James answered TLC.com's questions about his current lifestyle and weight-loss progress. His answers are below; they offer an inspiring look at an entirely new James.
Q: Describe your typical day.
A: Life is a lot easier, I can’t even believe it. I can walk around better and feel a lot lighter. I've been doing things I haven’t done in a long time -- I actually danced a few months ago. I'm going to the grocery store and shopping by myself. I used to order things online, or ask other people to go to the store for me. Now I can do those things without help.
Q: What kind of exercise or activity do you engage in to work toward your goals?
A: Since I’m on the road to recovery, I’m walking and taking it easy. I was working out at the gym from 3-5 hours a day, Monday through Friday. I did water aerobics for three hours a day. You burn more calories in the water, and it’s more fun than being on the gym floor lifting weights by yourself. You start talking to people in the class about what you’ve been through, and they want to know more.
Q: Who or what is your motivation for keeping the course of your weight-loss journey?
A: My main source of motivation is the people around me. They are just amazed and want me to keep up the good work. The girl I have been seeing, Summer, is giving me support and motivation. My mom is also really helping me.
Q: What is your biggest obstacle in staying on track with weight loss?
A: The biggest obstacle is stress. I’ve had a stressful life, and I want to change that. People want to put me in certain places and call and nag me to go places. They’re so used to me being able to go and do. I’ve always catered to them. They are going to start catering to me. I have to put my foot down.
Q: How have friends and family reacted to your weight loss?
A: They’re saying keep up the good work, and they’re glad to see me do it. They’re overwhelmed that someone can lose this much weight. I’ve had to cut ties with friends because they couldn’t accept the change. They got antsy and angry because I wasn’t able to do what they wanted done. I cut strings with the bad friends.
Q: In five years from now, how do you envision your life -- and your body?
A: My ultimate goal is trying to get the support and backing to start a gym for people over a certain weight. Regular gyms are usually built for skinny people. I want to try and help people who can’t exercise in those gyms. As for my body, I want to be in the ballpark of 250-300 pounds.