Couple to wed today after losing nearly 270kg together
SYRACUSE (NEW YORK): Frustrated with his ever-growing weight that peaked at 301kg, Ronnie Brower began dieting and working out on his way to losing an astounding 208kg.
His four-year fitness journey, chronicled on Facebook, earned him the admiration of a woman at his gym who was also trying to lose a lot of weight.
Brower and that admirer, Andrea Masella, formed a bond around that shared mission, and today, they will get married in their hometown here, celebrating their new lives and all they’ve lost together, a combined 268kg.
“I was just really inspired by him and I thought he was super cute,” said Masella, 24. “We started talking at the gym and 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 storybook movie”.
“We used food as a coping mechanism; I would just eat my feelings,” Masella said. “We’ve gone through a lot of counseling to come to terms with that and change.”
Brower, 32, is slim, trim and happy now, but he recalls that when he hit his peak weight in 2013, whe could barely leave his parents’ house.
“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 would be dead before I was 30. I was 28.”
At the urging of a friend, Brower 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 lost45kg, and was able to leave the house and go to the gym for his workouts.
After 23 months, he met Masella. Their first date was playing ping pong and basketball at the gym.
“We laugh all the time,” he said. 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 church where his trainer baptised him three years ago. AP
Ronnie Brower and Andrea Masella. (Inset) Brower (top) and Masella showing off the weight they’ve lost over the years.