A 29 stone (406lb) man who was almost as wide as he was tall lost an incredible 16 stone (224lbs) after his marriage collapsed when he became too overweight to have sex.
Stephen Ringo, 38, blames his obesity for ruining his relationship when his waist expanded to 60 inches, just seven inches less than his 5ft 7inch frame.
The software engineer, from Johnson City, Tennessee, was a super-fit weightlifter at school. But overindulging in Big Macs and pizzas caused him to balloon until he was too large to even put on his socks.
With his severely overweight figure driving his sex drive ‘into the ground’ and leaving him with depression, Mr Ringo and his wife divorced in 2016.
Forced to re-evaluate his lifestyle, Mr Ringo lost nearly half his body weight in just two years after getting back into weightlifting and eating within just a four-hour window every day.
Stephen Ringo was almost as wide as he is tall when he weighed 29 stone (left). After blaming his obesity for ruining his marriage, he lost an astonishing 16 stone in just two years (right). The software engineer claims shedding the pounds has completely transformed his life
Speaking of the impact his obesity had on his relationship, Mr Ringo said: ‘It’s fair to say my weight ruined my marriage. It was the single biggest factor.
‘My relationship with my wife deteriorated as my weight crept up. I was depressed and as that set in intimacy kind of left. My weight drove my sex life into the ground.
‘I believe my depression and lack of sex drive ultimately drove my wife away from me.
‘If I had been a better husband I might have been able to pull the marriage back together.’
Before (left), Mr Ringo would struggle to put on his socks and get severely out of breath just walking. Since overhauling his lifestyle, his 60-inch waist has shrunk to just 32 inches (right). Although he has a lot of excess skin, he adds surgery to remove it is ‘not a priority’
As well as affecting his relationship, Mr Ringo’s obesity also had an impact on every aspect of his life.
‘My weight held me back from doing so many things. Getting dressed in the morning was tough. I could hardly put on my socks,’ he said.
‘My ex-wife and I went on vacation to New York City in 2012 and my weight really took a toll on me. When you’re in New York, there is a lot of walking involved.
‘After a walk in Central Park I had to sit on a bench to catch my breath for a half an hour. I felt like a failure.’
Mr Ringo’s obesity left him battling depression and with a libido that was ‘driven into the ground’. This stopped him being intimate with his wife, which he blames for their divorce
Although a super-fit weightlifter at school, Mr Ringo’s love of fast food caused him to balloon
Driven by the break down of his marriage, Mr Ringo forced himself to go the gym every day. As well as taking up weightlifting again, he now only eats within a four-hour window every day
Mr Ringo blames his love of fast food and refusal to cook a meal from scratch for his rapid weight gain.
‘I would usually go to McDonald’s for lunch and order a Big Mac family meal, which was two Big Macs, two large fries and two large cokes, as well as 20 chicken nuggets,’ he said.
‘I would drive through the drive through so they might think I was ordering the meal for a family. After I finished I always felt so bad about myself. I hated myself. For dinner I would order Pizza Hut or Domino’s.
‘I was almost as round as I was wide. My pants were 60 inches and I was 67 inches tall.’
For lunch, Mr Ringo would order a Big Mac family meal, which is made up of two Big Macs, two large fries, two large cokes and 20 chicken nuggets. He would then have pizza for dinner
Although the gym initially left him discouraged, he gradually built up his fitness again
At his biggest (left), Mr Ringo says he ‘hated himself’ and would get fast food from a drive through so people thought he was ordering for a family. Now (right), the engineer exists on an apple, ground turkey and green beans, followed by popcorn and low-fat ice cream every day
After deciding enough was enough, Mr Ringo went back to the gym in October 2016.
‘My first time in the gym I was disgusted with myself. I could literally bench 175lbs which is as much as I could when I was a young teenager.
‘I don’t know how I had let myself get that far. Gradually I’ve built myself back up 340lbs,’ he said.
Although initially discouraged at how much he had let himself go, Mr Ringo forced himself to exercise every day.
He also started fasting, which means he only eats between 5pm and 9pm.
The grueling lifestyle overhaul, which Mr Ringo documented on his YouTube channel, saw his 60-inch waist shrink to just 32 inches.
Speaking of his diet now, Mr Ringo said: ‘When I get home I break my fast with an apple and for dinner I have ground turkey and a pound of green beans.
‘I have two cups of air-popped popcorn and one low-fat ice cream.’
Mr Ringo claims his weight loss has transformed his confidence and made him much happier
Although not ready to date, Mr Ringo believes he will be a better partner due to his journey
Mr Ringo’s remarkable weight loss has given him back his confidence and, although he is not ready to date, he believes will be a better partner now he has turned his life around.
‘Losing this weight has changed my life. Something as simple as being able to put on your socks makes such a different,’ he said.
‘I do have a lot of excess skin. I’d love to get it removed but surgery costs a lot so it’s not my priority now.
‘I don’t feel ready to date yet but I do think I’d be a better partner in the future. I’m so much happier in myself and I think that would make a big difference.’