Nfld. & Labrador

Tony Bussey's wildfire-inspired extreme weight loss detailed in new book

Bussey lost 335 pounds after needing a second plane seat to escape the Fort McMurray wildfire in May 2016.

He once weighed 567 lb. and wore size 66 pants

Tony Bussey has published a book about his weight loss journey sparked by the Fort McMurray wildfire. (Submitted)

Tony Bussey is staying slim, promoting his new independently published book Through Thick and Thin: How the Wildfire was a Wake-Up Call to Transform my Life!

Bussey lost 335 pounds after needing a second plane seat to escape the Fort McMurray wildfire in May 2016.

He shared his story with media — even earning CBC NL's most-read title for 2018 — but felt he still had more to tell.

"I've given a few interviews and I've loved every one of them," he said. "But I wanted people to really understand what it was like to be that size."

Bussey used to wear size 66 pants. (Submitted)

"The reason I want people to understand that is because there's somebody out there right now that is dealing with that … and there's no worse feeling then feeling like you're completely alone and that there's nobody that can relate to you."

Amazon bestseller

Bussey chronicled his weight loss journey with co-author Mark Griffin and released the book Jan. 6. The book is one of the top sellers in the Natural Disasters category on Amazon.

The title "just popped into his head," one night, he said.

"It just seemed to match everything I was going through, for all of those years and stuff, and I said, 'That's it. That's the one right there.'"

Bussey's book — the Kindle version and the paperback — has been doing well in Amazon's natural disasters category. (

Over 280 pages, Bussey details everything that went into losing half his body weight — from struggling to put on socks when he weighted 567 pounds to what things are like now.

"It's freedom," he said. "I am not trapped in that body anymore."

Bussey lost the weight through diet and exercise.

Bussey lost 326 pounds in two years, after his experience fleeing the Fort McMurray wildfire inspired him to change. (Submitted)

He walks an hour and a half a day and hasn't had any junk food since the evacuation, more than two and a half years ago. 

Since the release of his book, he's been in Toronto on a media tour, hitting national talk shows and trying to spread word that it's never too late to start improving one's health.

"If it's just one person in the next 40 years can see this story and change their life, I'll consider my life a success," he said. "That's what it's about to me."

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