Eric Hites recently hit 40 and decided it was time to make some serious lifestyle changes. Having reached 560 pounds thanks to soda and a whole lot of sitting around, the DJ says both his health and his marriage are at stake, reports the Newport Daily News. Unfortunately, after getting off to a good start in Falmouth, Mass., (Tiverton-Little Compton Patch reports his dad dropped him and his $170 bike "on the side of the road") and losing 60 pounds in those first two weeks, the Indiana man hit a bump in the road, reports Fox 59: He bent the rim of one of his wheels in Tiverton, RI. "I thought it would take four months, but [having started in June] I’m only in Rhode Island," he says. Fortunately the owner of nearby Newport Bicycle, who says it "seems like a really good cause," built him a new bike by fitting a frame with mountain bike wheels that should support his weight all the way to California; he'll reportedly hit the road again today.
Having first made a name for himself when he published the cookbook Everybody Loves Ramen, a compilation of 50 recipes from his college days (he studied graphic design but never graduated), Hites hopes to publish again, this time about his journey. He's traveling with his gear in tow, and writes on his website Fat Guy Across America that first and foremost he's got "to prove things to my wife and love." Patch reports the two were estranged when he set off, and that his wife, who was widowed once before, didn't want to repeat the experience. She has reportedly told him his quest is "the most romantic thing." Hites says he doesn't know his exact weight now (he dresses in size 70 pants), but he may weigh himself on the big scale at the junkyard up the road before getting back on the saddle. He says he hopes to drop down to a chubby but healthier 300 pounds. (When it comes to marriage, this is apparently the best age to wed.)