By Rachel Hall
It was Mother’s Day last year when Jason “Tuna” Thompson of Cleveland was admitted to the hospital for health reasons. His weight – 510 pounds – was to blame for most of his issues.
“There wasn’t much they could do for me,” explained Tuna. “The last time I went to the hospital was the last time. I knew bodies at rest tend to stay at rest, so I wanted to start moving and wanted someone to show me how to start moving.”
While the hospitalization was a catalyst that sparked a commitment to a healthier lifestyle with workouts at the gym, a trainer, and meal plans, it was several months before then that Tuna knew he needed to make a change.
“I knew I could invest in my illness or I could invest in my health and spend the money on a trainer and a meal plan,” he said.
Tuna already had a gym membership at Prime Iron Gym in Cleveland and decided to have a discussion with the owner, Sam Parker, about what he needed to do to improve his health and mobility.
“Walking around would hurt very badly because of my lower back issue, but that is slowly going away with every pound that I lose,” said Tuna who dropped 101 pounds in about one year since beginning training three days a week with Sam and changing his diet.
His progress has taken time, hard work, and commitment, and became an opportunity for Tuna and his wife, Farrah, to spend more time together, because she decided to join in on the journey with him after seeing all of the success with the program. His entire family has been supportive and the weight loss has given him something he never could have done prior – a chance to be actively engaged with his grandchildren.
“We went to the park for my granddaughter’s 1-year birthday and I could do very little. Recently we took a trip to Nashville and visited the zoo and I walked the entire zoo, including a rope swing nobody else wanted to go on other than my granddaughter. I walked the rope swing with her and it was really cool to be able to do that because I wasn’t able to do that before,” said Tuna.
More milestones are achieved as time passes on his fitness journey to his goal weight of 300 pounds, such as being able to add cardio to his workout for extended periods of time without pain. He shares his progress on his Instagram page #tattooingtuna.
“I’ve had people come to me personally and tell me my posts have motivated them into fitness as well,” explained Tuna. “Everyone knows what they need to do. It’s no secret that fitness is an important thing.”
Tuna’s words of wisdom: “If you’re not happy with yourself – change it. Find somebody who knows what they are doing and learn how to do the same thing. Sometimes you need to hire a professional.”