I went to bed so I wouldn't be hung over in the morning. I didn't take my shirt off once in six years in front of anyone, I was too ashamed of my bulging belly."
After his uncle recommended he see a doctor about his weight, he was told he had less than three years to live.
In a desperate bid to save himself, Gardner made drastic lifestyle changes, dropping half his body weight in 10 months. He now weighs about 89kg and is unrecognisable compared to his former self.
He immediately gave up alcohol and cigarettes and attended behavioural therapy to try and understand why he was using food to make himself feel better.
In just a week, he lost three kilograms and says from there "the weight just kept falling off."
But his dramatic weight loss left him with excess skin.
"My belly button was down by my knees and I had to tuck my skin into my shorts to hide it. It was humiliating," he told The Sun.
Gardner had surgery to remove three kilograms of excess skin from his torso and after what he describes as a "long and difficult recovery" felt like a new man.
He also began hitting the gym six or seven times a week, and credits the exercise with saving him from needing excess skin removal surgery on his limbs.
Gardner has kept the weight off for over a decade and went back to medical school to become a chiropractic physician.
"I now help others and want to prove that it is never too late to turn your life around."