About Donate My Weight
Donate My Weight began in January of 2008, following a conversation between Ben and his wife, Andrea. Ben was struggling to lose weight and Andrea suggested he buy a five-pound bag of flour for every five pounds he lost, to have a visual representation of the weight that was shed. Ben added that they could donate the flour to their local food bank. The two newlyweds discussed the idea further and the basic premise of Donate My Weight was born- Lose a pound of weight, donate a pound of food.
Ben created a website and reached out to some friends in local media. Within a day, he found himself on TV news all over America, with more interview requests coming each day. The attention led to a snowball effect of people all over the world choosing to donate their own weight to local food banks, then sharing it with their friends, who also chose to join in the movement. Businesses sponsored Ben and by the end, even though he failed to reach his weight loss goal, massive amounts of food and money were donated to many food banks.
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and in the years since, the idea has been taken and rebranded by others, including a popular weight loss television show. For Ben, it's always been about finding an opportunity to help others in one of life's most diffcult and personal struggles. The most important thing was that hungry people were being fed and excess weight was being shed.
Now, Ben is ready to rejoin the fight and finish what he started over a decade ago. Donate My Weight is back with a vengance and this time, Ben faces a seemingly impossible task, losing 272 pounds (well over half his body weight). Just like before, he's doing it the old-fashioned way, without surgery or any gimmick diets, simply eating healthier and increasing his activity level. You can follow Ben's journey through his video and written blogs, while seeing the progress in his monthly pictures.
Ben is a native of Nazareth, Pennsylvania, where he currently lives with his wife, Andrea, daughters Alexandra, Allana, and Adelise, as well as his son, Leo. His oldest son, Jordan, is serving in the US Air Force. Ben is a graduate of Lock Haven University and a disabled veteran of Naval Intelligence. His conditions worsened in the years after he returned from overseas and he's now rated 100% disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Ben's service-connected disabilities include panic disorder, agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder, PTSD, and depression. In the past decade, he has also been diagnosed with the debilitating physical conditions rheumatoid arthritis and Meniere's disease, along with several spinal issues that include six ruptured discs in his cervical and lumbar regions, multi-level stenosis, peripheral neuropathy, and scoliosis. Each of Ben's condtions can be traced to genetics or physical trauma, but his weight has greatly increased their impact on his life.
A recovering alcoholic, Ben had his last drink 15 years ago, on October 26, 2003. His doctors described the drinking as a form of "self medicating" and once that vice was taken away, food began to consume Ben's life. Alcoholism was replaced by binge eating disorder and bulimia, both of which he continues to struggle with today.
Writing remains a therapeutic tool. Ben has written hundreds of historical columns as well as three books, the first of which was a bestseller for Exit Zero Publishing. His newest, Dear Billie, details Ben's tumultous life, Christian faith, and a series of deeply spiritual experiences he and his wife had while visiting an historic B&B in the Pocono Mountains. Despite the limitations of his medical conditions, Ben volunteers in his local community when he is able and with the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities.