Gaining weight has been made largely into a vanity problem when really, it’s a health hazard with dire effects. There are the psychological scars that come from not “fitting in” socially as an obese person but the diseases that obesity can bring on are frightening, to say the least.
More than one-third of U.S. adults are obese and many of them are parents.
Kids and teens are taking after their parents both genetically and in the eating habits they’ve learned. Old habits die hard and genes are an extra obstacle to an already difficult journey but one teen proved that hard work and determination can come a long way.
His story has inspired the internet, proving anything is possible with the right help and drive to reach a goal.
Jacob Miller had been abnormally large his whole life. He was delivered five weeks prematurely but had he been carried to term, he would have been over 12 pounds; the average newborn baby weighs 7.5 pounds, to put that in perspective. By the time he reached his teenage years, he was gaining about 100 pounds a year, and at his heaviest, he was 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighed 707 pounds. He was only 15 years old when he reached this size.
Because he realized that his excessive body weight was slowly killing him, Jacob decided to do something about it. Doctors thought he had some kind of hormonal problem that made him gain so much weight.
He suffered from diabetes, cellulitis on his legs, heart disease, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease – because he was overweight. As a last ditch effort to extend his life, Jacob, and his parents got him a gastric bypass surgery.
Coupled with a carefully controlled exercise program, the surgery would help him keep weight off permanently.
It was a big undertaking, but Jacob wanted to prove to himself and to his loved ones that he was committed to his health.
It took a lot of courage to go under the knife, but wait until you see the dramatic effect the surgery had on his body. Seriously, all of this pain and struggle is worth it!
Thirty days post-surgery, Jacob was already seeing some incredible results; he had lost over 100 pounds by Aug. 11, 2013. Jacob wasn’t alone in the process, though; his whole family and a group of friends were by his side helping him get healthier.
His step-grandfather used his late wife’s last Social Security check to pay for a membership for Jacob to exercise at the YMCA. Jacob’s best friend, Laura Butler, made a commitment to start eating healthier at school and around Jacob to encourage him to continue eating healthier foods as well.
By six months post-surgery, Jacob had gone from a size 10X shirt to a size 5X, and from 5X pants to 3X pants.
By 12 months post-surgery, Jacob had changed immensely and still had a great attitude about the process of reaching a healthy size.
He said of life post-surgery, “It’s hard, but not as hard as it was before surgery. Before I couldn’t do anything. He wasn’t just looking healthier; he was genuinely feeling healthier, and he recognized that this was his hard work paying off.
Jacob managed to get rid of his diabetes and get his sleep apnea to a more manageable place through this transformational process, but he realized that the journey wasn’t over. Now that Jacob is much more healthy, he can focus on staying active.
He wants to continue to pursue his hobbies and interests. He’s ecstatic to not be as hindered by his body weight.