Matthew Houser was 25-years-old when a doctor gave him about six months left to live.
“I was basically on my deathbed,” Houser, of Bristol, Va. told News 5. “I figured, well, this is it. Might as well start planning my funeral.”
At the time, Houser weighed over 800 pounds.
It wasn’t the first time he had been hospitalized because of his weight, but that day was different. Matthew’s oxygen levels were dangerously low but this time the doctor’s prognosis was grim.
All of a sudden, one day, I was in the hospital. Then it just clicked. You need to do something. You need to change your life.Matthew Houser
Matthew had been overweight since childhood, and struggled for a long time with anxiety and depression.
“When I was growing up in school, I got bullied a lot and didn’t have many friends,” he said. “My friends were basically food and TV.”
But after getting the news that his weight was going to kill him, Matthew knew that if he wanted to continue to live, he’d have to drastically transform his life.
After deciding that his life was worth fighting for, Matthew began developing new habits, as soon as he returned home from the hospital.
At first, he couldn’t even get out of bed, but he was determined to do whatever it took, so he started lifting canned foods.
He cut out sodas and sugary drinks from his diet, slowly started becoming more active and began tracking everything he ate. From then on, Matthew began training at the gym regularly and fast-forward three years, he’s lost over 600 pounds.
Today, he continues to keep a record of what he eats in a food journal and exercises 6 days a week for at least two hours, to maintain all the progress he’s made.
Not only has he accomplished his weight loss goals, but he’s also gained more confidence in the process. He says he no longer fears eye contact with others and enjoys meeting new people.
Houser shared his transformation story in the hopes of inspiring others combating obesity to make similar changes in their lives.
“It’s going to be hard but you can do it,” Houser said.
While it may seem daunting at first, his advice for people wanting to start losing weight is to begin looking for any and every opportunity to move, even if it means just walking to the mailbox.
It will take hard work, determination and consistency, but ultimately, as Matthew found out, the good days are worth it.
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