Health issues: mental health problems; loss of loved ones
When Joey Morganelli was 16, his father died of a heart attack right in front of him, only three years after losing his mother to cancer. Looking for a way to cope with such tragedy and loss, he turned to food. By the time he graduated high school, he had weighed 400 pounds.
Luckily, Morganelli had people around him who cared about his well-being and were concerned about what they saw. In his freshman year of college, his microbiology professor pulled him aside to express concerns about his health and asked him to watch the 2011 documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. The film had a significant effect on Morganelli, and slowly but surely, he replaced fast food with healthy, home-cooked meals. Eventually, he became more committed, going on a vegan diet, and by mid-2018, he had lost 150 pounds.
In January 2019, he wrote on Instagram that even though losing weight is hard, what’s harder is facing yourself and dealing with the issues that drove you to overeat, to begin with. “Give yourself a fair fight and take that blindfold off,” he wrote. “It will propel you into places you never thought you could be.”