Traveling around was proving hard for a 340-pound (approx. 154-kilogram) man from California. However, things started to change when he heeded his doctor’s advice to adopt a shelter dog.
Eric O’Grey, originally from San Jose, used to be unhappy with his weight, as he couldn’t walk long distances without feeling tired. Moreover, he suffered from type-2 diabetes and had to take 15 other medications, including anti-depressants, reported CNN.
“My entire life was an exercise in minimizing my movement. I just felt miserable all the time,” O’Grey told CNN. “It’s just amazing how painful it is to be that heavy. Every part of your body hurts. My cholesterol was 400, which is the walking dead level.”
Though O’Grey tried many ways to lose weight, he failed. But all that changed seven years ago when he went to see a naturopathic doctor. The doctor told him to start a whole foods, plant-based diet and also to adopt a shelter dog so that he could walk the pup twice a day for 30 minutes.
“I said, ‘Why a dog? Can I adopt a cat instead?’ She said, ‘Have you ever walked a cat?’” he recalled.
O’Grey tried to picture what his dog would look like, but when he reached the adoption center, he was recommended an overweight dog that had skin problems. He noticed the dog looked very depressed.
He recalled the adoption coordinator telling him that the dog she recommended had a lot in common with him—losing weight. And so, O’Grey took the dog home and named him “Peety.” The pair started going on walks.
Initially, going for walks with the pup was tough for O’Grey, but soon they were enjoying it and developed a strong bond.
“I decided to become the person who he thought that I was. And over time really every part of my life improved,” O’Grey said. “I was so reclusive and removed from society at the time that I needed a relationship in my life. It turned on certain emotions in me that I’d never really felt before.”
Soon, O’Grey joined a runners club and now runs a few marathons a year.
“I was bouncing off the walls, I just had more energy than I could handle,” he said.
Sadly, Peety died of cancer in March 2015, and O’Grey adopted a new pup named Jake after five months. Since losing weight, O’Grey’s life is starting to perk up. He got married last year after reconnecting with his high school sweetheart.
O’Grey has a word of encouragement for those who are trying to lose weight: “It’s never too late to turn it around.”
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