TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tipping the scales at more than 700 pounds, Sal Paradiso didn’t feel like he had a reason to live.
Sal had lost his father, who was 41-years-old to a heart attack, and he didn’t want to follow in his footsteps.
“It wasn’t a matter of if, it was a matter of when,” Sal said.
Paradiso started his journey to weight loss, but had to drop 150 pounds on his own before being considered for gastric bypass surgery. After a number of hurdles, he finally found a Plant City, Florida, doctor willing to take his case.
The surgery is just part of the picture, Sal says from that moment on he had to dig deep to find the strenght to keep shedding the weight.
“You gotta want it, you really gotta want it,” said Paradiso.
Sal did everything by the book, and through a healthy diet and exercise started losing massive amounts of weight, and then he hit another hurdle. He was left with 37 pounds of skin that needed to be removed.
He tried to raise the money on his own, but it wasn’t enough. Then TLC heard about his story and featured Sal on their popular show Skin Tight.
The surgery was a life changer.
“I don’t think I’ve been to the doctor for a skin rash for a couple of years, it used to be every two weeks,” said Paradiso. “People don’t seem to understand the psychological effect that it has on someone. It still does, I look in the mirror, and I have scars all over my body.”
The scars are a symbol of perseverance for Sal that keep him motivated to stay the course. He says obesity is being treated by a doctor like any other disease.
“I think people can relate to this much like an alcoholic and a drug addiction. You have to fight it everyday. Once you get clean and sober it’s a fight every day,” said Paradiso.
You can find Sal Paradiso on social media, his Instagram handle is @Salodyssey.