By: Victoria Hansenvhansen@abcnews4.com
MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCIV)-- Bryan Ganey was trapped in a hospital bed for six days, wondering if this was it. His parents had rushed him to the emergency room when he collapsed.
"I remember thinking at the time, I was 37 years old, I remember thinking my parents brought me home from the hospital when I was born and now they're bringing me back."
Bryan had a pulmonary embolism in his lungs. It wasn't caused by genetics. It wasn't a case of bad luck. It was because the scale in his hospital bed confirmed what he already suspected. He weighed nearly 600 pounds.
He knew what he had to do to live, lose weight. He'd done before, but it didn't last. So when doctors recommended surgery, he said no.
"I just didn't see how having surgery would give the tools to change my lifestyle to make a permanent change."
Bryan grew up with food as his constant companion. By the time he was nine, he knew he was overweight. He loved to eat and he just couldn't stop.
"By the time I got to high school you know, I was 300 to 350 pounds."
In his twenties, Bryan was well over 400 pounds. He couldn't take it anymore. He needed to do something and he thought something drastic.
"I would work out ten times a week and I was starving myself, not eating enough food, not proper nutrition at all in any way."
It worked, at least for awhile. He lost 240 pounds in 17 months.
"And so what happened was, what always happens. I got down to that magic 199 pounds and then I started to struggle."
Within a matter of months he gained all the weight back again, and more.
"The next 12 to 13 years was a very depressing time because I would constantly think back to the time I lost the weight before and wonder why can't I recapture the magic and why can't I do it again?"
That 2010 trip to the hospital was it.
"All I care about is really just the will to live, it's the only thing that motivates me."
This time Bryan went about losing weight the old fashion way. He eats several small, healthy meals including fruits, vegetables and lean meats. He measures his portions carefully and exercises regularly.
At first, exercise was just standing up and sitting down. He progressed to walking and now jogs, training for the upcoming bridge run.
In 19 months, he has lost 279 pounds. He's motivated to lose more, the right way, no matter how long it takes.
"There's an entire weight loss industry in this country that I can't believe they're as successful as they are because they rip people off, steal their money, steal their hope and it just isn't going to work."
Bryan says there's no easy way to lose weight, and the key is to believe in yourself.