This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. In this inspiring presentation Mark shares his personal story of living a life of obesity to living a healthy life. With the rise of obesity in children today, he is passionate about motivating parents and children that there is hope and with the right motivation, goals can be achieved, to never give up.
Mark Donnelly has been singing the Canadian Anthem at NHL hockey games for so long he is known as "Mr. O Canada."
Married and the father of nine children, Mark spent most of his childhood and adult life struggling with his weight. Just before his fiftieth birthday, and tipping the scale at 370 pounds, he realized that if he didn't do something about his 62 inch waist, he wouldn't see his two year old son, Gregory, graduate from high school. After years of trying almost every diet available, he was at wits' end. Not having the resources to pay for a trainer or a pricey nutrition program, he was desperate, until his wife, Catherine, checked out from the library a book which revived a controversial diet from the 1950's. Armed with this weight loss protocol which most doctors are convinced does not work and an unquenchable desire to share in his son's future academic milestone, Mark embarked on a journey most people would consider a pipe dream: at the age of fifty, to lose 185 pounds half his body weight! What about his voice? "I didn't care," Mark says without hesitation. "I'm not going to be singing any operas if I'm six feet under!"
As the weight quickly melted away, Mark acquired another dream: to play goal in ice hockey again. Developing his own training regimen, this dream became a reality less than two years after his "Gregory decision"! In July of 2012, Mark reached his target weight; more importantly, Mark has kept it off, though not without further trials and struggles. He has since become an avid some say fanatical squash player.
About TEDx, x independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* *Subject to certain rules and regulations