Jesse Shand is in the best shape of his life, but just three years ago, the 28-year-old IT professional weighed nearly 700 pounds.
After hitting rock bottom, Shand decided to create a Bodybuilding.com profile, not because he wanted to change his life, but to shock other users by posting photos of himself in various forums.
However, instead of receiving the reactions he was looking for, Shand was flooded with encouragement to drop weight, ranging from drill sergeant-esque public shaming to personal messages of encouragement and even custom workouts. All comments were tailored to fit Jesse’s specific needs. (RELATED: Europe Closes In On America For World’s Most Obese Region)
“I would be dead if it wasn’t for the community on Bodybuilding.com. I’m sure of it,” Shand told AskMen.com.”When I say they literally saved my life, they really did save my life.”
“Even now, on those days when I just don’t want to go all I have to do is load up the BodyBuilding.com forum and I’ve got people there that are telling me their stories and their struggles and how my story is motivating them and know that I can’t fail,” he added. “It’s easy to let yourself down. You’re used to letting yourself down, especially for me. It’s easy to let myself down but it’s extremely difficult to let down so many supporters and all the people that got me this far.”
Today, Shand tips the scales at a trim 260, but he isn’t settling. He still wants to get down to 180 pounds, and hopes his journey will help motivate others struggling with weight loss “to take the first steps in being able to do that.”
“That’s what I’d love to be able to do, to give a back to the community that gave me my life back.”