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John F. Thomas, Jr., Esq. spent a lifetime providing South Jersey legal services – as a 500 pound man.

On April 27, 2016, something in his knee gave way as he walked back from a hearing in City Hall. Rescued by his wife who left work early to help him, she drove John to get emergency knee injections.

John’s longtime knee doctor told him: “John, you need 2 new knees, but you need to get under 300 lbs first.”

Hearing that, John’s heart sank. He was about 470 lbs at the time, down a bit from his all-time high of 505. He had a 72″ waist, wore 6-7X tops and 7-8x bottoms.

Lose 170 pounds before getting knee surgery? No way; it can’t be done. Nobody loses that much weight, right?

John raged and despaired. He thought about ending his life. He thought about being one of those people featured on Oprah who has to cut out of his house because he can’t use the door anymore.

But eventually, he decided he simply could no longer live this way, and to do something about it.

On May 9, 2016 John limped, terrified, into the office of a bariatric surgeon. John was certain he’d never be able to eat a decent meal again, and that life would just be misery and deprivation for the rest of his days. This would be his penance, now, to pay for the sins of his past.

The bariatric surgeon examined John, and informed him that he wouldn’t do the surgery until John weighed less than 400 lbs.

Yes, you read that correctly: John was told he was too fat for weight loss surgery.

Undaunted, John embarked on a truly miserable medically supervised diet that was essentially just protein shakes and vegetables. No carbs. No fat. No sugar. No fun.

But it worked.

In a few weeks, when the weight started melting off, John began to believe he could really do this! He began enthusiastically embracing the program. Over that summer, he lost the weight he needed to have the bariatric surgery. By August 2016, he weighed 406 lbs., and surgery was scheduled.

The recovery was fairly swift; the worst part of it was the 2 weeks of liquid diet before, and 2 weeks after surgery, followed by 2 more weeks of baby food. But eventually, he learned how to eat all over again, like a child.

The weight continued to come off. John reached his 300-pound goal in February 2017. He was able to get his much-needed knee surgery. Within the span of about three weeks after knee replacement, he was walking, pain-free, on his knee, with no walker or cane. Tuesday, May 9, 2017, he had his second knee replaced – exactly one year to the day from when he first visited the bariatric surgeon.

He’s now a fully bionic lawyer!

Today, John weighs 240 lbs., about 60 or so pounds lighter than when he graduated high school. He’s lost more weight than he currently weighs – John’s literally less than half the man he used to be!

In one short year, he’s completely reinvented himself. Every single aspect of his life is vastly improved, from walking, enjoying time with his wife and dogs, and simpler activities such as driving, walking up and down stairs. He deeply appreciates not living in pain. And yes, John can still enjoy a decent meal.

Here’s John’s moral:
If he can lose over 250 lbs., then that means he can do anything. And if John can do it, so can you.