Amer Ismail says he was born obese.
He gained overweight during his childhood thanks to a sedentary lifestyle, a large number of online games and a lack of knowledge about what "healthy" really means. All this contributed to Ismail reaching 470 pounds in his early 20s. But after challenging himself to eat 18 hot dogs in one night, Ismail realized that he was no longer gaining respect from the people around him or from himself. So he did something about it: he put down the hot dogs, learned to ski, almost died and lost 200 pounds.
"The biggest contributing factor to my weight gain was, frankly, a lot of ignorance," said Ismail Men's Health . "We did not grow up much money. It was not about the quality of the food, but about quantity. Why spend eight dollars on a salad if I can get eight cheeseburgers for it?
In addition to economics, Ismail said he also used food as a coping mechanism to deal with stressful and sad times.
"Ironically, eating was also a coping mechanism to deal with my own obesity," he said. "I've always made fun, bullied and annoyed for my size. I would eat away the pain.
Ismail knew he wanted to lose weight. And tried it and tried again. He tried keto, dietary supplements, fasting, dieting, and everything in between: once he lost 60 pounds, and then won 100 again. He did this until he reached his heaviest weight of 470 pounds.
"Being 470 pounds is not a normal size, people see and treat differently, their ideas are not taken seriously, people look at you from top to bottom and respect them," he said. and it hurts to know that people can look at you with disgust without ever knowing me.