Massapequa man hopes his weight loss journey inspires others

Most people have all struggled with weight loss at one point or another, but for one Massapequa man, it was a life or death situation.

News 12 Staff

Jan 23, 2019, 10:00 AM

Updated 1,942 days ago

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Most people have all struggled with weight loss at one point or another, but for one Massapequa man, it was a life or death situation.
A very determined 25-year-old, John Arpino, of Massapequa, spends two hours a day, five days a week at the gym with his trainer Steve Arnone. But Arpino wasn't always this fit.
When he was born and throughout his childhood, Arpino suffered from severe asthma. His condition prevented him from physical activity.
"I was rushed out of school so many times by ambulance, I couldn't even count if I wanted to," Arpino says.
Being overweight as a kid was tough, as Arpino struggled to fit in at school
"I would always put on that happy face," he says. "I would always be that funny fat guy, but deep down it destroyed me. I hated it. I hated going to school."
Arpino says he found joy eating the Italian food his grandmother would make and watching professional wrestling. It was his escape from reality, and he dreamt one day he would be in the WWE ring, like his hero Hulk Hogen.
But before Arpino could get in the ring, he needed to take control of his life. At just 22 years old, Arpino was deeply depressed and tipped the scale at 500 pounds. One day in 2015, Arpino had an asthma attack that nearly took his life.
"Paramedic says 'I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry,'" Arpino recalls. "I remember looking at him and saying 'what do you mean you're sorry?'"
As paramedics rushed into his house, Arpino was gasping for air, going in and out of consciousness.
"I'm praying to my grandmother saying 'please give me one more chance, I don't want to die in the back of an ambulance,'" Arpino says.
Arpino got that second chance, and he wasn't about to waste it.
"I don't take life for granted now, ever," says Arpino.
Arpino started to eat right and work out slowly at first.
"I think I wanted to quit 98 percent of the time," Arpino says "And I had Steve driving me and pushing me and telling me that everything I wanted was possible."
His trainer Arnone has been helping Arpino get into shape.
"He never gave up on me," Arpino says. "If I didn't have Steve, I wouldn't be where I am."
One thing he has gained is a huge following on social media, inspiring others who have lost hope.
Arpino says fad diets are not for him. He prefers things more simple as he concentrates on eating balanced clean meals filled with protein, vegetables and healthy fats.
These days he's more inspired than ever. Arpino is training at the New York Wrestling Connection Academy in Deer Park, where he chases his dream of becoming a professional wrestler.
Now, Arpino says instead of watching from the sidelines, he's the one in the ring.
"You can't fail if you work hard," Arpino says.
Arpino continues to lose weight and gain muscle. He documents his journey by posting pictures and motivational messages on Instagram where he has more than 13,000 followers.


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