I met Mike when he and I both attended Fitness North this past October. We connected well from our first Facebook chat and we have become each other’s greatest supporters on the journey to wellness.
I admire so much about Mike, but let me share with you a bit of his story (he has given me permission to do so!)
Mike has struggled with his weight for a long time. When Mike was 19 he hit his highest weight at almost 600 pounds. It was at that time that the recommended intervention was Gastric Bypass surgery. In this alone, my heart breaks for my friend. At 19 he followed what he was being told, but no one really took the time to explore with him about healthy living. At this point, it was about trying to deal with critical health issues.
Following the surgery Mike had his weight as low as 200 pounds and moved away from home. He was living as a young adult should, but soon he was back in a danger zone with the scale and within three years his weight was approaching 600 pounds again. But my friend Mike has an INDOMITABLE (incapable of being subdued) spirit.
And so, Mike did not settle to be the young man behind all the pounds, but in the last 3.5 years, he has been shedding his weight and discovering his strength. Mike came to Fitness North with a goal of losing his last 140 pounds.
I know I speak for my other Fitness North cohorts when I say Mike is a huge inspiration to those of us on our journey. At Fitness North he reminded us that our goals are attainable and he cheered and screamed encouragement when any of us would start to slow down or even entertain the thought that maybe we didn’t have it in us. Mike knows what it is to hide out and lose motivation. Mike understands emotional eating and hiding behind food. Mike understands longing deeply for friendships…when I think of my friend Mike, I know he understands the struggle…
And since our return from Fitness North in November, Mike has continued to amaze me. Recently Mike had a minor heart attack after fighting a fire. Mike realized that his weight continues to jeopardize his health and he is ready to live fully. He recently took a leave from his work as a fire fighter and moved to Ann Arbor. He is living with Demond (see previous blogs to read about Demond) and working out about six hours a day. Yep, packed up and left Washington DC and is committing his time and energy right now to becoming a the man he desires to be.
I am so proud of my friend Mike. I am thrilled that at almost 27 years of age, he has already learned what it means to fight for his heart. I am grieved that at almost 27 years of age, he has had to struggle so deeply with a food addiction. I am amazed at how at almost 27 years of age he understands what it means to rely on the support of others. I am touched that at almost 27 years of age, he will befriend a 41-year-old woman and journey with me. Together we are losing our weight and celebrating that we are shrinking in size but not in heart! ♥
You are amazing Michael McGinn and I am thankful to God that I can journey with my friend Mike!