It was over a decade ago that celebrity serial entrepreneur and former model Sean Kurtis DeMarco shed over 250 pounds after he underwent gastric bypass surgery at the ripe age of only 18 years old in an effort to change his lifestyle.
In this posthumous tribute to his former self, formally known as "AJ Rice", DeMarco reflects on the emergence of an identity revitalized with a new outlook on life, the emergence of a phoenix rising from the ashes of his obese self. In celebrating his 10-year anniversary, he will have transformed his lifestyle to a level that few people have ever been able to achieve and has built so much along the way.
DeMarco underwent weight loss surgery after years of failed diets and health issues, while simultaneously experiencing a rift with family and friends who were opposed to his drastic change in the beginning. As he set out on his quest for self-improvement, he knew that it would be a lonely quest with only one outcome: complete success and massive action.
Sean's first obstacle on his self-improvement journey was dealing with depression and anxiety, two inner demons that contributed to his weight gain. "It took me a while to realize that you can't find happiness in losing weight or changing your appearance. It is the things that you carry inside that you must heal first," DeMarco eloquently explains.
His struggle with weight as a child, the loss of his grandparents who raised him, and his own battles with anxiety, depression, addiction, and suicide attempts were among the sources of pain he experienced in his life. During his adolescence, he recalls a sad time: "According to my experience and speaking to many people who have lost weight, kept it off, and some who have regained their weight, it is impossible to lose weight permanently until you address underlying emotions. All of it came down to whether or not they addressed the emotional addiction at its core. The reason people think they are overweight is because they are eating to suppress something."
In the absence of obesity, there is evidence that internal depression tied to obesity often leads to alcohol or drug addiction. DeMarco has managed to positively transform his emotional trauma he experienced as a child into DeMarco Enterprises International, Inc., presently operating in different industries including real estate, investing, coaching, and cryptocurrency. Forbes valued the company at over seven figures in 2021 and featured DeMarco in the Forbes Under 30 edition. The achievement has marked one of the milestones in his personal and professional success, and he hopes that with this, he can inspire others who have had similar experiences in the future to address their issues, while accelerating to their full potential. "Investing in yourself is very similar to investing in a business," he said.
With the rise of DeMarco's success and stardom, he feels personal responsibility to spread awareness to those who suffer from obesity every day and are taking steps to combat it. Increasing public awareness of the link between weight gain and mental health issues has been his main goal for the past few years. "I hope readers will experience my story and begin investing in themselves so that they may succeed in any endeavor that they wish to uphold. Self-indulgence can, however, take many forms and people need to discover their source of pain in order to effectively address it. I want to inspire someone with my story. If I can do it, anyone can," DeMarco says.
After healing his root issues, DeMarco hopes to give individuals hope that a positive self-image can lead to success by changing the narrative and public opinion one step at a time. Sean explains, "You have to tell your story to know you aren't alone and realize that eating and becoming overweight is due to filling a missing void. Vulnerability is truly the answer. We all have so much in common. Let's talk about it."