A Fort McMurray man is living a much healthier life because of the Horse River wildfire.
In almost two years, Tony Bussey has lost 326 pounds after changing his diet and taking long walks.
Back in May, 2016, Bussey, who worked at the Suncor mine, was evacuated but needed to use two seats on the plane due to his size.
‘Embarrassment, shame that I let things get that bad – I felt horrible for the people.”
He tells Mix News it really hit him hard knowing somebody had to wait for another flight all because he couldn’t fit in one seat.
“I’m thinking, there’s an empty seat – some man, some woman, some father, some mother, some wife, some husband who could sit there and be home that evening the same time I am. If I was smaller there would be room for one more.”
Once he arrived in Edmonton, his life would change for the better.
“Before, my diet consisted of anything that was fried, fatty, processed or junk – it was almost like a drug. I cut out all of that, I don’t touch any junk food, I haven’t had any in almost two years.”
Bussey also started taking walks, starting out at just five minutes, then it grew to 10, nowadays, on his days off he walks around three to four km.
He hasn’t started going to the gym but has plans to after surgery to remove around 30 pounds of skin.
With all the negatives that came from the wildfire – Bussey says this horrific tragedy changed his life for the better.
“It not only changed my life, it saved my life. For all the destruction and hell of that wildfire, for all the damage it caused – it was a horrifying experience but it literally saved my life.”
Now, Bussey is sharing his story in the hopes that others can get inspired and change their lifestyles for the better.
“It’s so nice to be normal again, to fit in, just to be able to do normal things.”
Right now, he weighs 241 pounds and will lose another 30 once the skin surgery is done.