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Losing to live

May 25, 2005

Morgan - You may remember Richard Perrine, a south Georgian who weighed almost one thousand pounds. Two years ago, he was in the process of killing himself.

Richard lists his conditions, "Congestive heart failure, severe arthritis, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, oxygen deficiency."

Major health problems brought on by morbid obesity. "Almost 1000, 980 something, I think was the top registered weight they got at Phoebe at one time on their bed."

He used oxygen constantly, and couldn't make it more than a few feet from his bed. He says, "With the help of a walker I barely made it 10 feet to the couch on the other side of my bedroom and was totally bedridden up to that. I pretty much gave up to die for several years. I didn't see a way out."

He couldn't step out of his house for about four years. "I was in a prison," says Richard. A prison he had eaten himself into. By his mid thirties, Richard was homebound, and quickly running out of time.

Richard says, "With the Lord's help and a lot of help of friends and family, I've managed to turn it around, take it one day at a time."

And one step at a time, he can now walk unassisted onto the front porch. He says, "My miracle's right here." Another miracle? Richard recently celebrated his 45th birthday. "A few years ago did you think you were going to live to be 45? 'No ma'am', I truly didn't.'"

He's taking online classes, considering a degree in social work. He says, "I'm hoping I can use my battles that the Lord's helped me overcome to maybe help others turn around before it gets to this point."

Richard's dropped nearly 300 pounds in two years, has set and met new goals, like walking down the ramp, and he's learned a lot of important lessons about food. He says, "The biggest thing I try to live by is to use food for nourishment instead of enjoyment or instead of comfort." And he never eats after 7:30 at night. He says, "I even learned that hunger pains are not a death sentence, you can live through them."

Richard's next goal is to leave his property, and maybe take up one of his favorite hobbies again. "I want to get to where I can get out enough to visit with family and go to church to serve the Lord and go fishing, I love fishing! I haven't been able to enjoy that in a longtime," says Richard.

He plans to continue to lose weight and his biggest piece of advice for others struggling with morbid obesity is, ironically, not to diet, and to turn to God for strength. He says, "You've got to realize that there is hope and the only real hope, I believe, is through the Lord and through yourself." A self, Richard Perrine can finally see again.

Richard gives a lot of credit to Dr. Phil's book The Ultimate Weight Loss Solution. He wants to thank everyone who wrote him and prayed for him during his battle with weight.

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