Having a father figure, be it a biological father, step-dad, grandfather, uncle, or teacher, is important for a child's development. This is exactly why Zach Moore was motivated to change his lifestyle.
The 36-year-old father of one weighed a whopping 500 pounds at his heaviest. He boasted a BMI of 60, and at one point he was so sure that he would eat himself to death. He also drank at least two liters of Coca-Cola and smoked about three packs of cigarettes every day.
Moore's addiction to food was so severe that he even recorded a "goodbye" video for his son, Zach Moore Jr.
In 2013, he was hospitalized for food poisoning and that's when he realized that he needed to change his life if he wanted to live long enough to see his son grow up.
Moore stopped consuming sugary foods, drinking soda, and smoking. In just about a 100 days, he started to notice a significant difference in how he felt. Eventually, he added exercise to his routine and walked 10,000 steps a day.
"I was having issues walking, breathing and getting around every day…" he told Daily Mail. "I truly felt like my life was coming to an end."
The obese father managed to slim down enough to qualify for gastric bypass surgery, which he underwent in 2014.
For two years, Moore stuck to his healthier habits and lost over 350 pounds. Unfortunately, extreme weigh loss left him with 28 pounds of excess skin and he had to undergo ten procedures to get it under control.
Today, Moore looks like a completely different man and has a new lease on life.
Moore shared the initial results of his significant weight loss on his Instagram page this past September along with a note detailing his struggle and the epiphany that forced him to change his ways.
"I used to have to fight [each] day and pray I didn't die," he wrote in the caption. "I would stop breathing in my sleep. I [couldn't] walk. I was exhausted all the time. My life wasn't enjoyable. It was my fault. I almost ate myself to an early grave until I had an epiphany."
These images represent a time of my life of me "Living" life. What does that mean to you. Living? I used to have to fight eat day and pray I didn't die. I would stop breathing in my sleep. I county walk. I was exhausted all the time. My life wasn't enjoyable. It was my fault. I almost ate myself to an early grave until I had an epiphany. Why live a life that is harder because your fat. Why put your family through the stress and aggravation of your mood swings, emotional issues, denial that there was even a problem. That wasn't a happy life at all. The quality of these lives are so different. I am still the same, although my views of this life, planet and some people have changed along with my size. I lost over 350 pounds. A majority of that between these photos. My life, my story, my legacy can be found on Instagram @mmazach. I am still work in progress, I am documenting my journey as we all are and leaving it for those truly trying to lose weight, honestly trying to get healthy & have a better life. Go and see a 100% real DEATH to SUCCESS STORY. Thanks for the support & always remember, THIS IS YOUR LIFE. You make your own choices, Do What's Best For You. . 📷@mmazach #mmazach . #respect #motivation #fitfam #wlscommunity #fatloss #extremeweightloss #living #obesetobeast #beforeandafterweightloss #keto #ketogenic #fitnessjourney #fitspo #fitspiration #ketoweightloss #gastricbypass #gastricsleeve #losingweight #dieta #inspire #motivate #fitnessguru #fitnessgirl #fitnessmodel #plasticsurgery #lifestylechange #brave #fearless #wlsjourney
Moore's inspirational story was recently featured on the daytime talk show The Doctors and his intense skin removal was discussed during the episode. The procedures he received included a breast reduction, extreme tummy tuck, a belly button revision and muscle repair.
Moore is finally able to accomplish the "simple everyday things" he couldn't do when he carried around all that excess weight, including "driving a car, sitting comfortably in an airplane seat, walking through the market without stopping to catch my breath, going on field trips with my son's class and making plans with friends and not canceling on them."
Most importantly, he is now able to fully be in his son's life and the future looks bright.
"The thought of not being around kicked me into gear," he said. "I didn't want my son growing up with a tombstone for a father and it pushed me to keep fighting during the hard moments."
In an interview with Goodhousekeeping.com, Moore revealed that his son is a high functioning autistic child, so he couldn't bear the thought "of putting my wife, my family, him through life without me — that was not fair."
"That's not how my mom and dad raised me. My parents raised me with strong family values: work through the bad times together, and we all become strong as one family. I'm able to lead by example now and set examples for him to follow in my foot steps, like father, like son."
Moore says he is happy with how far he has already come, but he still has a ways to go. His next goal is to have the loose skin on his thighs removed, and he is already raising money for the surgery.
He is sharing his story to "give hope to the millions of overweight, obese people around the world that are dreaming of a better, happier, healthier quality lifestyle."
What an inspiration!