Samaria Terry, KFDX - WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KFDX) -- A Texas man who lost 176 pounds is hoping his weight loss journey inspires others.
Andy Albertson, now 22, was overweight for most of his life, reaching his peak weight of 317 pounds.
"It's actually very hard to see that was me at one point. I don't have a lot of memories of being that big," Albertson recalled.
His family decided to document his weight loss journey in a video posted to Facebook but they never thought it would blow up as it has.
In the three days since it a posted, the video was viewed 90,000 times.
"It has just taken off like we haven't expected," Albertson said, adding, "Hopefully it can just continue to grow and I can reach people and help encourage, inspire and motivate them to begin their journey and begin writing the chapters of their stories so that one day they can share their [story] with the world."
His mother, Mary Albertson, added, "Andy said that he just wants to be able to help other people, you know, to motivate them, inspire them, encourage them, and let them know you're not alone."
She continued, "Isolation is one of the worst things that happens when you're obese. You eat alone, you cry alone, you're alone. And so if he can just reach one person, just one, he's changed the world."
Albertson's journey is certainly one that did not develop without hard work and discipline.
"It's inspiring," his trainer Jerry Hughes said of his story. "I mean the deal is he did it the right way. You see TV shows and all these things. Those are all in controlled environments [where] people are made to lose weight. People are made to eat this and that. Andy did it in the real world."
Mary Albertson said her son now takes pride in his appearance.
"He wants to go shopping for clothes. He likes having his hair styled. He stands with so much more confidence. He doesn't mind people looking at him," she said.
Mary Albertson herself is now on a weight loss journey of her own and she's already down 60 pounds.
She wants to help change the lives of parents who have children who are obese.
"Do not let it happen, you're in control," Mary Albertson warned. "If you allow this happen to your child, not only are you damaging them physically but the emotional and the mental damage you do to them will last forever."
She continued, "I carry a lot of guilt with me and I apologized to Andy early on and told him that I had done him a disservice because as his mother it's my job to protect him and do what was best for him and I failed."
Mary Albertson said she believes it was God's plan for Andy to be where he is in life to help inspire others and that's something she said makes her very proud.
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