Troll To Swole: Internet Bully Loses 400lbs After Changing His Ways

JESSE: I’m about 400lbs lost, I still got probably 35-40lbs of loose skin so I’m thinking
I’m within 10-15lbs of my goal weight. 00:14
COMM: Jesse Shand was a prolific internet troll who bullied people in an attempt to
make himself feel better about his ballooning size. 00:22
COREEN: I thought he would die very young, I don’t think he had much longer. 00:27
COMM: However after being challenged online he’s turned his life around, changing his
ways and losing more than half his bodyweight. But now he faces a new obstacle. 00:37
JESSE: I have some major problems with loose skin. 00:44
COREEN: I used to try to get him to go outside, he wouldn’t. He was constantly on that computer.
Constantly. Day and night. No exercise, that’s when his weight would start ballooning. 00:58
COMM: Jesse had become a recluse. Eventually weighing around 700lbs. He spent his time
trolling on the internet. 01:06
JESSE: Trolling is basically doing anything you can to try and bring other people down,
or to spread negativity. I would target anyone for my trolling. If someone was upset about
a breakup, I might talk about how great it is to be in a relationship and just anything
I could do to further upset someone who is already prone to being upset. 01:26
JESSE: It made me kind of get a laugh out of it but also made me feel better about my
situation because if I was focusing on someone else being upset I didn’t really have to think
about my own situation. 01:37
COMM: But when he targeted a bodybuilding forum in May 2013 the members asked to see
his picture, and amazingly Jesse showed them. 01:46
JESSE: My life started to really turn around. Some of the members, they were trying to talk
me into believing I could lose the weight. I had hundreds of excuses and they wouldn’t
accept any of them. 01:57
JESSE: Someone told me, at your weight you could literally just sit in a chair and flop
around and you would lose weight. 02:00
JESSE: Let’s try that theory. And I made a video putting on music and just flailing my
upper body around and that was my first ever workout. And by the time I was done with it
I was sweaty, I was tired and it worked. 02:14
COMM: The first obstacle the forum members helped Jesse overcome was his lack of confidence. 02:20
JESSE: And when I went in with this I had this perception that people were just going
to see me as what I felt I was, which was a slob, lazy, y’know all these negative things
that you associate with people that are morbidly obese, and what I found was that they actually
respect putting in the effort and they are very encouraging. They were more positive
than I was willing to be with myself at the time and that was a big step, because I needed
someone to believe in me long before I was ready to believe in myself and I think without
that I wouldn’t be able to be where I am today. 02:53
COMM: Jesse now attends the gym five times a week, and has completely turned his back
on junk food. So far he’s lost an incredible amount of weight without any surgery. But
now finds himself needing to go under the knife. 03:07
JESSE: While I’m lucky enough that I started young, my skin did bounce back somewhat. When
you lose that kind of weight you’re going to have a lot of loose skin and I do have
that, especially in the belly area, under my arms and in my thigh area. I came up with
the number of $20,000 that’s needed to get the skin surgery, I have to have one for my
pains which is the belly area of fat, um also one for the legs, arms and there’s kind of
a nip, tuck situation and recovery time, follow up doctor visits. 03:35
COMM: Jesse has been appealing online for financial help for his surgery and is over
a third of the way to his $20,000 target. He also recently had a job interview and is
hoping for the first time in his life he’ll be able to gain independence and move from
his mother’s trailer. 03:51
JESSE: Just got a call on the phone and out of twenty candidates they ended up offering
me the job and they want me to start on Monday. I’ve got so much hope for what’s in the future
now. I could gain my independence here soon, very soon. I’m just right now overwhelmed
with emotion. It feels great, I just can’t believe in a couple short years, here I am
doing something I thought I’d never get to do in my life, y’know starting a new job on
Monday. 04:14
COMM: Perhaps most significantly Jesse has turned his back on trolling and realises the
hurt he caused others. 04:21
JESSE: I wasted so many years of my life looking back on it now, I wasn’t doing anything productive
and I was hurting other people and making them feel as bad as I felt and that doesn’t
do anything to further my own happiness and it certainly didn’t further anyone else’s
happiness. I want to be able to make up for that and really show the new me and help out
and give back to people who are in a similar situation that I’m in now because I feel like
I’m in a unique position to help those kinds of people.