PHOENIX - At his heaviest, Milan Ross tipped the scales at 518 pounds. That was almost four years ago. Today he weighs in at 200 pounds.

“I've lost more weight than I weigh now. Which is crazy,” said Milan Ross.

The turning point came during a family trip to Universal Studios when Milan was told he was too big to fit on the Harry Potter ride his son so desperately wanted to ride for his birthday.

“He started crying. It was at that moment I learned that the decisions I was making didn't just affect me,” said Ross. “Up to that point. I thought, this is me. I have been heavy for so long.”

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So he made the decision to take an immersion program offered to Whole Foods employees -- where for a week he learned how a plant based vegan lifestyle could change his life.

Before the he could lose the physical weight, he had to lose the emotional weight.

On day two of the immersion program, he learned he had gained the bulk of his weight around the time he lost his mother to cancer before they ever had a chance to reconcile their differences.

“If you had asked me before that day I would have just said, ‘Hey, I just like to eat.’ That was kind of my way of coping,” said Ross. “Sharing that story (about his mom) at immersion in a room full of 200 people I didn’t know took the biggest weight off of me before I ever lost a pound.”

He says the first three days of the vegan lifestyle was rough, but then it got much better. The 45-year-old Ross has shed more than half his body weight.

“My body feels much better. I'm in better shape at 45 than I ever was when I was skinny in my 20s,” said Ross.

Ross’s weight loss success has led to magazine covers, syndicated shows and he has two bestselling books. He also travels the country inspiring others.

Ross says the vegan lifestyle is not about eating bland food and leafy greens. Good food is good tasting food.

“We eat with all of our senses. Our eyes, nose, our sense of taste, the texture. If the food looks, smells, taste and texture is amazing. It's amazing,” said Ross.

Ross says he feels like he's won the lottery. He has his health back and it's strengthened his relationship with his son.

“I used to have to sit in a chair in the middle of our yard to play catch with my son, because I couldn't stand or walk for more than five or 10 minutes. So, if I missed the ball, he had to go and get it. I coach my boy's team's now,” said an emotional Ross.

Ross says he now has the freedom to live life to the fullest with his wife and son, even taking that Harry Potter ride with his son that changed their lives.

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