A prolific Internet troll lost more than 400lb after abusing bodybuilders who then helped him lose weight.
700lb man Jesse Shand bullied people across the Internet from the safety of his mother’s home in an attempt to feel better about his colossal weight gain.
But when he began to troll bodybuilders on an online forum they demanded he show a picture of himself – when he did, his life changed forever.
Instead of giving Jesse a taste of his own medicine, the bodybuilders gave him tips on how to get in shape – beginning with just sitting in a chair and flailing around.
‘I’ve now lost 400lb and I’ve probably got another 35-40lb of loose skin so I’m only around 15lb to my goal weight,’ says Jesse.
‘I would target anyone for my trolling, if someone was upset about a break-up I might talk a lot about how great it is to be in a relationship. I was just doing anything I could do to further upset someone who was already devastated.
‘It made me kind of get a laugh and feel better. I wanted to force my misery onto someone else – it meant I didn’t have to think about my own terrible situation.’
The 28-year-old, whose father was murdered when he was a child, became a recluse and troll who eventually weighed more than 700lb before he started trying to lose weight in May 2013.
‘My life started to turn around after trolling the bodybuilders,’ admits Jesse. ‘Some of the members started trying to talk me into believing I could lose weight.
‘I said I was too fat to exercise but they said I could just sit in my chair and flop around to lose weight. So that’s what I did – it was my first ever workout and by the time I was done, I was tired and sweaty, but it worked.’
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One person who was delighted about Jesse’s transformation was his mum Coreen Rosenogle, 56. ‘I thought he would die very young, I don’t think he had much longer when he started this,’ says Coreen. ‘I used to try to get him to go outside but he wouldn’t. He was constantly on the computer day and night and would never exercise – that’s when his weight started to balloon.’
Jesse has now turned his back on trolling and realises the hurt he caused others.
‘I feel like I wasted so many years of my life,’ he says. ‘I wasn’t doing anything productive and I was hurting other people. That doesn’t do anything to further my own happiness and it certainly didn’t help anyone else.
‘I want to be able to make up for that and show the new me and help out and give back to people who are in a similar situation.’
Jesse, who lives in Michigan in the USA, now attends the gym five times a week and has completely turned his back on junk food.
‘I loved eating fast food, takeouts, and I’ve always had a sweet tooth – chocolate is a craving I still struggle with,’ says Jesse. ‘Now I just eat enough calories to make sure I can support all my exercise.’
Jesse has never had a gastric band fitted but he does need surgical intervention to finish his transformation.
‘I have some major problems with loose skin,’ adds Jesse. ‘When you lose that kind of weight, you’re going to have loose skin and I have it in the belly area, under my arms and in my thigh area. I now need to raise $20,000 to have the surgery and once it’s done my transformation will be complete.’
Mum Coreen says, ‘I thought he would die very young. I didn’t think he had much longer when he started trying to lose weight.
‘He was very lazy, down in the dumps and blamed others.
‘Now I don’t worry any more. It has been a godsend. I hope he is able to work normally and get a place like everyone else and fulfil his dreams.’