Like many kids who grew up in lower-income families, John David Glaude and his family ate what they could afford. Even if nutrition was a priority, healthy food wasn’t always economically feasible. As he grew up he kept gaining weight, going from a husky child to the biggest kid in his high school. “Gaining weight throughout the years, it starts to become pretty normal,” Glaude says. “You just accept that a new school year means wearing a bigger size shirt and pants. It all came to a head when I hit 20 years old and I was close to 400 pounds.” Being this heavy made Glaude cognizant of his own mortality and he knew that at this size, it wasn’t if his body would kill him but when.
Growing up, Glaude had many experiences where his body forced him to confront this reality, but his epiphany came through watching an episode of “Miami Ink.” Glaude saw a client who was getting a hamburger tattoo to commemorate his weight loss success and he realized that it was time to make a change and earn a celebratory tattoo of his own. “I was 20 years old and watching ‘Miami Ink,’ eating a double entree of orange chicken and drinking a large soda,” Glaude explains. “I realized that if this was something I wanted to change, I had to put in the work to make it happen. Before, I tried to lose weight for other people, but this time I wanted to do it for myself and that was the start.”
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