Steve Vaught, a classic candidate for weight loss surgery, thinks that undergoing a “dangerous surgery that cost about the same as a luxury car” is “nuts”. He further calls it “dangerous” and mentions it in the same breath as “miracle weight loss drugs or fad diets that never seem to have lasting results. And this is why Vaught had been on a journey across the United States continent for the one year,on foot!
You read that right. He walked across the Atlantic continent, some 3650 Km.
The 39yr old, father of two and a former physically fit U.S marine from Southern California hah not been happy about the weight he had gained over the years after a road accident in which an old couple died. Steve who was driving too fast against a setting sun and hit the couple who were crossing the road. The incident took an emotional toll on him leading to a depression that has seen him indulge to weight 350 pounds, about 177 kgs.
To force his mind to snap out of it, he courageously undertook the grueling challenge of walking from his home town Oceanside, San Diego in southern California on the west coast of the U.S to New York City on the east coast. His purpose, to lose weight and show others like him, that it can be done.
The coast to coast journey that started on April 10th was meant to have lasted 6 months. Vaught ended up being on the road for nearly one year. At less than 1000 km to go he had lost what he jokingly calls a whole girl friend -a whooping 50 Kg (100pounds). This is as much as you would lose with a gastric by-pass in about the same time.
In addition he got to see beautiful sceneries, meet different people and on the negative, nearly bitten by a snake and had split feet.
You would tend to think that he is the one who is nuts for taking on Forest Gump -the 1994 movie that had Forest Gump, acted by Tom Hanks, running across America. But Vaught thinks otherwise. Infact he thinks he “would be nuts not to do this”. And unlike Forest Gump he’s got a reason and an objective he is pursuing.
In a time when weight loss surgery is becoming a preferred means of weight loss for men and women of Vaught’s size, he still chose the hard way out. This is big time because the culture he lives in is a “I-want-it-now, quick-fix” culture. Americans are not only known for wanting it now, but also I-want-it-in-large-XXX. You will see it in the cars, in the T.Vs, in the fridges in the kitchen. Both mindsets are keeping obesity at its highest prevalence in the world, with their cosmetic solution to losing weight.
What such a mind-set seems not to appreciate is that the cure for obesity lies in changing the mindset. Obesity does not drop on you; rather, it creeps on you morsel by morsel through your mouth. It sure doesn’t take two weeks. For Vaught it took months and years. Whoever then said you can lose it in two weeks and keep it off for sure doesn’t know what they are talking about.The solution lies in what Vaught has successfully done, attacking individual obesity from its main underlying factor in a holistic long-term approach.