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N.S. man’s incredible weight loss journey gets support from Arnold Schwarzenegger

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A Nova Scotia man’s weight loss journey has attracted the attention of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Derrick Bona of Eastern Passage was shocked when he found out the actor, bodybuilder and former governor of California shared a tweet encouraging him to keep going.

Bona has been a chef for 23 years. He says he’s had a “love-hate relationship” with food, something he’s struggled with over the years.

“I love creating dishes and making people happy,” said Bona. “And in turn, I use food as almost an addiction, a way to cover pain and any negative things I had going on in my life.”

Bona’s weight loss journey began in late January after an incident where he fell and couldn’t help himself up.

“People were pulling over trying to help me up, but I was panicking that I couldn’t do it myself,” he said, adding he went through a rocky patch afterwards before coming to a realization. “It was either, I was going to be here or I wasn’t going to be here.”

At 600 pounds, Bona knew the journey wouldn’t be easy, but he was determined. He started by changing his diet, focusing on high proteins and lots of healthy fruits and vegetables, while limiting his carbohydrate intake.

Now, Bona has a personal trainer and his goal of getting healthy is quickly becoming a reality. He’s already dropped 55 pounds.

But when he posted before and after photos on social media, Bona never expected his post would go viral.

“Already, I’ve noticed I am stronger than I ever thought I was,” he said. “I’m more proud of myself today than I’ve probably been in my whole life. If you give up on your body, your body will give up on you.”

“When you start doing positive things for you, you’ll start seeing positive results.”

With files from CTV Atlantic's James Kvammen

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