We’re all getting a bit thicker around the waist line and it’s showing in our health. Gaining weight has been made largely into a vanity problem when really, it’s a health hazard with dire effects. There are the psychological scars that come from not “fitting in” socially as an obese person but the diseases that obesity can bring on are frightening to say the least. More than one-third of U.S. adults are obese and many of them are parents.
Kids and teens are taking after their parents both genetically and in the eating habits they’ve learned. Old habits die hard and genes are an extra obstacle to an already difficult journey but one teen proved that hard work and determination can come a long way. His story has inspired the internet, proving anything is possible with the right help and drive to reach a goal.
Share this story for anyone who has ever felt like living a healthy life is “impossible”.
Obese Kids Have It Hard
There is a lot of blame to throw around the internet in terms of childhood obesity. There are parents who don’t tell their kid no to that fifth scoop of ice cream, sure. But there are also kids who grow to be very obese in a time so short, it seems impossible. Jacob Miller is one of those kids and his story has gone viral on the internet…
Aljazeera America| Raul Arboleda| AFP| Getty Images
When Jacob Miller was 15 years old, he weighed in at 707 pounds at a height of 6’5″.
Jacob is the kind of teen who can darken the most grandiose of doorways. He’s already got a frame several inches over an average man’s height. Add to that his weight of over 700lbs and you’ve got a young man with a lot of size and thus, a lot of challenges.
Throughout the entirety of his life, Jacob was abnormally large.
Jacob has been dealing with his weight since he was a year old. At that early age, he weighed in at a shocking 52 lbs. Jacob was actually born prematurely and if he had been carried to term, he would have weighed nearly 12 pounds at birth.
Doctors believed that Jacob had some sort of hormonal problem, which would be the cause for such extreme amounts of weight gain.
One-year-olds don’t gain weight that quickly, even on a poor diet. By the time he reached his teenage years, Jacob was gaining an average of 100 pounds per year, which obviously came with serious health implications and a hard time making friends…
Because of his excessive weight, Jacob was the target of verbal abuse and, as a result, became depressed.
Kids are mean and though the common advice is “just ignore them”, being visibly different from the other kids made Jacob an easy target for bullies. Though he dwarfed the teachers with his size let alone his peers, the mean kids at his school crushed his spirit with their words. Sticks and stones, right? Wrong.
Jacob realized that his weight was slowly killing him, so he did the only thing he could.
He buckled down and decided to start losing weight. Jacob had to start at the beginning with accepting the fact that he will die an early death if he does not lose weight. He sought help from the right people which was the first step to success.
Along with his parents and the medical professionals at the Cincinatti Children’s Hospital, Jacob made a plan to lose the weight.
As just a teenager, Jacob was already so overweight that he was suffering from diabetes, cellulitis on his legs, heart disease, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. These are all related to obesity and they all become debilitating as time goes on.
As a last-ditch attempt and to also help him achieve his goals faster, doctors opted for a gastric bypass surgery.
Gastric Bypass is a procedure where doctors surgically shrink the stomach to reduce it’s capacity and thus, create a feeling of being “full” after eating a fraction of the food one would consume before the surgery. The procedure took 3.5 hours and it was a success but that was just the start…
The pre and post surgery work was just that: work.
Prior to receiving the surgery, Jacob lost 77 pounds just by changing his lifestyle. As we all know, that means changing one’s diet. Even though Jacobs surgery reduces his food intake, the food he does consume must be nutritional to keep him going.
While he showed that he didn’t “need” the gastric bypass, it was most certainly beneficial and it expedited his weight loss.
Exercise not extra fries became the rule to live by and Jacob put in the time and effort. His grandfather used his late grandmother’s final social security check to buy Jacob a YMCA membership and he put it to very good use.
YouTube | Cincinnati Children’s
Hospital Medical Center
Support from mom and dad means the world
Jacob’s parents were with him every step of the way and cheered his progress every time he stepped on the scale. He was determined and they rallied around him. They took him out of the school where he was constantly bullied and placed him into a more accepting school environment that further helped him push through the barriers.
After 12 months, Jacob is half his size
Step by step, healthy meal by healthy meal, workout by workout, Jacob made changes in his lifestyle that created a dramatic change in his size. He lost over 150 lbs in one year.
This is what hard work can accomplish with the right professional guidence
One can make a difference or make an excuse but never both. In this before picture, Jacob was in a condition most people would call “permanent”. Those people can get a load of the picture on the right…
Dates and prom were next on the list of things to accomplish…
…and he did. Jacob met a whole group of friends at his new school and now that getting around is easier, he can keep up with them. Yes, that’s him at a dance with a date. D’aww. ‘Atta boy, Jacob!
Waving from the front seat.
This is something Jacob couldn’t do one year ago. Now that he’s made the changes he needed to make to change his life, he can finally fit in the front seat of a car. Like any teen boy, he’s looking forward to the driver’s seat soon!
YouTube | Cincinnati Children’s
Hospital Medical Center
Jacob’s Story In His Own Words
Share Jacob’s amazing story of perseverance with the people you love. This kind of transformation proves impossible is nothing.