Tony Bussey weighed 567 pounds when he was filled with remorse during a wildfire evacuation in May 2016.
“Seeing people having to wait because I was too fat to sit next to—that was it for me,” Bussey said, according to CBC.
It was at this moment that Bussey decided to change for the better.
“That had a huge effect on me,” said the 43-year-old. “It was at that moment I felt, ‘Enough is enough, Tony. You can’t keep going on like this. You’re affecting other people now,'” CTV News reported.
Bussey was working his shift as a heavy equipment tire changer at Suncor Energy’s oilsands plant when an evacuation order arrived. Buses came along to pick up employees and take them to Suncor’s airstrip as the fire started to come closer, CTV News reported.
“They took me from the back of the line to the front of the line because of my size,” he recalled. “They put me at the front of the bus, but they wouldn’t sit anybody next to me. Nobody could fit there. I was spilling over into the next seat.”
But it wasn’t the embarrassment of taking up two seats that made him feel bad.
“I couldn’t stop thinking, there’s somebody left behind,” he added. “They’ve got to wait longer in this hell.”
It didn’t just happen once, it happened again when he boarded the plane.
“Everybody was wanting to get out there and get back to their families. A person now has to wait—who knows how much longer—because I’m too fat to sit next to.”
When he arrived home in Edmonton that evening, that’s when he began his weight loss journey.
At 5.8 feet and 567 pounds, Bussey had reached a point where he struggled to fit into his size 66 pants.
“There wasn’t one morning where I didn’t wish I was somebody else,” he said.
He would feel fatigued after walking to his car in the driveway and barely fit in the driver’s seat.
In five months, he lost 100 pounds after cutting out junk food and soda from his diet.
By 2018, he had lost 240 pounds and now fits into size 34 pants.
Although he was on a low-carb, high-protein diet, he also fueled his body by consuming lots of fats, according to Diet Doctor.
He told Diet Doctor about the internal struggle he faced being severely overweight.
“You used to think there was no hope. That it was just total despair that you were that big. That there was no going back. It was almost as if you were just waiting to die, as sad as that sounds, but that’s all your life was.”
By sharing his story and his message, he hopes to inspire those in the same situation to take the first step to self-improvement.
“There is hope. I was 41 when I started this, almost 600 pounds. If I can do this, anyone can.”