The New Yorker regularly posts videos and articles about relatable issues like dating and mental health, but what’s he’s best known for is his advocacy of self love at any size — a topic he understands intimately.
In 2009, Diaz was 16 years old and weighed around 225 kilograms. He took part in a study at New York University Medical Centre, examining how lap band surgery impacted young men and women.
The scope of this transformation is insane, and I’ll never try and act like it isn’t. In 2009 I was more than double my current weight. I was unhealthy, insecure and I had a lot of problems. But at the same time, I’m not going to demonize the person I’ve been. I had issues, but we all do. I was a kid, and we all have to start somewhere on the long journey to becoming the people we want to be. Learn to be proud of who you are without hating who you’ve been. You have value now, and you always have. 2009-2016 16-23 497 lbs – 220 lbs. #transformationtuesday #weightloss #beforeandafter #thenandnow
From there, Diaz lost 122 kilograms — or 270 pounds — over a six-year period through a combination of healthy eating and regular exercise.
While he was proud of what he’d achieved, and quickly gaining a following for sharing his story and messages of body positivity, there was one thing he was yet to reveal: the loose skin left behind, which no amount of exercise could reduce.