the isolation, and the name-calling. Last but certainly not least, I am writing for my supporters; those that have enjoyed my work and respected the human being behind the characters I portrayed through the years.
One year ago at this time I was dying. I had gained so much weight, that I completely lost my passion for life, and for the business to which I dedicated 30 of my 50 years on this earth. If my faith weren’t firmly anchored in Our Dear Lord, I actually would have taken my own life; however, I knew that I would spend eternity in the fires of hell. Then again, everyday that I opened my eyes was nothing less than hell for me. Notwithstanding the hell I was putting those around me through.
I could spend several paragraphs detailing my road to becoming super morbidly obese. But when you point a finger, there are three fingers pointing right back at yourself. If you walk this planet of ours, everyone experiences life’s problems. Whether they fit into the categories of physical, emotional, financial, professional, or a combination of all of the above. Many times it can be overwhelming; my friends I was overwhelmed. I am not here to make any excuses, or ask for anyone’s sympathy. I feel that I have a story to tell. A personal testimony that some of my readers may benefit from. If my experience saves one life, my words here are not in vain.
I have been a big man practically all of my adult life. When I was discharged from The U.S. Air Force in 1976, at the age of 22, I weighed 240 pounds. The next 28-years was virtually a roller coaster for me. I would lose some weight, then gain back what I lost and more. With each year, I grew bigger and bigger. I had the
unique opportunity to travel the world over and live my dreams, but my weight was killing me. I literally became a prisoner in my own body. I began living life from the background, watching everyone else enjoying themselves. My close friends and family helped and tried to make things easier for me, but I was dying a slow death. Through the years I tried every diet there was. I would lose 20, gain 30, lose 40, and then gain 60. It was a vicious cycle, as I fought severe morbid obesity for decades. The older I got, the more medical problems began to haunt me.
If you know anything about professional wrestling, you can understand that it can become an addiction, no different than drugs. Once it gets into your blood, it is almost impossible to get out. Through mutual agreement, my business relationship with WWE ended on October 14, 2002. As 2003 began, I practically accepted the fact that I would never actively return to the ring. As the months went slowly by and my weight increased, I knew that no wrestling company would ever have any interest in using me again.
How wrong I was. Completely unexpected in early September of 2003, a WWE official left a message in my voicemail. “Percy…” the message began, “…we have a possible idea for you. Please return this call the first chance you get.”
Even though I knew what the idea had to be, there wasn’t any possible way for me to return to television in the shape that I was in. That first call was followed by two more, and I refused to call them back. I didn’t have the balls to tell the truth. I was just an obese shadow of the man they once appreciated, as my health wouldn’t allow me to follow the rugged schedule on the road.