Walking 2 miles might not seem like a lot, but when you're over 600 pounds and relying on that walk for each and every one of your meals, it's a different story. "Drastic" might be a word that comes to mind when you think of taking that trek to and from your local Walmart for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but for Pasquale "Pat" Brocco, it was a major step in a life-changing journey.
What began as a childhood habit of fast-food-fueled overeating quickly became scary after Pat's doctor said the words "pre-diabetic," "high blood pressure," and "gastric bypass." He may have taken baby steps at first, but Pat eventually shed over 300 pounds in three years. This is his story.
Why did you decide to transform?
A little over three years ago, I was a bodyguard touring with a notable comedian. We placed a friendly bet on the NBA finals, and the loser had to do 50 push-ups. I lost. When I attempted to crank out my punishment, I couldn't even do one push-up. This happened in a room full of people, mostly ladies, and it was embarrassing. I was supposed to be protecting them, and I couldn't even do one push-up. To add insult to injury I was in front of a comedian, so you can just imagine how that went.
I stayed on tour for about six more months and then finally decided to go to a doctor. I couldn't weigh myself on home scales, so I had no idea what to expect. The doctor told me I was 605 pounds, prediabetic, morbidly obese, and had high blood pressure. He suggested I consider gastric bypass! It was one of the scariest, eye-opening moments of my life. I was 28 and making my death bed.
Did you head home and automatically change?
I emotionally ate for about a week. Then, one morning, I looked at my reflection when getting out the of shower. I was ashamed of what I saw. My stomach hung to my thighs, and my breasts were huge. I knew I couldn't live like this anymore. I needed to change, and that's exactly what I did.
I headed straight for the kitchen, emptied my cabinets and refrigerator, and threw all the junk food away. At 600 pounds, I couldn't do much in terms of exercise, so I decided to walk to get every meal I ate. I knew I'd get hungry 3-4 times a day, and I used that feeling to motivate me to my destination. When it was time to eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner, I'd walk a mile to Walmart and a mile back. I did that for my first 60 days.