Perhaps the most astounding success stories in the history of r/loseit is 25-year-old John’s drastic transformation. Known as moderndaymerlin on Reddit, his before-and-after photo is the subreddit’s third-most popular post of all time and made the front page when he posted it last year. The Irish graduate student went from 420 pounds in 2008 to around 160 today.
John, who is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in astrophysics in Belfast, said r/loseit offered him the support and encouragement he needed to stick with his diet and newly active exercise routine. Today, he returns the favor by offering support to others.
“I’m really proud now that I’m able to start helping people and give advice,” he said. “It’s always so flattering — and just plain awesome — to hear people say that I’m now an inspiration.”
These days, John is equally active in another subreddit, r/travel. When he was at his peak weight, traveling wasn’t something he was able to do. Now it’s his passion, and he thanks his support system at r/loseit for helping him to discover it.
“My advice to any redditors looking to lose weight and get in shape would be to be aware of your support network, be it r/loseit, family, friends, your local health center,” he said. “There are always people to talk to and offer advice and support.”
Elizabeth was even more blunt in her gratitude toward the web community.
“Thank you, r/loseit,” she told the Daily Dot. “You saved my life.”
So awesome. Congratulations!