This Formerly Obese Father Dropped 326 Pounds After He Was Told He Needed Two Seats On A Plane

In May of 2016, the Fort McMurray wildfires were rapidly spreading and consuming everything in their path. Over 87,000 people had to be evacuated by plane. Among those was a Canadian man named Tony Bussey. At 567 pounds, his weight was something he struggled with on a daily basis. But when evacuators told him that he needed two seats to get to safety, it finally dawned on him: he drastically needed to change his life. Tony told CBC news, “I kept thinking, ‘Here it is: somebody’s wife, somebody’s husband, somebody’s family member is waiting for their mom or dad or their loved ones to come home, and their loved ones have to wait longer now because I’m too fat to sit next to.’ That had a profound effect on me.”

What You Don’t Think About

Tony had always struggled with his weight like many people around the world do to this day. But people constantly overlook the impact your weight can have on your livelihood during a natural disaster of an emergency. After all, if you can barely move or run, your chances of survival will be pretty slim.

He Even Struggled Putting On His Socks

For Tony, everyday simple tasks such as putting on his socks or moving around were a constant struggle. Being a father, Tony had trouble doing physical tasks that were too demanding. But he was about to get the wake-up call of a lifetime which would eventually save his life.

Front Of The Line

As all the evacuees were lining up and making their way toward the plane to escape the Fort McMurray wildfires. Tony was asked to go to the front of the line because of his weight. The rescue team explained that Tony would need two seats in order to fit on the plane safely. As any person can tell you, this was a shameful and embarrassing moment for the 567-pound man. But that’s exactly what motivated Tony to make a change once and for all!

A Wake-Up Call

Tony couldn’t stand the sight of so many innocent people waiting around behind him, solely because he was too fat to sit next to. “That was it for me,” he said. Immediately after the evacuation, Tony began to make some serious life changes, only this time, he really meant it. When he arrived at the hotel to wait out the fires, he opted for a healthier dinner. He ordered a simple chicken and veggie meal. Shortly after that, Tony began to walk and increase his endurance.

Special Diet

Tony didn’t want to stick to a complicated diet. In fact, his weight-loss formula was quite simple. All he did was watch what he ate and made sure to walk and move around more. Tony explained that he wanted to lose the weight naturally and wasn’t open to any medical procedures. “326lbs gone. All natural, no surgery, no anything. Just watching what I eat and walking,” he explained. “I basically went on a low-carb, high protein diet.”

Hundreds Gone

Before he knew it, Tony was down hundreds of pounds. Well, 326 pounds to be exact! He explained that his low-carb, high protein diet really made a major difference. His family and friends could not be prouder, and Tony truly deserves the credit. Walking around with all that extra weight put a damper on his overall wellbeing, and now, he was finally starting to enjoy life and had extra energy to spare!


“Two years ago, I could barely walk to my car,” he said, which proves that all his weight loss efforts and hard work had truly paid off. Tony felt that he needed to take things a bit further, so he decided to push himself even harder, and that’s when he signed up for his first marathon at 43 years old.

Life Choices

Wildfires leave nothing but horror, ruins, and destruction. But Tony looks at the wildfires in an entirely different way. “The fire, for all the destruction, and for all the hell that it cause… it saved my life.” Who knows what might have happened to Tony if he hadn’t cleaned up his act and made such meaningful life changes? His story is truly a lesson for us all.