In December 2013, Zach Moore stopped by a fast-food restaurant to get a chicken meal. It landed him in hospital with food poisoning for 8 days.
Due to his weight, Zach faced many more health complications.
"Tired of being sick all the time, mentally, emotionally, and physically run down from being overweight, morbidly obese with high blood pressure, sleep apnea and vertigo – the list went on and on – and taking the advice from my cardiologist, I knew this was the pivotal tipping point of my life."
Speaking to Love What Matters, Zach pinpoints the possibility that he might not be there to see his son grow as the motivation to loose weight and get healthy.
"The thought and idea of how my family would survive without me, without a husband who promised to always be there, to help and take care of them as we grow older, a dad who never had a chance to give his son the life he wanted to be able to, I couldn't bear it.
"That was the moment I knew I was going to die if I didn't try to help myself. That spark then lit a fire to keep me going. My family drives me, and they inspired me to once again look in the bypass surgery."
At over 35 stone, Zach knew he had to make some drastic changes, in order to be there for his son, who has autism, in the long run.
He started paying attention to his diet, cutting out sugary and fatty foods and quitting smoking.
"We also used smaller plates, cups, bowls and silverware. We minimised everything to visually show what a true serving was and to better understand sizes."
After proving that he could lose weight, Zach had gastric by-pass surgery.
"Surgery did not go as planned, and my two-hour surgery turned into 7 plus hours due to complications. I was 392 pounds. I managed to lose 108 naturally before surgery through dieting, starving myself and using the liquid diet. I was scared for my life."
Zach began to take the first steps towards a healthier life.
"I would walk 10,000 steps every day which is equivalent to 3.5 miles. There would be moments it was 15 minutes to midnight, and I would be walking up and down my hallway trying to get my extra 300 to 400 steps in. Over the course of a week or a month, those small steps truly add up after a year or two."
By December 2015, he had lost a whooping 21 stone and had further surgery to remove excess skin.
"I’ve struggled with my imperfections, trying to make them perfect or hiding them from the world, but I truly mean well. I am trying to inspire everyone I can with the positive side of losing weight, but with ups, there are downs."
With time, Zach realised that his issues with food stem from a struggle with depression. He know hopes to inspire others to live healthier lives, both mentally and physically.
In total, I went through 10 surgeries in 10 months and have now lost 350 pounds. Now it is time to share my story. I think it will help the world and likely save many lives.
"I’ve been through a lot, more in the last year than most ever will, which does cause for moments when I don’t realise what I have accomplished. I don’t give myself much credit for the crazy feats I have overcome.
"I have been through so much, but I tend to forget and block it out, so I write about it in posts on social media.
"I would be dead today if I did nothing. I at least stood up and said, ‘Screw you, obesity.’ I’m going to fight for my life. You may win, but I’m not going down without a fight."
Last year, Zach's son was diagnosed with autism, and he is now glad that he can be the father he needs for him.
"My son is truly the main inspiration behind my motives. Only last year in 2017 did we find out that he has autism. It explained why he had difficulty growing up and why I knew at my size, I wouldn't be able to ‘Dad’ as my father did. I wanted to be prepared as any parent would. He truly is my hero.”
You can follow Zach's Instagram for more on his weigh loss journey and raising an autistic son here.