Reddit is filled with weight loss success stories, but one in particular is grabbing a lot of attention lately. In it, Wayne Hacker, aka RandomExcess, poses in a pair of oversized pants with a woman — and each one is standing in a pant leg. But it’s the caption that’s really blowing people away.
“Lost nearly 300 lbs in two years,” Hacker, 53, wrote in his post. “Yesterday, I met up with the nutritionist who got me on the track to reclaiming my health. Her look says it all.”
Hacker tells Yahoo Lifestyle that he used to weigh about 525 pounds and suffered from Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, and hypertension. At the time, he was drinking between two and four liters of Diet Coke and iced tea every day.
He struggled with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, and he stayed in his apartment for a year and a half before he finally decided he needed help. “I didn’t get to that weight being of sound mind,” he says. “Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I left my apartment, went to a police station, and said that I needed help.”
Hacker started undergoing intensive mental health therapy treatments 15 times a week and eventually stepped down on the level of care he was receiving. “Finally, I felt ready to deal with the physical issues that were going on,” he says. At that time, Hacker says he was constantly out of breath — even having a conversation with someone left him feeling winded — and he struggled with bad ankles, knees, and hips.
He met with his dietitian, Molly, who gave him guidance on important changes he needed to make. Hacker cut out all liquids but water and also stopped eating sugar and processed carbs like pizza, donuts, fries, and sandwiches. He also stopped ordering takeout and taught himself portion control.
Now, he eats scrambled eggs and sausage or yogurt for breakfast, salad with some kind of protein for lunch, and vegetables with chicken, pork chops, or a hamburger with no bun for dinner.
Hacker says he was able to incorporate the changes Molly recommended from the beginning thanks to being in a good mental health space. “I was finally open to change,” he says.
Now, he says, he’s still not totally used to his new body. “My brain hasn’t caught up with it yet,” he says. “When you’ve been 500 pounds for decades, you have a certain perception of yourself and what kind of spaces you can squeeze into.” Hacker says it “blows my mind” to be able to fit into places like a restaurant booth.
He’s also started incorporating exercise into his daily routine, and regularly walks five to 10 miles a day. “I’m still not 100 percent healthy, but I’m on the trajectory,” he says.
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle: