AUSTIN — More than 300 pounds down and dozens more to go, one Austin man is sharing his weight loss journey that was inspired by the birth of his niece.
"She just changed my life," said James Farrell, who has been struggling with his weight since childhood. "At that point, I was 600-plus pounds and I realized I had to do something to one day see her get married."
Seeing his niece, Keira, was love at first sight.
"I want to see her grow up strong and go in a straight path," he said. "As an uncle, what I want is for her to see me survive longer."
The most Farrell weighed was approximately 615 pounds. The birth of his niece also marked the beginning of his new life.
"Smoking two packs a day, I wasn't going to live much longer, so I had to change my life and live for her," Farrell said, but it wasn't an easy process. "I was eating large pizzas in one sitting."
In 2015, Farrell underwent a procedure called gastric sleeve surgery.
"It was a long discipline process I went through and I'm still going through now," he said.
The surgery reduced his stomach to 15 percent of its original size. That's when the numbers on the scale started dropping.
"I haven't had pizza in a few years, or even a soda," he said. "Now all I eat is non-processed foods, greens and white meat."
The photo of his niece now stays on his refrigerator door.
"It gives me a reminder to not over do it and stick to my plan," he explained.
Farrell is grateful to have lost more than 300 pounds, but now he's working towards his ultimate goal to weigh in at 240 pounds.
Farrell is also seeking help to pay for his excess skin removal surgery.