Weight-loss stories never cease to inspire and amaze me.
The amount of dedication and effort it takes for people to shed all of those extra pounds is nothing short of incredible. But there is one man who stands out to me, and that's because his story is so special.
At his heaviest, Jesse Shand was nearly 700 pounds. At that point, he had pretty much lost all hope that he'd ever get on track. But when he posted to an online forum, he found the encouragement he needed from the people he least expected to support him.
Shand had always been overweight, but when he began to lose confidence and spend more and more time indoors on his computer, the problem only got worse.
He eventually reached the point of never leaving the house. He stopped seeing his friends altogether and hadn't showered for over a year because he couldn't fit into it.
He wasn't even able to buckle his own seat belt.
He became disgusted with himself and started eating even more.
He didn't think he could ever lose all of his weight, so he gave up and began sinking into a dark depression.
It was only when he posted to an online bodybuilding forum as a joke that he was able to find the motivation to take back his life.
And it came from the very the people he thought would ridicule him the most.
It would have been so easy for those people to just make fun of Shand, but instead, they actually saved his life. If that doesn't deserve a round of applause, I don't know what does.