On May 1, 2016, the costliest disaster in Canadian history ignited. A wildfire began spreading southwest of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. By July 5, 2016, it was finally extinguished — but not before it engulfed 1,500,000 acres. 43-year-old Tony Bussey remembers the natural disaster well, for it influenced his decision to change his life and better his health.
Near the end of May, Bussey and many of his colleagues thought the wildfire scare was over. So, they returned to work. But not long after, the the fire picked up again. The camp was ordered to evacuate immediately.
Once Bussey checked in at the airport, staff led him to the front of the line because of his weight. He disliked the attention, but was used to it. After all, he was 567 pounds, wore size 66 pants, and struggled daily to put on his socks.
It was when Bussey learned that he needed two seats on the airplane that his attitude changed immediately. He felt ashamed that because of his weight, someone else had to wait for another plane. “Seeing people having to wait because I was too fat to sit next to, that was it for me,” he said. ”It was like, ‘I’ve got to do something about this.’”
The incident was so striking for Bussey, he vowed to lose weight and better his health. “I kept thinking, ‘Here it is: somebody’s wife, somebody’s husband, somebody’s family member is waiting for their mom or dad or their loved one to come home, and their loved ones have to wait longer now because I’m too fat to sit next to.’”
In the time that has passed, he has done exactly that. As CBC News reports, the heavy equipment tire changer dropped a whopping 326 pounds. He now weighs 241 pounds and just bought a size 34 pair of jeans.
Most impressive, perhaps, is that he lost all of the weight without pills, surgery, or fad diets. Rather, he ate a low-carb, high-protein diet and engaged in basic physical activity. “Three-hundred and twenty-six pounds gone. All naturally. No surgery, no anything. Just watching what I eat and walking,” said Bussey.
Even when he was staying in a hotel and had to eat-out, he made the effort. He would take the skin off his chicken and order vegetables instead of fries. Then, he would exercise, increasing the duration by 5-minute increments. “Two years ago, I could barely walk to my car,” said Bussey. “I could barely fit in my car.”
Because of the drastic weight loss, Bussey has approximately 20 to 30 pounds of loose skin, which he plans to have surgically removed. After that milestone, he will join the gym. His 5-year goal is to run a marathon on the anniversary of the Fort McMurray wildfire.
Bussey also hopes to inspire others who are hoping to lose weight. “You used to think there was no hope. That it was just total despair that you were that big,” he said.. “That there was no going back. It was almost as if you were just waiting to die, as sad as that sounds, but that’s all your life was.”
“There is hope. I was 41 when I started this, almost 600 pounds. If I can do this, anyone can.”
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Source: CBC News