Justin Ballard of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, stared on the pictures in disbelief.
“Do I actually glance that gigantic?” he idea.
The images got here from a joyous instance – Christmas Day 2019, when Kelsey, the oldest of his 3 kids, had gotten engaged.
The couple set a marriage date in October 2021. Justin vowed to be in significantly better form by means of then.
At 6 ft tall, he continuously crowned 250 kilos, infrequently 260.
He’d generally drop about 25 kilos within the spring and summer time just by taking part in softball and maintaining busy in his backyard, however he struggled to stay it off. Operating a anxious table activity, he fueled himself with sodas and junk meals. Lunches continuously got here from drive-thru home windows.
His weight additionally had led to well being issues. Since 2015, he’d been off and on medicine to keep watch over his blood power. He used to be in one among his “on” cycles.
In January 2020, Justin kickstarted his makeover by means of checking in together with his physician.
Stepping on a scale for the primary time in months, he weighed 285 – his best quantity ever.
In that second, Justin, who used to be then 44, surrender sodas and speedy meals. He began making wholesome lunches and bringing them to paintings.
He started a night strolling regimen. Inside of two weeks, he used to be logging 3 miles an afternoon.
That summer time, he and his spouse, Michele, found out kayak fishing. They started spending maximum of each weekend at the water.
At a follow-up appointment in August, Justin were given at the scale. That resulted in him sending a photograph of himself to his circle of relatives with a caption that learn, “Wager who weighs 225 kilos? This man.”
“I felt nice, I appeared nice,” he mentioned. “I used to be a brand new individual and cherished each minute of it.”
As iciness approached, Justin feared he’d grow to be inactive. So, he took a 2d activity, running at an outdoor retailer. He’d simply became 45.
In January 2021, after including on a couple of vacation kilos and feeling flabby, he determined to hit the fitness center.
He’d stand up at 3:30 a.m., talk over with the fitness center, paintings his primary activity, then his 2d activity, and be house round 9:30 p.m. He additionally labored Saturdays on the retailer. He used to be exhausted.
Through Might, Justin wanted a wreck. He minimize in part his hours at the second one activity. Certain sufficient, he began to really feel extra lively.
A couple of weeks into the brand new regimen, Justin used to be completing a shift at his 2d activity when he began to really feel what he idea used to be indigestion.
He clocked out and headed house.
At the freeway, Justin could not prevent sweating, even with the air con blasting. He felt in need of breath and nauseous.
He known as Michele.
“One thing does not really feel proper,” he advised her.
She heard the worry in his voice.
“Pull over now,” she mentioned.
Kelsey lived close by, so Michele known as her.
Kelsey known as her father, who had stopped at a carpark simply off an go out. He sounded scared and in ache.
She hung up and known as 911, then known as her father proper again.
“I will pay attention the sirens,” he mentioned. “I really like you.”
Through now, his chest used to be hurting, his respiring used to be even shallower and his left arm used to be numb.
“That is it,” he idea. “I am achieved.”
Abruptly he used to be surrounded by means of paramedics. In an ambulance, an EMT mentioned, “Sir, you’re having a large middle assault.”
“You’ll be able to’t let me die!” he mentioned. “My daughter is getting married in October. I’ve to stroll her down the aisle!”
Justin aroused from sleep within the emergency room, with Michele by means of his aspect.
A cardiac catheterization discovered a 100% blockage in his left anterior descending artery. Docs inserted a stent to revive blood float.
Justin mentioned medical doctors consider his circle of relatives historical past used to be a significant reason for his middle assault. His mom had two middle assaults in her 60s, every requiring a stent to transparent a blocked artery.
Docs additionally mentioned his present degree of health is what most likely stored him alive.
After the center assault, Justin felt moody and unhappy. He additionally used to be frightened of stressing his middle.
“I used to be scared to do the rest,” he mentioned. “I did not need to fall asleep as a result of I used to be afraid I would not get