Ronnie Brower began dieting and working out on his way to losing an astounding 200kg. His posted his four years of fitness journey on Facebook earned him the admiration of a woman.
Brower and Andrea Masella formed a bond around that shared mission of fitness. On Saturday they are get married in their hometown of Syracuse, New York, celebrating their new lives. They’ve lost together about 270kg.
“I was just really inspired by him and I thought he was super cute,” said Masella, 24. “We started talking at the gym and I may sound cliché but it was love at first sight.”
Nick Murphy, Brower’s personal trainer who also will be his best man, calls it “a match made in heaven, a real life storybook movie.”
Masella, who works as a hairdresser, said she and Brower plan to continue to support to maintaining a healthy lifestyle along counselling and inspiring others
Both of us had used food as a coping mechanism” I would just eat my feelings,” Masella said. “We’ve gone through a lot of counselling to come to terms with that and change.”
Brower, 32, is slim, trim and happy now.“I was depressed, addicted to pills and alcohol, eating 10 double cheeseburgers or two large pizzas at a time,” Brower said. “My turning point was, my doctor, told me if I kept on like this I’d be dead before I was 30. I was 28.”
Brower then contacted Murphy, owner of Mission Fitness. Under Murphy’s guidance, Brower gave up drugs and alcohol, followed a low-carbohydrate diet and started working out for three hours a day, beginning with simply lifting his arms while sitting in a chair. Within 100 days he had lost 45kg.
After 23 months, he had shed much of his excess weight when he met Masella. At 1.62m, she had weighed 110kg in 2014 and was on her way to losing 50kg. Their first date was playing ping pong and basketball at the gym.
Brower was grateful for Masella’s loving care when he underwent four surgeries to remove 30 pounds of sagging skin.
Brower now works two jobs, as a school bus driver and a loading dock worker, and has moved out of his parents’ house into his own place.
He looks forward to married life after he and Masella take their vows at the Christian church where his trainer baptised him three years ago.
“People come to me all the time, asking for weight-loss advice,” Brower said.
“I just tell them there’s hope out there. If you want it bad enough and put your mind to it, anybody can do it.