Justin hid from the world – Now he’s on top of it…

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Justin – Only SIH from Southern Illinois Healthcare on Vimeo.

Gaining Weight, Losing Hope

In 2011, weighing nearly 600 pounds, 26 year old Justin Wiseman thought his life was over, before it even began. He had been overweight his entire life. At the age of 6, he weighed 100 pounds. Even back then, he understood he wasn’t like everyone else. Playing on the teeter totter was no fun for him because he was always at the bottom. By the age of 26, he suffered on a daily basis because of his weight. He endured severe type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, joint pain, emotional distress and cirrhosis of the liver. He was practically home bound. There were so many things he wanted to do, but his weight always held him back.

Gaining Courage, Losing Weight

One day, Justin watched a documentary on television of a morbidly obese woman who had died during the filming of the documentary. She was so overweight; she required a special casket and a crane to lift it. “In that moment, I knew I had to turn my life around. I couldn’t let that be the end to my story. But I also knew that I was the only person who could make that change happen,” said Justin. Justin Before Losing Weight

He found the courage to make an appointment with Dr. Naresh Ahuja at New Life Weight Loss Center at Herrin Hospital, only to be told that Dr. Ahuja couldn’t perform surgery on him because his BMI was too high, which elevated surgical risks. Dr. Ahuja told Justin he had to lose at least 100 pounds before he could perform surgery. Justin was devastated and ready to throw in the towel. But through the encouragement of his mom, Dr. Ahuja and the staff at New Life Weight Loss Center, Justin successfully lost 130 pounds on his own.

During this tough period, Justin created a “Live It” list. It had the same concept of a “Bucket List,” except it was a list of all the things he wanted to live for and accomplish. “During this time when I had to lose weight on my own, I was tormented by my hunger. I had to put my mind on other things, so I created a ‘Live It’ list. This list not only got me through my cravings, but it opened my eyes to see how much I needed to live my life,” Justin said.

400 Pounds Lighter & On Top of the World

On January 16, 2012, Dr. Ahuja performed Gastric Sleeve Surgery on Justin. That day changed Justin’s life forever. He lives life to the fullest and never looks back. He worked so hard to fulfill this accomplishment, but knows that he couldn’t have done it alone. Dr. Ahuja and the whole New Life Weight Loss Center staff has been beside him every step of the way, from follow up appointments to support groups. Today, Justin lost over 400 pounds and now wants to lead a support group and has dreams of working with bariatric surgery patients or the morbidly obese population.

Every day, Justin adds to his “Live It” list and every day, he’s marking accomplishments off of his “Live It” list. His number one goal in life right now is to help people. “I want to get my story out there to help people. I want them to know they’re not alone and that there is hope. It was a difficult road, but if I can do it, anyone can.”