"Million Dollar Listing: New York" star Tyler Whitman's rock bottom moment is burned into his brain. He was at a Phish concert in December 2015 and he suddenly felt faint and nearly passed out while dancing.
He weighed over 300 pounds.
While sitting next to his best friend "sobbing" and "humiliated," Tyler decided to drastically change his lifestyle. Within a year, he shed 200 pounds.
"That year, I had hit rock bottom. It was the culmination of a lifetime of diets and the resulting shame when they didn't work. I was a successful real estate agent who was too ashamed to see my clients in person anymore," he wrote in an essay for today.com. "I took a management position so I could train other agents instead, and my clients wouldn't see how big I had gotten. But I was embarrassed even in a training position: I didn't look like I had my life together or like someone these agents would aspire to become."
His weight, at the time, dictated his life.
"So many of my actions when I was overweight were motivated by the thoughts in my head," he wrote. "I felt like I had to make up for being overweight by putting on a show. My inner story was, 'I know I'm fat, but I promise I'm awesome — let me put on this performance for you.' The funny-guy schtick was exhausting and it made it hard for people to connect with me. I thought I was destined for a sad and lonely life."
The reality TV star said he tried every diet out there. In the end, he had gastric sleeve weight loss surgery. Between the surgery, regular exercise and a healthy diet, Tyler has kept the weight off.
"Once I lost the weight, things changed for me. Suddenly, people who never paid attention to me before did. The attention came from everywhere," he said. "It made me nervous, and it made me angry, too. I couldn't help thinking, "You a******* never gave a crap about me when I was fat."
Tyler admits he turned to alcohol and developed a problem. Soon, though, he got ahold of his life and has been sober for over a year and a half.
"The alcohol cravings are gone," he said. "The food ones are not."
Tyler now logs all of his food to keep himself accountable.
"You know those before-and-after photos of people who have lost a lot of weight? Instead of before and after, I prefer to say past and present — because it's not as though the work is done," he wrote. "This transformation is something I have to show up for and do work for every day."