The journey began when Jeffrey was living with his mother in her home in Connecticut, taking care of her after she’d suffered a brain aneurysm on July 4, 2015. “She was in a coma and rehab hospitals for 7 months until they deemed she had plateaued and was to be released since insurance would no longer cover her,” he told Love What Matters.
Jeffrey has had self-image problems for a long time. “I was an overweight youth, I was bullied growing up. I’ve lived my life with body-image and confidence issues.” Looking after his mother made everything even more emotional. “I had seen her in the hospitals where she could barely speak, I had seen her in the ICU where she couldn’t. I had seen her on the floor unable to wake up. To see her stare without the longing of a mother was heart-wrenching. It put a world of self-pity and pain in perspective to me.”
“My good friend was also in an emotional time after a breakup and wanted help to get in shape. It was a perfect reason for me to start something new as I felt a new appreciation for life after that summer. We started out small, a light barbell workout and agreed to do push-ups every day. Soon I was waking up and going for walks while listening to uplifting music.”
But it didn’t stop. As time went by, Jeffrey found himself constantly achieving and setting new fitness objectives. “I started jogging and doing sprints, pushing myself a little more and more. I sought new ways to work out, I found YouTube channels like ‘Yoga with Adriene’ to help fill those times when I wanted a workout at home. I began doing yoga and working out almost every day.” He lost 70 pounds in a little over 100 weeks!
After he posted his progress pic on reddit, people immediately called him a real-life Disney prince. Admiring his majestic hair, they even said he should be in shampoo ads. “I could barely sleep that night, it was amazing. The comments were all so uplifting and inspiring.”
However, Jeffrey believes that his mom and her attitude towards life may have been the biggest factor that pushed him towards improving. “She’s the toughest person I know and gives me a constant appreciation for life.”