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.