Hey, Daniel P. Finney—metro voice columnist for the Des Moines Register—brother, I’ve got your back. I know this is an unfamiliar statement to read on Gawker.com, but stay with me.

Last weekend, Finney published a piece that was unlike the rest of his work, which usually focuses on local crime, schools, and everyday people. This latest story, a first-person essay titled “One man’s battle to go from fat to fit,” begins:

I’m fat.

Something different. Concise. Unusual. I’m listening.

Scratch that. I’m morbidly obese.

This isn’t being verbose. This is a medical diagnosis.

I’ve ignored it for at least five years, probably longer.

I ignored it after I was diagnosed as a Type II diabetic.

I ignored it when the scales at the doctor’s office could no longer measure my weight because my girth exceeded 500 pounds.

I joke about being fat. We’re supposed to be jolly, right?

The column continues this way, as Finney explains to his readers what it’s like to be over five hundred pounds. His anecdotes could make even the toughest bitch cry: “I don’t fit into seats at most public venues anymore. I’m too large to sit in booths at most restaurants,” he writes. A young child—the son of a friend!—called him “fatty” over Halloween. That is heartbreaking.

Finney turns 40 this year, and is determined to take off at least 50 pounds to start, though surely more will follow. In a candid video that accompanies his story, Finney explains that he will be working with a therapist, a nutritionist, and a physical therapist to undergo the weight loss he needs to no longer be in pain—emotionally or physically.

“People make fun of fat people,” Finney says in the video. “If you’re a savage who comments on our website, I hope you’ll have fun making fun of me.”

Well, guess who will not be making fun of you, Finney? Me. I support you and think you’re top notch. Good luck on your journey, though it looks like you’re already well on the way:

You got it, man!!!

Image via the Des Moines Register. Contact the author at dayna.evans@gawker.com.