A determined father and son lost a staggering 20st together – after dad piled on so much weight he couldn’t walk to his own letterbox.
Jeff Moore, 48, and his 19-year-old son Jason used to gorge on snacks, unhealthy dinners and takeaways and both tipped the scales at 30st at their heaviest.
And Jeff, a former personal trainer, couldn’t even walk to the post box at the end of his drive.
When he found out his son was being bullied, the lardy dad took action.
The pair cut back on carbs, and ate more salad and protein, while Jeff ditched his habit of drinking a six-pack of beer or half pint of vodka and Kool Aid with dinner.
Jeff lost 10st 10lb, while his son dropped just 5lb less, and the pair from London, North Carolina, USA, are happier as well as healthier.
Jeff, a service technician, said: “Food and alcohol were my drugs of choice.
“I noticed it a few years ago but I just didn’t address it – I made excuses.
“I worried more about my son. The respect he was getting from society and getting picked on and bullied at school because of his size was more my concern.
“Now I am training myself I am my own client.
“It’s a good feeling. A lot of the things I learned and knew before I’m able to apply to that to what I’m doing now.
“I’m able to look at myself and not be disgusted by what I see.
“I’m able to climb steps and you know all those little things that I wasn’t able to do before, those are motivating factors.
“It’s fun to see someone who I haven’t seen in a year and they say ‘you’re not Jeff, what happened to the rest of you?!'”
After leaving the military in 1995, Jeff become a certified personal trainer in 2006.
But then Jeff’s life took a turn – his marriage fell apart and he fell into a depression.
He quit his job as a personal trainer and became a full time service technician for fire alarms, spending a lot of time on the road and eating at drive-thru restaurants.
Tragedy struck in 2013 when his father died, and Jeff became the carer of his ailing mother until her passing in 2016.
The dad-of-one said: “I was a single parent raising a small boy and all that kind of confounded together and contributed to overeating and alcoholism.
“Life hasn’t been easy and I don’t blame anyone but myself for my mistakes.
“I could barely walk from my house to the mailbox which is maybe 20 yards without being in excruciating pain.”
For breakfast, Jeff would grab two bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches, a large hash brown and a sweet tea, then a king-size Snickers when he got hungry a few hours later.
He would eat at ‘all you can eat’ restaurants for lunch, and cook up burgers and chips for dinner with a six-pack of beer or half pint of vodka and Kool Aid.
His eating habits impacted Jason, who would eat the same things, and would get bullied at school because of his size.
It prevented them from doing their favourite outdoor activities together like hunting and fishing.
He said: “My work it was almost impossible for me.
“I couldn’t climb ladders. I would have customers call my office and complain I smelled bad or I didn’t look professional, I wasn’t clean – the list goes on.
“I live on a lake and bought a boat and couldn’t sit in captain’s chair to drive the boat, so that was a horrible moment because I enjoy boating too.
“There wasn’t much confidence there and I could also tell I wasn’t getting much respect from people because of the way I looked and carried myself.”
In April 2020, Jeff was laid off from his job and decided to take his son on a beach holiday – which kickstarted their life change.
He said: “While I was at the beach, all I wanted to do was sit around and not do anything and stay in hotel room.
“I was just so big I couldn’t do it, I basically sat there and watched TV and drank beer the whole time.
“I just had enough with making excuses for all the bad things that happened to me over the years.”
Jeff and his son decided to lose weight together by adopting the ketogenic diet, where carbs are eliminated but you continue to eat fats and proteins.
He switched his deep-fat fryer with an air fryer, and made low-carb pizza dough out of almond flour, cream cheese and mozzarella.
Jeff said: “Boneless chicken wings, pizza, fried chicken – you name it, whatever we enjoyed eating before.
“All that food made us fat but all that food made me stand up when cooked in a different way.”
At his beloved drive-thrus, he orders double cheeseburgers with no bun, and gets them wrapped in lettuce instead, and gave up alcohol entirely bar a couple of Saturday beers.
Jeff has also said he has ditched the dating scene entirely and is finding staying out of toxic relationships beneficial too.
He joked: “All of a sudden my bills are getting paid, my credit is improved, and my weight’s getting better. I think I’m going to leave women alone for a minute.”
He shed 100 pounds in just seven months with his food swaps.
Since last June, he has lost 150 pounds, and dropped 14 inches off his waistband too.
Store worker Jason has taken up ‘geocaching’, a global scavenger hunt where hikers find hidden objects in their local area guided by a GPS, to stay active.
“When I first started I could walk to the end of my street and back to my house that was far as I could go, that was maybe the length of a football field,” he said.
“Every week I would extend it and make it a little further and now I’m walking almost a mile and a half a day.”