A New York man has shed half of his body weight and rediscovered his love for life, by overcoming the depression and health complications that followed the death of his father.
Long Island local Andrew Goldblatt, 25, had always struggled with his weight, and weighed nearly 300 pounds at the age of 15 when his father passed away. But it was when he suffered a seizure and later stepped on the scale at the age of 20, and found he had gained almost 250 pounds in five years following a battle with depression, that he realized things needed to change.
At 6-foot-5-inches, Goldblatt weighed 540 pounds, and when he had a seizure in his upstairs bedroom, paramedics considered slicing off a side of his home as he was too large to move.
“I was so large and so big that the fire department was contemplating cutting down the side of my house and fork lifting me out of my bedroom,” he told The Epoch Times. “After that I was like [expletive] this. I started to work on myself and fix myself and here we are.”
He took things slow, and started walking a mile a day, which he said took him 35 minutes. As his fitness levels improved, he gradually walked further distances and began to fix his diet, which used to consist of around 10,000 calories daily.
A couple of years into his fitness journey, Goldblatt’s world was turned upside down when he discovered his love for the gym.
“I got bored one day and started to go to the gym. I started lifting weights and found love almost instantly,” he said.
It is in the gym where the 25-year-old feels alive and unleashes all the emotions he usually keeps bottled up inside, he said.
Goldblatt told The Epoch Times that he saw countless therapists and psychologists after the death of his father, who would prescribe numerous types of medications, “nothing really seemed to stay in a whole.”
For him, the gym became his “anti-depressant,” making him feel like a “new, different person.”
“The only thing that truly did fix me was myself. The only thing that made me feel normal, happy again was the gym,” he explained. “It’s really one of those things which was literally a life saver, not just physically, but mentally, as well.”
“I love lifting weights, I love lifting heavy. It just makes you feel good, makes you feel proud, you feel like you’ve earned it. Hard work pays off.
Goldblatt explained he keeps his diet in check by counting his macros, and making sacrifices daily with his diet.
“I want to keep moving forward, and I want to keep myself in check. And if that means I can’t eat McDonald’s, then I can’t eat McDonald’s. It’s worth the sacrifice. It’s worth everything.”
He added, however, that if he slips up with his diet, he focuses on his long-term goal rather than feeling down.
“There’s always tomorrow. One small slip is not going to affect you in a month or two months,” Goldblatt said. “You just have to remember to keep moving forward and not look back, everyone makes mistakes.”
Five years on and 270 pounds lighter, the 25-year-old is feeling better than ever, both physically and mentally, and hopes to start studying towards becoming a Registered Nurse soon, he told The Epoch Times.
Goldblatt’s seizures, which are caused by a cavernous malformation in his brain, are now under control and regulated, he said. He has been seizure free for about a year and a half after undergoing multiple operations.
“I am 1000 times better than I’ve ever been. It’s life-changing. I wish I could’ve done it much sooner than I did, but I am where I am now. I’ve never been happier or better,” he said.
“Depression never truly does go away, but the smallest things can make the biggest of changes. You just have to keep moving forward and keep going day by day.”