John Allaire knows a thing or two about dedication. He spent the first few years of his life dedicated to food. He would eat, and eat, and eat until he became a physical and mental mess. Weighing up to 245kg (540 lbs), he had become a danger to himself and others around him.
Allaire’s problems started at age 20 when he went to the doctor and they couldn’t weigh him. “It’s one thing to be obese and it’s another thing when you reach morbid obesity,” he said.
“When I was about 20 years old I tried to go to the doctor and they couldn’t weigh me. So they found a fish market where I lived in Florida and I had to get weighed on a commercial scale in the back of a fish market.”
His problems started, he claims, from his parents’ divorce when he was 10. Whenever he heard them fighting, he would run (or walk, probably) to the store and pick up some cake as a treat for himself.
Unfortunately, John’s father passed away a few years later when he was 18, which only fed into his food addiction. Within one year of his father’s passing, he grew from 172 kg to 226 kg – officially making him morbidly obese.
He says he would drive around eating three or four consecutive meals of fast food instead of attending his college classes. The sheer size he grew to make him break anything in his path. Couches, chairs, toilets – you name it, John broke it.
John wore a size 8XL shirt and officially stopped flying, due to the embarrassing realization that he couldn’t fit in the seats.
Amazingly, time went on and John became engaged to his high school sweetheart, Caila. It was her unconditional commitment to him that caused John to realize it wouldn’t be fair to drag her into this unhealthy relationship – which might result in an early death.
After fearing an early death and shortened marriage to his childhood sweetheart, John decided it was time for a change. It was fight or flight, in the race to save him from himself.
John adopted a special exercise and diet plan at ‘‘The Camp Transformation Centre’ in San Diego, California, which promised all its attendees that they would lose 9kgs in six weeks.
Amazingly, John lost his first 9kgs in only three weeks, and 14 in the first six weeks of the course. Inspired by this motivation, John continued down a path that saw him lose an incredible 135kgs in the next 15 months – a record for him and the center.
John had replaced his love of food for the love of the gym and exercise.
Unfortunately, it was this incredible journey that saw John face a new problem – excess skin. The surrounding areas on his body had amassed 6kgs of excess skin which needed to be surgically removed. Unfortunately, it appeared that John and Caila couldn’t afford the procedure.
In a case of capitalism and compassion, John and Caila started a GoFundMe campaign and raised enough for him to afford the surgery. In March 2018, he went under the knife and had the last remaining parts of his obesity removed.
“It is a blessing to be able to move freely, there are just so many constant little things throughout the day that I think most people would never think of as a blessing in their life that we take for granted.”
The first surgery lasted 10 hours and successfully removed the additional skin from his arms and lower body. He is currently preparing for a second procedure to remove skin from his lower body, including is legs and hips.
John’s story is a testament to hard work and self-belief that real change can come from within if you want to achieve your goals. He is now living happily in his medium-sized T-Shirts with his wife, as they enter the next stage of their lives together.