August 29, 2016
Eric says in June 2015, his wife had just left him, he was jobless and he weighed 560 pounds. Devastated by the circumstances, he says he was inspired to change his life after hearing the Proclaimers song “I’m Going To Be, ” which includes the lyrics, “I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more, just to be the man who walked 1,000 miles to fall down at your door. “
“It really kicked me in the rear,” says Eric. “So, I decided to bike across the country, lose the weight, get my life back, write a book about it, give us a nest egg, get us going again, and show her how much I love her by doing it.”
WATCH: Biking Across America: Self-Proclaimed ‘Fat Guy’ Eric Describes His Daily Diet
When Eric, who calls himself “Fat Guy,” started his journey, he says he had $200 in cash and about $600 from a GoFundMe fundraising account. But he says once a journalist heard about his story, his life changed.
“Everything completely changed for me overnight. I had nonstop calls, media requests, emails, messages,” Eric says. “It was pretty crazy. I didn’t sleep for five days.”
Eric became an Internet sensation and his wife, Angie, was smitten with his gesture. His GoFundMe account went from zero to $14,000.
WATCH: Self-Proclaimed ‘Fat Guy’ Eric’s Coast-To-Coast Bike Ride: Saving His Life Or Scamming America?
In the video above, Eric tells Dr. Phil how he prepared for his journey, how much weight he says he’s lost and how far he’s traveled on his cross-country journey.
But there are some naysayers who call Eric a “digital panhandler” and say he is scamming America into giving him a free vacation across the country. On Monday’s episode, Eric confronts some of his “haters” face-to-face for the first time. And, Dr. Phil questions how serious Eric is about making the cross-country trip, and asks Eric to get on the scale to see how much weight he’s lost. Watch more here.