GROVER BEACH, Calif. - A local teen was about to lose his life to his weight, but he decided not to give up.
"They told me I wasn't going to live to see my next birthday," said AJ Rice. 19-year-old Rice heard these words rwhen he graduated high school.
"I had my whole life ahead of me," he said.
Rice weighed over 400 pounds.
"There was times when I would eat five double cheeseburgers and two large fries," he said.
Rice has been overweight his whole life.
"I wasn't able to fit into a seat belt before; I wasn't able to fit into a booth at a restaurant," he said.
His weight threatened his life. His doctor then recommended gastric bypass surgery.
"I thought if I have this surgery it will be easy for me to lose weight and I was rudely awakened because it is hard," he said.
His doctor said he should lose 100 pounds in one year but Rice has surpassed that mark at 240 pounds.
"I became a big fan of broccoli which I wasn't before," said Rice.
Rice said his diet has been everything. "I got a George Foreman grill because when it cooks it gets rid of some of the fat from the meat."
By keeping a strict diet and by staying determined, life for AJ has changed in more ways than one. "I'm still getting used to actually getting hit on now," he said.
It's not just the looks.
"I'm actually excited to go to Disneyland this summer because I'm actually able to fit on the rides now," said Rice. "I haven't been able to fit on the rides since I was a little kid."
Rice now has a new set of goals; to become a health coach, motivational speaker, and model.