41 Responses

  1. Kristi says:

    “I’m one of the fastest players on the team.”

    You are an athlete. You couldn’t say that a year ago. Great strides!

  2. Dave Elliott says:

    Great post. Don’t worry about not going over to the guy man, I am constantly seeing people who remind me of my former self and you really feel like you should go over, show him your before and after photos, and say ‘cmon do you REALLY wanna eat that crap?’ but like you said, he is probably happy with his life, and comfortable with his size. It’s definitely not our place to go up to people randomly, it would come across as patronizing even if that’s the last thing you were trying to be.

    It’s great that you thin about other people though man, we all have a human side and want to help our fellow men, but they have to want to do it for themselves.

  3. Josie says:

    This sort of thing runs through my mind a lot now when *I* see obese people. I just want to run up and hug them. But you know what I’ve come to realize? I hope I can put this into words right.

    As of today I’ve lost 45 pounds, but I’ve still got 76 more to go. I’m no longer in the ‘morbidly’ obese category, but just barely. I’m still severely obese. I wrote on my blog last week that when I look at my current picture (or in the mirror) I still see a fat girl with belly rolls and cellulite. Because I still am. It’s not until I put my current photo next to the one I took in September that I see the progress I’ve made. I work out 3-5 times a week now. I no longer drink any soda. I can walk stairs without getting winded. I’ve done (4) 5Ks. My eating habits and fitness level have DRASTICALLY changed in the last 6 months. BUT THESE ARE ALL THINGS THAT NOBODY WOULD KNOW ABOUT ME JUST BY LOOKING AT ME BECAUSE I’M STILL A FAT GIRL. One of the things that you keep repeating over and over again is to “keep eating the foods you enjoy”. Just in less quantities, of course, right? I love this advice and I wish it worked for me, but it doesn’t and do you want to know why? Because I won’t allow myself to order cheese fries (of any quantity) while I’m still over 200 lbs. I don’t wanna be that fat girl over there eating cheese fries and take the risk of someone thinking “that’s your problem, fat girl, too many cheese fries!”

    We’re all at different points in our journeys. It really does sound like the guy you saw wasn’t making any strides to lose weight, and that is SO sad. But let’s play the what if game. What if he’s already lost 100 lbs and had a really bad night and for the first time in a year gave into one of his old temptations? Not likely, but possible. You just never really know and that’s why I don’t think I’d ever be comfortable going up to someone and hugging them or trying to slap them into reality. (no matter how much I may *want* to).

    And I also think back to me prior to starting my journey. If someone had come up to me, even with the best of intentions, I know myself and how I would have reacted… I would have been offended.

    It’s tough, because WE now see the affects that overeating and lack of exercise had on our lives and as a result WE want to break that cycle in others any way we can. I think that’s a part of why we blog, or at least it is for me.

    I hope that guy does read this post someday…there’s no doubt that seeing your transformation would inspire him…it sure has inspired me! I hope I made sense!

  4. Tessa says:

    I am issuing a challenge to everyone that follows my blog. For details go to fattothininoneyear.blogspot.com. Everyone is welcome to participate so please invite anyone you think might be interested. Only condition is they must join my site as a follower by today. Good luck to everyone!

  5. Josie says:

    Whoa, sorry for writing a book!

  6. Tina says:

    While it is NOT your responsibility to approach people… i do have to disagree with something: Maybe he’s happy with his life??? At 450, scarfing down cheesefries, with a scowel on his face??? I REALLY doubt it.
    Don’t get me wrong, no one expects you to go up to random people and try and change their lives. That is NOT your responsibility. Your really are doing so much with your blog, inspiring and helping SO many people. You can and SHOULD be proud of yourself for that! So you don’t have to try and take on the whole obese world….
    BUT. I can tell you are a compassionate person, and this bothers you… Maybe you should take that step next time you see someone who reminds yourself of you… if nothing else, so you don’t dwell on it and feel bad about it… how to go about it I’m not totally sure lol… you could just write your http://www.344pounds.com on a piece of paper and give it to him… “I know you don’t know me, but I wanted to give you this… because you remind me so much of myself. I hope you will take a look at it. Have a good day man.” a pat on the back and go.
    There: he’s not put on the spot, you won’t feel guilty about it- the end. Maybe he will throw it in the trash, or maybe you will save his life! Either way you won’t go home feeling bad for not trying.

    PLEASE don’t get me wrong, I honestly don’t think it’s your responsibility and don’t think I would even have the courage to do it! I just don’t want you to go around feeling guilty… WHICH YOU SHOULDN’T!
    Like I sad Tyler, you are already doing more then enough. You are awesome, and so is your blog.

  7. Michelle says:

    I know how you feel. My boyfriends roommates are all over weight, one of them is about to turn 30 years old and has never had a girlfriend. He had become so comfortable living in his little cocoon that every single meal that enters his mouth is take out. He does not buy groceries.. surprisingly enough though I don’t think he’s over 300 lbs. From someone who’s every meal is take out I would think he would weigh more.. but this isn’t something to judge I guess.

    I have on occasion thought of going up to him and saying ” you need to get your life in order.. I’ll help”. However, how can I say that when I’m still trying to help myself?

    Enjoy your success, you have inspired a lot of people already.

  8. Jonathan says:

    Tyler – you have a ministry in and of itself. You will never know how many people you have touched through your word and deed. Luke 11 tells us: “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” We are ALL looking for that door. We MUST keep seeking the solution. My wife and I are finally on that path, I think, but we have to keep it up. Tyler, you are a truth seeker! Thank you, brother!!

  9. Travis says:

    Always remember that God places certain people in your life for a reason. One person can always make a difference!! Use what God is blessing you with (a great story and proof that you can do anything if you put your mind to it) to encourage others and share your story. You say ” I’m not a Jehovah’s Witness. I’m not qualified to say anything.” You are qualified to care about someone and share your concerns. You can relate to these people and who better to talk to them than someone who has been in there shoes.

  10. Matt says:

    I don’t think a conversation with that guy would have gone well. People have to be ready to make the committment to themselves. They might get dragged to a weight loss group, weight watchers, nutrisystem, or trying something like atkins with their friends.

    But unless they are truly ready to make a change, it will not last. Until you are ready to lose weight for yourself, and not others or some abstract feelings about acceptance, it’s not going to be a permanent change.

  11. P O says:

    Wow! This really touched me and brought a tear to my eye. I know you must be a compassionate man. At my biggest I would not have appreciated someone approaching me as to what I was eating or putting into my shopping cart. I think that we are all on our own timeline. When we finally “get it” and decide to turn our lives around we will. Sometimes this never happens. I have lost 130 lbs. My sister is quite heavy. I am hoping that she would ask me for help but as yet she has not. I know if I say anything to her she will be hurt, offended and will try to prove to me that she can do as she d*** well pleases. No, she’s not a kid. She is 60 yrs old.

  12. I can completely understand you desire to speak with this man. But as you well know, it wouldn’t do any good until he was ready to help himself. Perhaps you can look into other ways of helping people. Maybe become personal training certified and donate your time?

  13. CHristine says:

    Hopefully one day soon he’ll have his “one morning in January”.

  14. Charity says:

    Everyone has to have his or her own “AHA” moment, and if you aren’t ready to hear it, it just won’t work. My first AHA moment came in May 2000, when I discovered there was a Weight Watchers meeting literally just a mile down the road from my house. I was like, “OK, universe, I get it!”

    I’m sure people said things to you about your weight before last year, but you had to decide to do something about it on your own. Maybe that’s what this guy needs too. Maybe he doesn’t want to hear it.

  15. Jim says:

    I like Tina’s suggestion of dropping the URL to this blog in front of people you see like that. It’s non-confrontational and might make them curious enough to come here and be inspired. I would take it 1 step further though. Have some cards made up. Include the URL, your name, your email address, the pictures you have as the header for the blog, and maybe even the text next to those pictures (though the pictures speak volumes themselves). And whenever you’re in a situation like that, pull out one of your cards and just drop it next to the person or have your waitress give it to him and point you out. That way if he has questions for you, he can make the first move and not feel confronted.

  16. Tara says:

    You may not have been at the same place and the same time to help him Tyler. He may have been at the same place at the same time to help you.

    I often see people that are doing things to kill themselves slowly and each time I see them I silently thank them for the reminder of what I don’t want to ever return too. I thank the smoker. I thank the people in drive-thrus. I thank the people sitting in bars. I used to be one of them. I will never be one of them again. All of us here have crossed over a threshold. This isn’t about losing weight anymore. It’s about living a better life than the one we had before us.

    Who knows where that man was coming from. Maybe he weighed 550 pounds last year and the day in the restaurant was his off day to consume whatever he wanted. Maybe not. Maybe that was his last meal before committing to a life style change because he did actually see your website before or something close to it. Maybe not.

    Silently thank him.

    Thank him for reminding you what you will never return too.

    If you see him again, then that’s your time to help because he helped you become a great man.

  17. That’s a tough position to be in. If I were eating a 4000 calorie meal in a diner and some guy came up to me and told me I needed to change my lifestyle, I might be a little defensive.

    Keep in mind that you DO inspire people to lose weight every day. When I started blogging I didn’t realize there were was a whole community of weight-loss bloggers out there. Yours was the first blog I found that I could even remotely relate to. You showed me what could happen if I followed through with my goal and dedicated 1 year of my life to losing 100 pounds. Thanks to your inspiration and the support of my readers, I’m nearly 1/3 of the way to my goal.

    Every week I name a “blog of the week.” I choose a blog that has been particularly inspirational or resonated with me to give the award to. This week, 344 pounds is that blog.

    My mom once told me, “You can’t lose weight until you’re ready.” When this guy is ready, he’ll find you (or someone like you).

  18. Kyle says:

    I look forward to each and every one of your posts. As a health/fitness professional with his Master’s in Exercise Science, to me this is SUCH a valuable situation to admire and follow. I have the utmost respect for the success you have had on your incredible journey. Having worked with unmotivated and seemingly hopeless clients, the mystery of how one FINALLY gets him or herself to commit has eluded me, until I realized it MUST come from within that person, not someone they pay. Best of luck in the final steps. You have done this ALL by yourself, which makes it that much more impressive. Enjoy the fruits of your labor! Nothing replaces the satisfaction of reward from hard work. Lifelong health and happiness to you and yours. Keep it up!

  19. I am touched by this post of yours. The comments are very interesting.
    My take is, if you say anything, he will sense your agenda of wanting to change him. I haven’t found it works from that place wither as helper or receiver.
    As some people said, you are putting your help out on your blog, he or others like him will find it if it’s meant to be.
    When I want to help someone like that, I send them light, (say a prayer) for their highest good, because like Tara said, we don’t know what that is.

  20. Scott says:

    Real change comes from within. Until any of us decide for ourselves that we are going to make changes, nothing happens. I have wanted to lose weight for years, but I didn’t make the commitment to DO IT until recently. No matter what I heard from others, read, or saw on tv, I hadn’t decided to do it. Nothing happened. It works that way. I understand your desire to want to help, but he needs to decide he wants help before he would be open to what you had to say.
    You reached out through this blog and helped me. I was like that guy in a lot of ways, but decided I wanted to make changes and I found your blog. Everytime you post something new, you are reaching out and helping others. You are making a difference through 344 Pounds.

  21. Tina says:

    Tara! Your comment is just… beautiful.

  22. Just like everything else in life, the decision of whether to approach someone like that guy is personal. I don’t think you were wrong to NOT talk to him, nor would I think it wrong to choose to go up to him and say something.

    I doubt he is happy or comfortable with himself at 450+. I just don’t believe someone who is *that* heavy can truly be happy with their weight. At that size, your weight affects EVERYTHING in your life and keeps you from doing way too much.

    Tyler, I think the real reason you felt that way about him is that now that you KNOW this can be done, you want to share that with every overweight/obese person out there who doesn’t have hope. And you do that every day here. So whether you decide to start being the “evangelist” for weight loss or not, know that you are changing lives here.

  23. Rebekah says:

    This is exactly how I felt when I read Tyler’s post today. I still see myself as a fat girl, and with no doubt I am, but I also still look at other fat girls and say to myself why can’t they get it together like I am. Most of us Fat people will always see ourselves this way for a long time after we loos the weight, it’s just psycological. It takes a long time for our body and mind to match up with reality.

    I’m glad, Tyler, that you didn’t go up to this man. Because none of us every would have taken help from someone else. Just as you did, he has to come to his own realization and wake up one day knowing he has to make the change. I have so many people in my life that I wish I could just show that life would be easier if they weighed less, and that is why we write our journey out so that some day that Guy with the cheese frys will be able to stumble upon the thoughsands of blogs about the journey of weight loss. GREAT MESSAGE!

  24. beej says:

    Yeah, but it was a good book. 😉

    Tyler, thanks for the great post!

  25. Joey says:

    It’s good you didn’t talk to that guy. It wouldn’t have done any good. The only thing that can turn your life around is a personal decision and commitment. The best you can do is set an example and this blog is a great way to do that. It’s certainly helped me the past few months as I’ve started my own weight loss and fitness journey. In January of this year I weighed 263 lbs couldn’t run 100 feet without being out of breath. Yesterday, I weighed 230 lbs and finished my first 5K race.

  26. Cathy says:

    Very inspiring post! I agree with what other commenters have said, he needs to find his ‘moment’ before he can make a decision to change.

  27. Tyler,
    This was an awesome post. I don’t even know what to say. Part of me wants to tell you that you shoulda just spoke to him and part of me is saying I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about because I’ve never been there in his shoes or in yours when you were at your biggest. I wish I had advice for you. I think that your passion will go a long way and this blog has reached out to many people! Pray that through your blog or through another person that he will find the help he needs.
    With love,

  28. Derek says:

    As much as I know I’ve needed help and direction to get on the right path (and still do!), I am not sure how I would react if I were confronted in a diner eating fries. I think you know, more than anybody, it’s hard to make a change until you are truly ready.

    Even as I write this, I’m racking my brain trying to figure out a way to reach that guy and help him. Even if you simply tried to befriend him, it would be clear before too long what your motives were. Perhaps, if done gently and with genuine concern, such an approach would be well-received.

    You may not be able to help the one guy at the diner, but you are helping many, many people through this blog. Keep up the good work!

  29. That was a good post. Leave it to the wives to be the bluntest.

  30. James Trapani says:

    I want to leave a comment, but I didn’t read any of the above ones yet, so if I’m re-posting someone else’s comment then sorry…

    I’m glad you didn’t go up to him. I’ve lost about 45 pounds so far and am hovering around the 200 mark. I don’t like it when other people come up to me and tell me that I am doing something wrong or try to change me. I am now a healthier person and I’m not the type of person that will judge someone else for what they are doing.

    you just say a little prayer that that person or others will come across your post or have that light bulb moment to change their lives.

    Keep spreading the word as you have changed many a lives!

  31. Good post … I agree with everyone else in that he needs to be at the point in his life where he wants to make a change. I myself have wanted to help others but that is what our blogs are for. Sharing our journey with people so when they are ready they can easily find hope in that others have taken the journey and attained their dreams.

    For you it was an awesome journey over a year whereas for me it’s been a 11 year journey. Either way people need to know it can be done which your blog is amazing at.

    Keep it up!

  32. Jerry says:

    almost made me want to cry man – not to sound like a wuss – but I have been that guy and even if you had said something to him, he may or may not have listened. BUT – you should make business cards with the site on them and slip them to people. Discreet, and it lets them have a point of contact for you. You could have been looking at a workout buddy. = D

  33. Cat says:

    As you know yourself and anyone else out there, you need to be the one to make the first step. Knowing you are overweight or obese isn’t enough, its that deep down want and desire to do something about it. He probably has doctors telling him at every visit what his life expectancy is but until he wants to make the change, he will continue to live the way he is living.
    Think of it this way, what if you did go over and he took your head off in the middle of the restaurant and made a scene? Would you be feeling better for it? Don’t beat yourself up over it. At least you cared enough to think about doing it. Thats more than what one can say for most people…..

  34. Cat says:

    So, so true!

  35. krissy says:

    I see what you were thinking and think it is admirable. I don’t think as many others have stated it would have been well received to just go up and start talking to him. That has happened to me before and I was very offended. I did like the suggestion of just leaving him with a reference to your blog. You should seriously think of having some business cards made up with your blog address and a before and after photo – with no gimmicks or anything attached. Then it becomes the persons choice and curiosity that bring them to your site. It is very encouraging to read through all your posts and struggles of weight loss. I would even suggest that skinny people read this – it is so easy for people to pass judgment on the overweight members of society, yet they have no idea of the day to day struggle we sometimes face. A little compassion in this world goes a long way and it is something that way to many of us need.

  36. Tabitha says:

    It’s always so easy to think of what you could say to someone in retrospect, versus in that moment when the opportunity is there.

    And on a slightly related note, my husband sent me this article this morning, and I nearly cried: a woman who is TRYING to become the world’s fattest woman, whose goal weight is 1,000 lbs. No joke. She’s already at 600.


  37. J. Emerson says:

    I think you were right not to go up to him. I understand your desire to help others and the way you have this site is awesome, but I don’t think blindly going up to someone who is obese is going to help anything. I know that when I was at my biggest, I would NOT have responded well to someone randomly approaching me and telling me how to lose weight, no matter how unhappy I was with my life. It’s just something you have to decide for yourself, I don’t believe it’s possible to help others who don’t seek the help.

  38. Cat says:

    Now that is sad…..

  39. david foust says:

    wow, these are the posts that keep me subscribed to this blog. You have dome something amazing. There is only a few things that people get more respect for than anything else. Musicians, Athletes, Scientist, and those who can transform themselves through weight loss.

  40. Dr. Kal says:

    Great post! Very heart warming.

    I agree with you not going over to talk to that guy. He may have not been ready to make the lifestyle changes that you, me, and countless others have made on the road to permanent weight loss. If he was not ready, your words may have only depressed him. This may have led to more eating.

    As a physician, I must tell my patients if they need to lose weight for their health. However, outside of the hospital, I leave people alone. I remember how it must feel to be them. I just pray that one day they decide to really change and they find blogs such as yours for support.

  41. Tim says:

    That was me 4 weeks ago, many people just like you did get the courage to talk to me. And you know what I told you? You are telling me things I already know, I like being this way. Leave me alone, don’t judge me. Deep down I didn’t mean that and wish I could take it back. I was 362 and now I’m 349.8 It is a daily struggle to eat right and skip the soda. It’s a morning battle to get up early and exercise, but if I don’t my kids won’t have a daddy much longer.

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