WICHITA FALLS - A Wichita Falls man is hoping his weight loss journey can help inspire others after his documented story already has close to 70,000 views on social media, after 3 days.
22-year-old Andy Albertson was overweight for most of his life, reaching his peak weight of 317 pounds. With the help of his family and his trainer, he was able to drop 176 pounds.
"It's actually very hard to see that was me at one point. I don't have a lot of memories of being that big," Andy said.
His family decided to document his weight loss journey, but they never thought it would blow up as it has.
" It has just taken off like we haven't expected, hopefully it can just continue to grow and I can reach people and help encourage, inspire, and motivate them to begin their journey and begin writing the chapters of their stories so that one day they can share their's with the world," said Andy.
"Andy said that he just wants to be able to help other people, you know, to motivate them, inspire them, encourage them, and let them know you're not alone," said Mary Albertson, Andy's mom. "Isolation is one of the worst things that happens when you're obese. You eat alone, you cry alone, you're alone. And so, if he can just reach one person, just one, he's changed the world."
Andy's journey is certainly one that did not develop without hard work and discipline.
"It's inspiring," said Andy's trainer, Jerry Hughes. "I mean the deal is he did it the right way. You see TV shows and all these things, those are all in controlled environments people are made to lose weight. People are made to eat this and that. Andy did it in the real world."
"In the documentary, the moment where I look up I got real emotional there because I forget how far I've come and what I truly look like," Andy said.
"Now he takes pride in the way he looks, he wants to go shopping for clothes," said Mary. "He likes having his hair styled. He stands with so much more confidence. He doesn't mind people looking at him."
Now Mary, is on a journey of her own. And she's already down 60 pounds.
She wants to help change the lives of parents who have children who are obese.
"Do not let it happen, you're in control," said Mary. "If you allow this happen to your child, not only are you damaging them physically but the emotional and the mental damage you do to them will last forever."
"I carry a lot of guilt with me and I apologized to Andy early on and told him that I had done him a disservice because as his mother it's my job to protect him and do what was best for him. And I failed."
Mary said she believes it was God's plan for Andy to be where he is in life to help inspire others and that's something she said makes her very proud.
To watch Andy's story, click here.
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