Brian Flemming had given up all hope for his life. A 30-year-old college dropout, he weighed 625 pounds and, by his own description, was both an alcoholic — swilling a fifth of vodka mixed with soda every night — and a fast food junkie.
But that all changed for this Michigan man — thanks to a random connection through an online game called Draw Something.
“My typical fast food meal was a double cheese burger with a large pop and large fries. That usually wasn’t enough, so I would have chicken nuggets with it as well. I also ate Arby’s frequently. Large roast beef sandwich, large curly fries and drink, and a side of mozzarella sticks,” Flemming wrote on his blog. “I look back now and estimate that I was consuming around 4000-5000 calories per day. I also sat around all day playing video games. I typically played for 4-5 hours per day along with watching TV. It seemed to be a good distraction to pass the time between meals and drinking binges.”
But one day when he started playing Draw Something on his tablet computer, picking a random opponent, he encountered a woman named Jackie Eastham, who it turned out was also based in the UK.
The rest is weight loss history.
Jackie, who is 20 years older than Flemming, lives with myotonic muscular dystrophy, a condition that requires her to live a meticulously healthy lifestyle.
The two chatted online often and became good friends. As Brian confided in her about his depression and drinking problems, he was hoping for sympathy. But instead…
“She was angry with me,” he says. “She told me that I was wasting my life and that I should be ashamed that I was throwing it away when there are so many people out there who are fighting to stay alive.”
Afraid he was going to lose his new friend, Brian — with support and encouragement from Jackie, vowed to reform his health. He went cold turkey on the booze — and that alone led to a weight loss of 100 pounds.
He began an exercise routine, starting with five minutes per day and finally working up the nerve to go outside and jog.
The whole time, Jackie kept pushing him onward.
A year went by and Brian Flemming dropped 365 pounds. He and Jackie finally met. He visited his friend in Europe and they walked up the Eiffel Tower steps together.
“Jackie is the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” says Brian Flemming, now reaping the benefits of his incredible weight loss and healthy lifestyle. “I feel that she saved my life, even though she would never take credit.”