Frustrated with his ever-growing weight that peaked at 675 pounds, Ronnie Brower began dieting and working out on his way to losing an astounding 458 pounds. His four-year fitness journey earned him the admiration of a woman at his gym who similarly was trying to lose a lot of weight. According to the AP, Brower and Andrea Masella formed a bond around that shared mission, and on Saturday they will get married in their hometown of Syracuse, New York, celebrating their new lives and all they’ve lost together, a combined 578 pounds. Nick Murphy, Brower’s personal trainer who also will be his best man, calls it “a match made in heaven, a storybook movie.” Brower, 32, recalls that he hit his peak weight, and rock bottom, in 2013 when he was so heavy he could barely leave his parent’s house.
“I was depressed, addicted to pills and alcohol, eating 10 double cheeseburgers or two large pizzas at a time,” Brower says. “My turning point was, my doctor told me if I kept on like this I’d be dead before I was 30. I was 28.” At the urging of a friend, Brower contacted Murphy, owner of Mission Fitness. Brower gave up drugs and alcohol, followed a low-carbohydrate diet, and started working out for three hours a day. Within 100 days he had lost 100 pounds and was able to leave the house and go to the gym for his workouts. After 23 months, he had shed much of his excess weight when he met Masella. At 5-foot-4, she had weighed 250 pounds in 2014 and was on her way to losing 120 pounds. Their first date was playing ping pong and basketball at the gym.