(NEW YORK) — Brian Beck, of Plano, Texas, tipped the scales at 487 pounds, and has been on the heavier side of the scale for most of his life.
Even as a baby, his doctor put him on skim milk because he was gaining weight too rapidly. He was an active child, but continued to gain weight, and in college, put on the “freshman 50″ rather than the more common “freshman 15.”
“I was hanging out with all the football players, so I was eating like the football players, but I wasn’t working out like the football players,” Beck said.
By the time he graduated college, the sports medicine major weighed over 400 pounds, and found a job in radio as a talk show host, where he could hide behind his voice.
“No one could see me,” he said. “I was able to have a career entertaining without having to be seen.”
But by 2003, Beck’s weight, which had already taken a toll on his personal life, also began to affect his career.
“I had an interview in Orlando…and I went to get a ticket and they said ‘You need two…You take up a row, basically.’ And I didn’t have the money to pay for that second ticket. I didn’t go on the interview, and that hurt,” Beck said.
That’s when he decided to have gastric bypass surgery. He lost nearly 200 pounds, dropping from a size 62 waist to a size 46 waist, but he didn’t change his eating habits, and gained nearly all the weight back.
After getting married in 2007, he got his second wakeup call.
“I’m on the phone with my wife and I’m like, ‘I can’t live like this anymore.’ I remember saying, ‘What do I have control over in my life? … I can eat better, and change my health.’”
Slowly, Beck started to reclaim his life. First, just walking his dogs around the block, and then jogging and lifting weights. He cut out processed foods from his diet and opted for fresh meat, fish, veggies and fruit instead. Over two and a half years, the pounds melted away.
Now, the 40-year-old weighs in at about 185 pounds. He couldn’t be happier, he said, with his 300-pound-weight loss and his life.
“I’m actually in better shape than I was in high school. I don’t think too many people can say that,” he said. “I couldn’t be happier. I never knew life could be this good. I can actually be on a plane now by myself, in one seat.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Jessica Ivins, CNN
Jacqueline Howard, CNN
Sarah Anderson, Deseret News
Laura Smith-Spark, CNN