Eric Hites, who weighs 560 pounds, is trying to lose weight and get healthy by bicycling across the country, but the self-professed "fat man" is stranded in Rhode Island after bending a bike rim.
Hites, 40, told the Newport Daily News he
wanted to save his struggling marriage, get healthy, and also gather material for a book when he set out from Falmouth, Massachusetts, last month on the bike trip. He said he lost 60 pounds in the first two weeks and has traveled about 90 miles.
His weight has been a lifelong struggle; the disk jockey and author weighed 300 pounds when he graduated from high school, the News said, and doubled his weight working late nights, drinking soda, and smoking cigarettes.
"I hit 40 and I said, 'I’ve got to change this,'" Hites told the News from his tent outside a church in Tiverton, Rhode Island.
Rob Purdy, who owns Newport Bicycle, is building Hites a new bicycle — for free.
He told the News Hites’ goal was "inspiring," and added, "It seems like a really good cause."
Hites is maintaining a website, which will include photos, videos, and interviews from his journey, at www.fatguyacrossamerica.com
, and he’s also got a GoFundMe page,
which had raised $5,755 Friday afternoon.
On his journal, Hites talks about the struggles of finding safe places to camp, the friendly as well as hostile people he meets along the way, and his inner struggles too.
"So I'm alone out here looking for a place, a safe place, and I get thinking a lot and parts of me scream ‘What are you doing? Go home you idiot!’” he wrote on a June 27 entry.
“But, the rest of me tells myself, buck up, you can do this, listen to your song again, look at a picture of why you want to do this so bad, think of the weight you will lose and how your life will change."
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