Are there bullies in the gym
700 pound online bully is transforming his life with the help of those he bullied
Weighing around 700 pounds, Jesse Shand could hardly get up, let alone leave his house.
So he spent his days and nights as an internet bully, writing gruesome messages to strangers on online forums hidden behind his computer screen.
It sounds ironic - an overweight hermit bullying, not bullied - but for Shand, 28, it was a "coping mechanism", a way of attacking people before they attacked him.
"When you're actively trying to bring people down and get negative attention, something is almost always reflected in your own life," he told TODAY.com.
His attacks were accidental because they made inappropriate comments on women on a feminist website to mock gamers for feeling “too poor” to buy the latest Xbox or PlayStation console.
RELATED: Share Your Inspirational Weight Loss Story and You Can Be On The TODAY Show!
"The thing about trolling is that it's easy to part with - you don't see your victims, you don't see what it does to them," Shand said. "It's easy to forget that these are people."
Today, Shand, who lives in Novi, Michigan, is a new man: he weighs 260 pounds and goes to the gym at 4:30 a.m. every morning before going to his IT job, which is the first time in years.
Interestingly, the people who helped him change his life came from one of the forums he ran on Trolls: BodyBuilding.com, a site known for having a strong online community, Shand said.
RELATED: Does Junk Food Make Us Fat? Why cut candy, soda can't be enough
It started with a thread he made in May 2013, entitled “Ask the Fattest Man on This Page”.
It was Shand's insincere response to a forum monitor who complained that Shand's profile wasn't showing his real picture, just an avatar violating one of the site's rules.
“I kind of said the thread, okay, you want the real me? This is the real me, ”said Shand. “It ended up exploding. It became very popular. People tried to believe that I could lose weight. "
RELATED: A Male Confession From A Plus-Size Man: "I'm Afraid You Go Pinging For Clothes"
Sure, there have been a few nasty comments - Shand expects them - but he didn't expect everyone to be helpful.
When he revealed that he hadn't bathed in two years because it didn't fit in the shower and said that he "sometimes used baby wipes" but lived mostly in his own filth, a user sent him a children's pool and an outdoor shower connected a hose.
"They started sending all sorts of things," Shand said. “Exercise bands. Dumbbells. Things I would need to get started. "
"They kind of shaped it for my situation," he added. “Because I couldn't really stand, they said I could just freak out and probably lose weight. I could dance sitting down. They gave me exercises while sitting.
“I told them what I was going to eat and they would tell me how to shave a few hundred calories. They were small steps that I could actually take. "
Soon enough he began to lose weight and was finally able to leave the house to see a doctor, where the scale showed he weighed 653 pounds.
Surprisingly, he had no major health concerns: "I was very lucky in this regard."
Shand continued doing the little exercises like running laps from the kitchen to the living room, first five at a time and then ten, and he built himself up to do outdoor exercises as his weight subsided.
Now at 260 pounds, Shand says he wants to lose another 40 pounds before having surgery to remove the extra skin, a procedure he is currently trying to raise money to fund.
"I can't believe it wasn't until 2013 when I hadn't left the house in years," he said. “Now I ride my bike, I go to the gym, I work, I play racquetball at night. I swim. I go to parties. "
He recently went to an amusement park where he got to sit on the rides for the first time in years: "It was amazing."
Shand also gives to the community that has helped him by writing inspirational messages to other people who want to lose weight and seek help online.
"I still speak to all of [the forum]," he said. “And I try to help other people. So I can make up for some of the negativity that I have spread. "
- Why is school education better than agriculture
- Do operas contain lyric writing
- What is horizontal gene transfer
- How do I choose a network cable
- Who paid for the Scottish referendum
- What are some InboxDollars hacks
- Do dried noodles have a shelf life
- How are FaceTime calls tracked
- Will Airbus A380 survive without Emirates orders
- Do you believe in heaven or hell?
- What do you need to make pancakes
- What is BUFSIZ in C.
- How to clean occupied spaces
- What is a mistake that humanity makes over and over again
- Why does GSRTC not accept RuPay cards
- Who is the hottest DJ in India
- How do little boys dress?
- What interesting inventions has religion given us?
- Why does drinking alcohol make people morose
- How to grow amaryllis
- Who makes the best Chardonnay wine
- Why doesn't aluminum-free deodorant work
- What is not conventional energy
- What is 8-bit color