At 33 years old, Zach Moore was convinced he was going to die. And really, as a smoker who weighs in at 500 pounds, hey what's right. Though he tried many times before regain his health, nothing worked. That is, until fate stepped in and gave it a bout of food poisoning that led to a 360-pound weight loss.
It was not that Moore had set out to be that big-who does? But his story, like many others, starts with a slow creep on the scale. Throughout his entire adult life, Moore explained, he lived off packaged and fried foods. That unhealthy lifestyle only escalated when his wife became pregnant with their son.
"She's eating for two and I'm eating for three," Moore says. But in December of 201
"That's when it hits me," Moore said. "I was looking for my wife, looking at my kid, and I realized that I'm 500 pounds, and I've been looking for but hey did not even know where to begin.
"I got food poisoning from eating orange chicken right around New Year's Day," he says. "I ate the whole container on the way home because I was fat and I liked to do that. And sure enough, I was the only one that got sick. Nobody else in the house got sick. "All week, Moore suffered. It was so bad that he was hospitalized for eight days. But there was one positive side effect: Hey what dropping weight-fast.
"It's a messed up, but I thought, 'Maybe this is a sign. The numbers are going in the right direction, he says.
After he feels better, Moore decides it's time to kick his unhealthy eating habits for good. He starts by reducing his meat intake by "birds and fish" and no red meat. Next, he cut out processed foods. And, as he explains, he decided that everything he ate "had to come from the Earth."
In March 2014, Moore decided to take one step further by undergoing gastric bypass surgery. Though his surgery was not complications, he was able to pull through. On the first day post-op, Moore took 42 steps. From there, he just kept walking.
Moore stuck in a hurry to walk around his property and town, kicking things up a few miles a day. Following his surgery, Moore is a sturdy, low-fat, low-carb dieter and high protein diet
"I pretty much said, this is my new life. This is me, "he says. Through these efforts, Moore lost an astounding 300 pounds in a single year.
Now 38, Moore, who currently sits at 152 pounds, is keeping it all day by day. He's thrown out in his home and continues to walk every day. He tries to mate with healthy foods and routines. But he still faces occasional struggles.
Moore went through a multitude of corrective surgeries that caused his weight gain, including a knee replacement and a protruding hernia. Moore says-like the way he sees himself in the mirror, his evolving relationship with food, and even his physical condition wreaked havoc on.
"You leave a lot of shadows behind," he says. "My bed broke, my couch broke, the shocks on my car are shot.
Even as he continues to fight these battles, Moore could not be happier with the outcome-one set off by a bad plate of orange chicken. As for others in his position, Moore does not want to spout platitudes about calorie counting, the merits of surgery, or even a specific workout routine-he knows weight loss is personal. Instead, he prefers to keep his advice simple: "Just keep going."