The story behind the scars

By Rubén Herbón

My story begins on 9 June 1987, the day I was born. As far back as I can remember, I have had problems keeping my weight under control. I started diets that never worked and gave up when I couldn’t get the results I wanted. Years went by, and my struggle against the bathroom scale wouldn’t stop. I lost control over my body and ended up weighing 280 kg (617 lbs.). I can still remember my clothing size in those years: Sweater: 5XL; Trousers: 90

Dinner with my friends in 2008

It came to the point where I couldn’t even pass through the kitchen door without problems. I began to stop doing things: I didn’t go to the beach because I was afraid of what people would think about my body. I didn’t hang out with friends either. I was shy and self-conscious. Without really realizing it, I was slowly isolating myself from the world.

When I turned 18 years old and was about to start university, I was ready to change. Eager for a fresh start, I turned to a professional nutritionist who provided me with an initial diet and some tips to live a healthier lifestyle. The beginnings were not easy — too many drastic changes. I had to overhaul my eating habits and start exercising (which is very difficult when you weigh 280 kg)! But I was persistent.

Graduating university in 2009

As I started losing weight, I began to realize how dangerously unhealthy I had become. It was more than just the social isolation. I was facing terrible health problems if I didn’t lose weight, and this newfound knowledge helped keep me going. The effort paid off. I stuck to my diet and managed to lose about 80 kg in two years. By 2011, I finally reached my ideal weight: 90 kg (198 lbs.).

The first part of the job was done, but there was a side effect I had not considered. When you are as obese as I was and you lose over two thirds of your body weight, you’re left with a lot of extra skin. Obesity had wreaked havoc on my skin and it hung loose all over my body. The only possible solution was surgery. So in March 2012, I underwent my first surgery to remove the hanging skin. The surgery was long, over five hours. Due to complications, it took me two months to recover. Luckily, I healed completely and had the strength to undergo four more surgeries. In all, the surgeons removed more than 15 kg (33 lbs.) of skin from my body.

After a massive surgery in 2014

Today, I live a healthy lifestyle. I exercise five or six times a week — something I never imagined I’d be able to do. (I love to run outside. It calms my nerves and makes me feel like I’m flying.) I eat plenty of fruit, salad and fish. (It can be very tasty.) Best of all, I’m able to go to the beach without embarrassment. (When I take off my shirt, I’m proud of my scars. They’re a constant reminder of all the hard work I went through to get here.) In the future, I would like to set up my own nutritionist centre and use my story and experience to help and inspire other people to lose weight and live healthier lives.

At the Host Europe Iberia summer party in 2016

My journey hasn’t been easy. But I’ve learned so much about myself. I’ve learned that I’m an active, social person. I love meeting new people, and going to the beach, and running. Most important, I learned that if you don’t give up, anything is possible. You can achieve anything if you are really willing to work at it!

My clothing sizes now: Sweater: Medium; Trousers: 44/46

Ruben, who is based in our Spain office, is one of the phenomenal human beings working at GoDaddy. #GoDaddyBrave; #GoDaddyLife

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