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Mike Messina, born and raised in San Leandro, California, is the oldest child in a family with three half-brothers and one half-sister. He says his food addiction began when he was seven years old and his stepfather would punish him by sending him to bed without dinner, prompting him to raid the refrigerator after everyone was asleep. But the weight gain actually started when he went on the road with his father, delivering furniture in a big rig. Gorging himself on truck-stop buffets and sitting in the truck for days on end caused Mike to gain 50 pounds one summer when he was just 12 years old. He received his E.M.T. certificate after high school and has held a variety of jobs since then, including being a cook, a maintenance man and a car salesman. Now at 41 years old and 358 pounds, he has pre-diabetes and asthma and wants to be a healthier role model for his 10-year-old daughter and a better husband to his fiancee. He hopes to become a personal trainer and mentor overweight children and adults. After Mike loses the weight, he also looks forward to learning to surf.