A junk food addict who would eat 48 chicken wings in one sitting has told of how he shed 21 stone after his late mother appeared in a dream and warned him his binge-eating would kill him.
At his heaviest, Mario Falcon weighed 41 stone.
He turned to food for comfort after his mother Rosa Falcon died from blood cancer in February 2012.
When his mum visited him in a dream and told him he would “join her” if he didn’t overhaul his lifestyle, Falcon knew something had to change.
He drank more water, began to exercise more and switched the chicken wings for chicken breasts, boiled eggs, broccoli and cauliflower.
Now, aged 34, he weighs 20 stone and has never felt better.
Prior to his weight loss, Falcon would eat 48 chicken wings, a dozen Mexican tortillas, 17 rolls of sushi or two pizzas with garlic bread on the side - all in one sitting.
In December 2013, his mum appeared in a dream, warning him he could “join her” soon if he did not lose weight.
This gave him the kick he needed to dramatically change his lifestyle.
“I dreamt I was having a conversation with my mum,” said Falcon, who is from Las Vegas.
“She was telling me that if I didn’t shape up and lose weight I would join her soon. She told me to get up and do something.
“I woke up sweating, it was surreal.
“That morning, I started going to the gym and the rest is history. I haven’t looked back.”
Growing up, Falcon said he was always eating copious amounts of his mum’s delicious homemade tortillas, rice, refried beans, pork and rice.
But tragically, she died of blood cancer on February 24 2012, after a year of being in and out of hospital.
In her final month, Falcon was taking care of her and she was reliant on a life support machine.
He said: “I was a mum’s boy. We were always very close.
“When she died I pretty much ate to deal with the sorrow and to try and make myself feel better.
“I was a food addict.”
Within a year of his mother’s death, Falcon weighed 41 stone.
His over-eating continued until he ended up getting kidney stones in 2013 and paid a visit to Spring Valley Hospital, Nevada, where doctors used a special industrial size scale to weigh him and gave him morphine for the pain.
Doctors said he had not been drinking enough water and had been eating too many unhealthy foods which could have been the cause of the kidney stones.
This was his first wake-up call. His mum appearing in his dream was the final push he needed to change.
Speaking of how he began to transform his lifestyle, he said: “I started drinking lots of water and watching what I ate.
“At first, swimming and light exercises would make me out of breath.
“Gradually though, I built this up to six days a week doing track or power lifting.
“I began taking packed lunches into work rather than buying pre-prepared food.
“My diet changed to chicken breasts, boiled eggs, broccoli and cauliflower, and the weight started coming off quickly.”
In just three months, Falcon had shed seven stone.
Motivated by seeing the results of his hard work, he vowed to stay on track and continue getting fit.
With his confidence growing, he met his now wife Gina Falcon, 31, through work 18 months ago.
After hearing his story, she wanted to work out too and so he took her to the gym.
His relationship with the hairdressing and make-up student progressed and they got married in February this year.
Speaking of how he made his mum part of his special day, he said: “Mum’s ashes came to the wedding as well.
“She couldn’t walk me down the aisle so I had to walk her down the aisle.
“I haven’t had any dreams of my mum since but I do have her ashes in my room and always put fresh flowers by the shrine I have for her.
“It’s a daily reminder of my goal.
“Gina is okay with the shrine being there because she knows how much my mum meant to me and that she’s my motivation.”
Now Falcon weighs 20 stone, he said he feels like a completely different person.
He is able to sit in one chair rather than needing two and can run without getting out of breath, even completing a half marathon in January.
His goal is to get to 14 stone and then he would like to have surgery to remove his excess skin, which currently weighs about one-and-a-half stone and is on his sides, arms, legs and chest.
He added that he feels the most motivated he has felt in his life.
To follow his weight loss journey follow: @puropositive