How I Lost 300 Pounds – My Weight Loss Story

My name is Rob Cooper. In 1990, I tipped the scales at 475 pounds and my waist was 55 inches (at least). Over the next two and a half years, I lost 288 pounds, dropping to a low of 187 pounds, and I fit into a size 38 pair of jeans. But I wasn’t finished yet. In the years that followed, I took up the bodybuilding lifestyle and slowly but surely added over 50 pounds of lean muscle while dropping even more body fat. That brought my total fat loss to over 300 pounds. Today, I weigh 240 pounds of lean muscle and I’m in the best shape of my life

How did I do it?

It all began with a decision

When I realized that I had hit bottom, I decided I had to do something about my health – and fast! But I didn’t choose to lose nearly 300 pounds of fat – I chose to learn how my body worked, how it used foods, and then began to put the principles I learned into action on a daily basis.

I was working as a cab driver for about 2 years after leaving university. I set the land speed record for the greatest amount of weight gained in the shortest period of time. I went from 320 pounds when I left university to 475 pounds a short 2 years later.

My life consisted of driving a taxi, eating, smoking, drug and alcohol abuse and a lot of “Nintendo”. The only exercise I got was getting out of bed and the short walk from my taxi to the restaurant and back to the cab.

I challenged my skin to keep up with the weight gain, and it lost. I was covered in stretch marks which not only were beet red, but quite wide. Do I have them now? More about that later, but yes, there is hope and yes you can do something about it (I have a little secret weapon that has served me well).

In 1989 when I hit my highest weight or 475 pounds, my body let me know in no uncertain terms that enough was enough. I had what I refer to as “my episode” one night after a shift of driving taxi. My heart began to race and I was having a challenge with breathing. I got out of my chair and began to pace thinking about what was going on.

It scared me.

Did I do anything about it? Nope.

What did I know? Yes I was clinically obese, I was wearing the same clothes day in and day out as I hated shopping and once I found a set of clothes that I liked, I stuck with them for months at a time, washing them every other day.

I was young. I was at the tender age of 22 years. I was invincible.

2 days later it happened again. I was sitting in the same chair after a shift of driving taxi when it all happened again. My heart began to race, my breath was short and I was struggling to breathe. I began to sweat profusely and I got up out of my chair and clutched the wall. My life flashed in front of my eyes and I envisioned my parents finding me – dead at 22 – 475 pounds and nothing to show for my life. It scared the crap out of me.

I made a decision to do something about my health

You’d think that at 475 pounds, I’d have realized that I was fat and had to get rid of the weight, but that was not in my mind at all. I knew nothing about health and nutrition except for what I had read in newspapers or seen on TV, namely that salt was bad and fried foods were bad, so that’s where I began.

I made a new years resolution to quit using salt, to give up fried foods and to “lose weight by exercising”

I did not choose to drop 300 pounds….

I chose to learn about my health and what I could do to improve my health.

Health Education and Action

I became a glutton for information and then began to put the information into practice. My first introduction to my new lifestyle was to purchase foods that I knew were healthier and make sandwiches instead of eating out so much. In the beginning, what I began to do was create “fridge experiments” where everything I bought quickly turned green and melted away while being in the fridge for a week. I learned how to create penicillin!

It wasn’t all that bad. I did eat some of it, but at least the decision was set and it began to create a new mindset that I used.

I was out of the house more than I was in the house and ate at a lot of fast food joints. When I did, I reduced the intake. I’d eat one big mac and shake instead of two. I replaced fries at the restaurant with a baked potato and I quit putting salt on anything.

I still drank pop, but switched to diet pop. I still drank coffee but quit using sugar in it.

I believe that once you make a decision and fully commit to it, that the universe supports your decision and attracts into your life things that wouldn’t ordinarily be. Facts came my way, people with info came my way and I began to learn new lessons. Doors began to open as it were and those doors may have very well been there before, but I wasn’t open enough to see them. I wasn’t open enough to see the opportunity. I have found this to be the same with the rest of my life in the years since as well.

Implementing what I already knew

….which wasn’t a lot I might add

I had been dieting since I was in the 5th grade. I had been on a starvation diet when I was in my final year of high school and had lost 80 pounds from December until the summer when I graduated. I say I lost it because I surely found it again, and then more.

I had carried with me some of the product from that diet and began to use the last of it which lasted me about a week. I got very very ill. So ill in fact that my roommate were going to take me to the hospital if I didn’t do something for myself, or snap out of it. They joked that they’d get a forklift and cart me out of the house and to the hospital.

Being so sick, I essentially did a week long fast and dropped about 20 or 30 pounds. Not a healthy way to do it, but it was enough to support my initial decision and inspired me to continue to do more.

Fit For Life and My First Role Model

I had a friend that drove cab with me, who knew about some information contained in a book called Fit For Life by Harvey and Marilynn Diamond. The book outlined something called natural hygiene or put another way “food combining”.

The idea was that digestion is the most energy consuming thing the body does and that if we can eat foods in combinations that simplify the digestive process, that an enormous amount of energy is released and used to clean the body and thus burn fat and become healthy.

My friend had followed the principles before and introduced me to the subject because I had suddenly taken steps on my own to do something.

“when the student is ready, the teacher will appear”

Page 2: Fruit, Ayurveda and the Power of the Mind

38 Comments

  1. hello
    how fascinating! wow I would like to congratulate you on this weight loss. I am not fat at all but I am dieting because I don’t like having some weight to what I am used to.
    I am planning to lose 20 pounds during 2 months.
    when I diet, I only eat yogourts and fruits and drink water and juices.
    I know it is crazy but last time I dieted I was very happy with myself, tall and thin, it was in 2004, I kept it off for at least 2 years but I think I let myself go because of some problems but I didn’t take too much back.

    by the wa, you are very different in the 2 pictures, you are an example and I really love that you did that, that proves you have strenght.
    take care
    candy

  2. Hey, I was about 45 pounds overweight, then I got type 2 diabetes, pretty much got my act together overnight, after that…..NO MORE SUGAR, seriously, this works like a charm. cut out sugar and high and medium glycemic foods. Im sure we’ve heard it a thosand times but the weight will fall off within months, even without additional exercise.
    Just have patience.
    All the best. Dave

  3. ohhhh that s un believable and I think I should be motivated from you.

    I was really 95 kg and Want to loose 15 kgs i have various problems like Bloated stomach and Trap wind kinds of problems but I have n ‘t make my self to loose that out. I think your 1st point starting from the decision is the only thing which i need to do it. I seriously want to add your article in my Website : in the Tag you.

    Can I.

  4. Rob Cooper Great Buddy You have done that thing which in this world are rarest. I think You should be awarded Great Implementor in this world. I truly respect your Spirit.

  5. Rob,
    You are a very, very intelligent man, and I admire that you never gave up. Thank you so much for writing your story here; you’ve truly inspired me. I hope I can be as motivated as you, and believe in myself more, so that I can lose the weight I want to look and actually feel good about myself one day.
    All the best, and again thank you. :]

  6. Mr Cooper

    You seriously rock. Thanks for the inspiration and thank you for taking the time to create this blog. I really appreciated reading the honest description of your journey

    Kind Regards

    Some random fat f*** soon to be fighting fit

  7. Rob,

    A very inspiring story for anyone. I have a question… After you lost the body fat and began bodybuilding, did you still practice the same food combination principles?

    I weight train regularly and play sports and have always eaten healthy foods, but hadn’t paid attention to the correct food combinations (ie. no protein with starches). Now I’m having trouble designing meals that don’t combine foods that will hinder digestion.

  8. Rob,

    Wow! What an inspiration you are! I am in the middle of my own weight loss journey. While I am currently in a bit of a plateau, I’ve already lost over 50 lbs!

    I just want to say that I admire how you just keep at it every single day! Good for you, man!

  9. “It all began with a decision”

    “I began to use the power of my mind to attract success. I used creative visualization, affirmations and the power of the written word to set intentions. I learned a unique concept regarding thought – that I could create my life exactly the way I wanted it, just by believing it to be so.”

    I like this parts the most because that’s the way I live my life too.

    What mind believes the body can achieve.

  10. Karlo, thank you for your comments. I appreciate your input.

    I’ve had a look at your website and I’m afraid that I have to say that I won’t link to it any longer.

    I DO NOT approve of weight loss drugs or pills as your website clearly promotes. It’s the policy of my websites not to link to any pharmaceuticals as they’re simply poisoning the body and creating the environment for ill health.

    I completely welcome your comments, however, I will be pulling the links effective now.

  11. Nice story rob, i very enjoy to read your story!
    hope you dont mind that i forward this link for my friends.

    great work!

  12. Glad you liked it Stewart. I’ve removed the links to your diet pills website as it’s my policy to NOT link to pharmaceuticals or weight loss pills.

    Thanks for your understanding

  13. Now these are the kind of stories that we all need hear so that we can stay encouraged. I admire Rob’s spirit and commitment which obviously seems to have paid off big time.
    Nothings impossible!

  14. “I believe that once you make a decision and fully commit to it, that the universe supports your decision and attracts into your life things that wouldn’t ordinarily be. Facts came my way, people with info came my way and I began to learn new lessons.”

    Beautiful. Good for you, Rob. And kudos for having the courage and humility to share your story. You could let the world assume you’re just another hot guy out trying to tell the world how to better take care of our bodies, but you chose to share where you came from and what brought you to this place. Embracing your former self and using the things he taught you to educate and enlighten is no small thing. You should be proud, of more than just your remarkable reformation.

    Cheers and good luck to you!
    Kimberley

  15. I liked you better when you were 475. JK. Great job. You are an inspiration. I am working on losing my weight as well, but I still have a long way to go. fubolympics.com

  16. This was unbelievably inspirational. I am overcoming an eating disorder through exercise and proper eating and this story was just the thing to remind me the power of treating your body right. Also, you’re absolutely gorgeous! I hope I meet a guy as wonderful as you are :)

  17. Please keep up the good work, and keep us informed. My husband and I will definately put your advice into action. You are very inspirational. We do not believe in pills either and were having a rough time with eating right or knowing what time of night to stop eating as we were night owls. So thanks again. And Yes! you are
    HOT.

    Thanks!

  18. I’m already a vegetarian. I was feeling so down because I stopped losing weight. I’ve been stressed as alot was going on in my life. A resounding “duh” echoed in my brain when you said that you simply walked. I’ve been worried about how to lose weight, which excersize program is right for me, which gym would be right for me, but in my current condition, I couldn’t possibly bear to go to the gym. Fat folks are conceited, you know… we always think someone is going to stare. 😛 Anyway, I plan on walking as long as I like starting tomorrow. I’ll go back to doing sit ups. I was able to use some of the infomation you posted, and I can’t wait to order the books! I’m most interested in the 24 hour cycle. It makes perfect sense.

    Anyway, thanks so much for the inspiration. I really needed it. I signed up for your newsletter. :3

  19. Hi Rob,

    What an awesome testimony! It was so increadible genuine that I took notes & purchased many of the products you suggested & will research others. You are truely inspiring, my friend. I pray that God blesses you abundently.

    Blessings,

    Miss Andi

  20. Rob,

    As a Chef, it’s always been tough to stay on point…two years ago through diet and consistent excercise program, I lost about 110 lbs. Unfortunately, I changed my habits and gained back some of the weight. Now, I’m back on track, and reading your story reminds me of how in focus I was, and now need to be.

    Thanks, maybe we can keep in touch, I am doing a lot online too, and would love to hear how your blog has grown and evolved.

    Take Care,

    Chef Tony
    Visions Restaurant

  21. I really would like to thank you for sharing your experience. I am overweight and have struggled with what to do to take control of my life. I thank you for offering tips on what you did so that I too can implement them in my life.

  22. Rob,
    In the beginning of your story you wrote about the terrible stretch marks you had and indicated you would write about how you got rid of them later. I didn’t see anything in your wonderfully inspirational story of “how you lost 300 pounds” and I tried to search your blog, but it didn’t help. I’d really like to learn about this.
    Thanks.
    Kathi

  23. This was motivating. It is very hard for me to loose weight because I am insulin resistant. So far I have lost 11 lbs. I still have another 74 to go. I hope I reach my goal. And yes, please tell us how you got rid of the stretch marks. And how do you still manage to keep the weight off?

  24. Rob,

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your story. I’ve been struggling with weightloss and excerise. Your story has motivated me to take one step at a time and also to realize that little is much when a person hasn’t been doing nothing at all. Just by starting a little excerise and eating right can lead to good health.

    Thanks so much,
    Linda

  25. YES–_THANKS!!

    Other great books are
    EAT TO LIVE
    and
    FOOD as MEDICINE

    GOOD LUCK!!

    Roy
    feel 15 years younger at age 54

  26. Your account of your ‘before’ life is fabulous and the slow and deliberate, but reasonable small changes you made. My daughter has also been through changes such as yours..At age 35 she was morbidly obese and the decision came suddenly to her as well, I think. Now, at nearly 37, she is maybe 70 lb lighter and has run several sprint triathlons and a half ironman…Here’s to change and taking personal responsibility for a great life. Sue

  27. Your story and the provided information will help me lose my last 25lbs, I have lost 125lbs over the last 13 months and I travel for business all of the time.
    Thank you so much for your story and I believe this will help me to reach my fitness goals.
    Thank you and another reader was correct, you are a hot guy.

  28. Greetings,
    I have read most of your blog. I am very impressed with your weight loss and how you learned about food and how it affects our bodies. I like some of the recipes you have posted, and have clicked on the place where it says, click here to sign up for recipes to be sent…however all I got was your wonderful recipes, not a place to sign up to receive them. Please advise.
    Also, I have just begun soaking and sprouting. I have a large bag of sprouted Mung beans in the fridge, what can I do with them besides us them in stir fries and in salads? Thank you for you help with this.
    All the best, Anna

  29. Wow! That’s all I can say! Wow!

    Your story is definitely an inspiration not only to the contributors of this site but also to those who are terminal obese people like the one you used to be.

    Ever since I finished reading your story, it reminded me of how I felt when I reached rock bottom. Not only did you overcome that particular trial, but you literally passed it with flying colors.

    There probably would be no overweight people if each and every single person in the world has the kind of drive and determination you have.

    Cheers!

  30. I have just started my own weight loss journey after years of personal neglect and emotional eating I decided it was time to get off my backside and start doing something about it. It’s been a tough journey so far and every day I am reading other peoples blogs and looking for inspiration.

    I have bookmarked and subscribed to your blogs RSS feed and I will be coming back here often to find tips, advice and inspiration.

    RGS. Justin

  31. I’m used hervalife for a long term ( 3 year to be specific) and helpme to loose weigt but is to expensive, now I’m addicted, and I’m scare, to stop and gain the weigt again, I read all your experience the four pages, and I feel motivate. Tank for your time , I see you don’t have any bussines interest

  32. I’ve been recommending Fit For Life to people since I used the principles first on my cat! No lie. She was 16 and developed Diabetes to the point she could not walk. Her blood sugar was 480 and the Vet said he’d be in his office to give her insulin injections 3 times a day. I said, “Let me try something first”. One week of cooked mixed veggies with a tiny amount of deli turkey for flavor and she was walking and the sugar dropped to 180. She lived 10 more years after that. I had a tumor on the pituitary that shot my weight up to 300 in a couple of months. I beat your land speed record hands down. But Cushings Sydrome does do that. I use the same principles I learned in Fit For Life to now deal with the Adrenal gland version of Cushings. The most important change of all most folks need to make to lose weight is to drink water..only. No other beverages. Also, a person does not have to be obese to experience the same scary heart-breathing issue. Happens to me if I eat a ‘standard’ heavy meal. Argh. I’ll be 61 in a few days and my Cushings began at age 25. I came here for your lentil loaf recipe, and I’ll try the gravy now too. Thanks!!

  33. You might like one of my favorites; I combine raw pumpkin with zucchini in olive oil with salt, and cook it down and add cooked rice to the mix. Carrots can be used instead of pumpkin. Simple and tasty.

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