Imagine growing up in New York…now imagine being 520lbs and growing up in New York. This was the reality for lifelong Brooklynite John Arpino just a few short years ago. He grew up being the fat and funny kid in his classes. John always dreamed of losing weight but couldn’t envision how it could happen.
"When I Get Skinny..."
The words “when I get skinny” would often ring through his mind, but as he grew older those words began to get more and more quiet. Eventually the massive stress on his body became too much to bear, and we nearly lost him.
Hitting Rock Bottom
He recalls the night everything changed, “I was in my house around my entire family, and I had code blued…basically, I had stopped breathing.” After luckily waking up the next day, John was faced with a decision: continue on this path and not live to see his 30’s or “fight and hopefully come out the other side a better, stronger, version of myself” said John. John gave us some insight to his struggle to lose weight, and showed how he truly exemplifies what it means to be a FighterHeart Athlete. “A Fighter Heart is someone who displays resilience, defiance, comes from adversity, and never gives up. No matter how hard the challenge may be, they do anything in their power to get past it, and complete their final goal” says John.
John chose to make a change and with the help of his good friend, and fellow FighterHeart Athlete Steve Arnone, as well as the support of his friends and family, he kicked it into gear and never looked back. “I had a really good support system around me and I had an incredible personal trainer, who's now my best friend… Without my support system, I definitely would not have made it out the other side” he said. John began to train for hours per day, shedding pound after pound in the process. He began to feel a lot better but knew that in order to keep the weight off, he had to eat right too. John started to eat healthy for the first time in his life, and began to see his results multiply. John began competing in bodybuilding competitions soon after, and placed second in his first one ever.
Believe in Yourself
Fast forward to today, John has lost a grand total of 310lbs and is getting healthier everyday. John Arpino is the epitome of what it means to be a FighterHeart Athlete. He has found himself down and out on more than one occasion, but used that adversity as motivation to propel him to the top. When asked about advice for someone in a similar situation, John keeps in short and sweet, “never give up and believe in yourself.” He goes on to say, “First and foremost, you have the power and the ability to do anything that you want, but you cannot unleash that power until you first start to believe in your own self. The power of belief, the power of self, is so huge, you can literally do anything that you want. It just starts with you. It's always you versus you. It's not you versus anybody on social media, it's you versus the man in the mirror.”
Be sure to follow John’s journey @j_arp on instagram.