Diabetes.ca: Passionate about healthy living, Cicciarella spends countless hours working out and taking care of his healthy body and mind. But Charles wasn’t always as healthy as he is now. Before he took control of his life, he weighed 385 lbs. “I grew up with diabetes by taking care of my mom and visiting the Association offices to learn about the disease to help my mom,” says Cicciarella. “But I wasn’t taking care of myself. I wanted to take control of my life and not become another type 2 diabetes statistic.” In his book Life is a FAT ONION: My 8 Rules for Losing Weight and Gaining Life, the Toronto-born Cicciarella tells his inspiring weight loss story, comparing how he shed 155 lbs to the many layers of an onion. “My mission is to inspire people to take control of their lives to live a healthier life,” says Cicciarella. “If I can do it, anyone can.” (Living Healthy).
Los Angeles Times:By age 29, Cicciarella was ordering McDonald’s up to eight times a day and consuming three cases of root beer and a dozen gallons of butterscotch ice cream a week. He was a borderline diabetic with full-blown sleep apnea, had a shaved head because he couldn’t lift his arms to comb his hair and rarely showered because he couldn’t lift his legs into the tub. His 6- foot-2 body weighed 390 pounds, 74% of which was pure fat. Change came the day that a beloved, vivacious aunt died. “In my grief, I had an epiphany,” Cicciarella said. “I took off all my clothes, stood in front of a mirror and said, ‘Holy cow, look what I’ve created. I have a ticket to life, but I’m not using it.'”
The next day, inspired by the “take responsibility” message of TV psychologist Phil McGraw, Cicciarella decided to start exercising. But going to a gym was out of the question — he thought he wouldn’t fit on the machines and feared being teased by muscular gym rats. So he settled on the most obvious activity: walking. “I made it halfway around the block — the most exercise I’d done in five years,” he says. “My feet went numb and I got excruciating shin splints, but I liked the feeling. For the first time, I was taking positive action for my health.” (Obesity and exercise: How 390-pound Charles Cicciarella began to walk the walk).
About Charles Cicciarella – Charles is a technology expert who has worked in Web Marketing, Corporate Training, Film/TV Production and Live Events. He is a writer, speaker, blogger and the official spokesperson of the Excellence through Exercise Foundation , which is dedicated to wiping out childhood obesity. Charles lost his mother to Diabetes and has made it his personal mission to raise funds for the Canadian Diabetes Association in her memory. Charles is passionate about healthy living and spends countless hours taking care of his healthy body and mind, practicing what he preaches. To find out more about Charles, his book and his upcoming workshops, visit http://www.lifeisafatonion.com (Life is a Fat Onion Book Launch).