Here it is !! The letter I wrote to Chris Powell. Yes, it is real. I had a lot of people asking about it. You will notice a lot of references to my goals that I achieved on the show. Enjoy.
My name is Mike Epstein and I’m a proud father of 3 just like you. Being a dad is the most important thing in the world to me as I’m sure it is to you. I am grateful every day that I have my children and my wife Nanci in my life. But I feel like I've let them down because I can't be a more active person in their lives because of my physical limitations. I've made a lot of promises that I haven't kept and I feel like I'm the boy who cried wolf. I’m writing this letter to you because I need your help and guidance.
My kids are 9, 14 and 17. They are all at different stages in their lives where they need different kinds of guidance. But there is one thing they all have in common. They don’t eat right and I see tendencies in them that I see in myself and that scares the hell out of me. They have never seen me under 350 pounds. Right now I’m pushing the scales at 415 and have been as high as 453. I’ve spent their entire lives as a morbidly obese person. Their love is unconditional but I’m sure they’ve heard things from their friends about their “fat dad”. And I’m sure it bothers them. They don’t deserve it.
I try to be the best father I can be. But I want more. I want to be an all around role model to my children. I want them to lead healthy, happy lives. But how can I teach them healthy living when I don’t follow it myself? I want to teach them and watch them grow into amazing, healthy adults and help them along in their journey of life. If I continue down the path I’ve taken I may not be around long enough to see that happen. I want to walk my daughter down the aisle someday and meet my grandkids. They don't deserve to lose me because of my selfishness.
Like you, I'm a problem solver, except I work with technology to solve my problems. The only problem I haven't been able to solve up to this point is my weight. I'm in a losing battle and I'm afraid I don't have a lot of time left if I don't make drastic changes now! I'm going to be 49 years old and I don't know how much time I have left on this earth. But whatever time I do have left, I want to make it quality time and not become a burden on my family because of an obesity related disease like diabetes.
I’ve tried every weight loss method known to man. Conventional and unconventional. And I’ve failed with every one. But I’m not giving up. I'm a fighter. A warrior. I don't like to lose. I'm ready to give my heart and my soul to give myself a longer, healthier life. I've never given up in my fight to lose weight and keep it off so I could be a better husband and dad. I know what's at stake and will never give up until I find the piece of the puzzle that's missing. I‘m hoping that missing piece of the puzzle is you and I working together to solve the problem.
My wife and I have been married for 19 years this May 23. Since the time I met her, I’ve gained over 200 pounds. That’s a whole other person. And not a small person either. She didn’t buy into marrying 2 people. I’m surprised she’s still with me. I know she loves me, but I know that I’m not the person she dreamed I’d become 19 years later. I’m not quite her Knight in Shining Armor or her Prince Charming. She’s afraid of losing me and becoming a widow. She lost her dad at 23 in an auto accident during a time in her life when she really needed him the most. My wife is scared to death that my kids will be left without a father when they are young and when they need me the most. It kills me to think about that and that’s why I never give up. I am determined to be a better, healthier father and husband. I want to be around for a long time and be the person I was meant to be!!! Next year will be my 20th wedding anniversary. One year from now, I want to renew my wedding vows at half my bodyweight and give my wife her Prince Charming back!!! I just need help.
I lost my dad when I was 32. He was also killed in an auto accident. What are the odds of 2 married people losing their dads in automobile accidents? I believe that people come into your life for a reason. Besides being the most beautiful woman in the world, my wife helped me through my grieving. She was close to my dad and had to deal with losing 2 dads. And how did I pay her back? I gained 150 pounds in a very short period of time and became very distant and numb. It got to a point where she started calling me the “Ice Man”. I didn’t know how to deal with my emotions and turned to food for comfort. I built a wall of fat that I have yet to break through.
My dad died when he was 60 and his dad died when he was 60 of a heart attack. At the rate I’m going, I won’t even make it to 60. I don’t want to continue the Epstein curse. I want to break it. I want to smash it !!! I want to get rid of my blood pressure medicine and my cholesterol medicine. The only way to do that is to follow a healthy lifestyle. I want to be the husband, father, friend and coworker that I was meant to be !!! I want to help others along my journey. A journey begins with a step and I’m ready to take that step !!
They say “When a student is ready, the teacher will come”. I know I’m ready!! I just need your help Chris.
I try to enjoy every moment with my family. I never know how long it’s going to last.
Thank you for reading my letter and considering helping me in my journey.