A match made through a mobile game encouraged a man to lose nearly 400 pounds. He went from being a depressed, morbidly obese man to someone who has everything to live for, all because of the honest words from a woman he met through the game.
Brian Flemming was at a low point in his life. He was an alcoholic, and would regularly zone out in front of the television while drinking vodka and soda by the barrel full. On top of that, he weighed at 625 pounds, and was a pre-diabetic because of his weight. He had to be weighed on a special set of scales at the hospital because he was so big, which made him feel even worse about himself.
It was a chance match that saved his life. While playing the mobile game, Draw Something, he met Jackie Eastham. She may have been 20 years older than Flemming and lived thousands of miles away, but she was willing to do something that many of his friends and family members were unable to do. She told him the honest truth.
Rather than give him sympathy, despite being the first person he had opened up to, she made him realize just how much he was taking for granted. Eastham suffers from myotonic dystrophy, and knows how it could affect her in the later stages. However, she refuses to take her life and health for granted, and did not like hearing this man she had met take his own life for granted by becoming an alcoholic.
The chance meeting through the mobile game helped this man thousands of miles away turn his life around, and lose almost 400 pounds. His waist size dropped from a 60 to a 38, and he soon became happier with his life and within himself.
It was never easy. Their friendship went from the game, to Facebook and then to Skype, and Eastham had the first chance to see just how Flemming had let himself go. However, she was there to offer encouragement and support every step of the way. All she wanted was for him to turn his life around and do everything she was unable to do.
The first part was quitting the alcohol, which was a feat in itself. However, he succeeded and could then concentrate on his weight. Cutting the alcohol helped, but he also realized that he was eating more than 7,000 calories a day. The average for a man to eat is 2,500 calories a day.
He downloaded a calorie tracking app, and started to cut out all the food that was bad for him. It took a while to get out and exercise, and at first he would only go while it was dark so others could not see him. However, Eastham remained that constantly support for him. She would be on Skype while he exercised to keep him motivated, and help him push himself.
While the weight came off slowly, he was able to make healthy changes that he could continue after losing the weight. He does still have excess skin, but is saving up to have it removed. Flemming managed to fly to England to meet the woman who had supported him in person. It was just a chance meeting because of a mobile game, but it encouraged this man to lose almost 400 pounds and view life in a completely different light.
By Alexandria Ingham