Tony Bussey is staying slim, promoting his new independently published book Through Thick and Thin: How the Wildfire was a Wake-Up Call to Transform my Life!
Bussey lost 335 pounds after needing a second plane seat to escape the Fort McMurray wildfire in May 2016.
He shared his story with media — even earning CBC NL’s most-read title for 2018 — but felt he still had more to tell.
“I’ve given a few interviews and I’ve loved every one of them,” he said. “But I wanted people to really understand what it was like to be that size.”
“The reason I want people to understand that is because there’s somebody out there right now that is dealing with that … and there’s no worse feeling then feeling like you’re completely alone and that there’s nobody that can relate to you.”
Bussey chronicled his weight loss journey with co-author Mark Griffin and released the book Jan. 6. The book is one of the top sellers in the Natural Disasters category on Amazon.
The title “just popped into his head,” one night, he said.
“It just seemed to match everything I was going through, for all of those years and stuff, and I said, ‘That’s it. That’s the one right there.'”
Over 280 pages, Bussey details everything that went into losing half his body weight — from struggling to put on socks when he weighted 567 pounds to what things are like now.
“It’s freedom,” he said. “I am not trapped in that body anymore.”
Bussey lost the weight through diet and exercise.
He walks an hour and a half a day and hasn’t had any junk food since the evacuation, more than two and a half years ago.
Since the release of his book, he’s been in Toronto on a media tour, hitting national talk shows and trying to spread word that it’s never too late to start improving one’s health.
“If it’s just one person in the next 40 years can see this story and change their life, I’ll consider my life a success,” he said. “That’s what it’s about to me.”