How I Lost 300 Pounds – My Weight Loss Story

Other Food Philosophies

I began juicing vegetables and fruit, food combining, macrobiotics, fasting and then re-feeding to increase my metabolism. If I read about it, I tried it. I put it into practice. Juicing became my first priority of the day and at some points, I would even go days or weeks drinking nothing but juice and eating only fruits and raw vegetables.

Fasting and Cleansing

I then learned about fasting as a method to cleanse the body. The longest I went was 42 days without food, just drinking water. I would never ever do this again and I do not recommend it. Starving your body is doing it a dis-service. During this time, I had wicked blood sugar irregularities. I would get up off the couch, turn the corner to go to the kitchen for some water and blacked out. I must repeat that I do not recommend this.

When fasting or cleansing, one or two days per week is very good, but no need for anything longer.

Since 1991, I’ve used Sunrider foods as my nutritional foundation. Sunrider manufactures system specific whole food formula’s not based on what foods are, but rather what foods do!

I drink Sunrider Calli Tea daily which I find keeps my mind sharp, my skin clear, my elimination system working at full speed and helps me build muscle more efficiently.

So now, instead of thinking about “cleansing”, I think “nourish the cleansing system – and let it work more efficiently – day in, day out”. I get to eat my way to a cleaner body.

Stoking The Metabolism

I realized that with times of fasting and a vegetable based diet, I’d be eating very little food and eventually plateau in my weight loss. I quickly learned that I must eat more food to keep my metabolism up and to continue to burn fat. I was simply eating too little food and it was when I began to add in oatmeal and brown rice that things began to change again. I took a course on “whole foods” where I told people that I had a “near God experience”. I responded very well to oatmeal. I bought Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut oats which are a whole food and take 30 minutes to prepare. I would put the pot on the stove to cook and then go out for a walk while it was cooking. I began to stabilize my blood sugar levels, felt more balanced and began to put on more muscle. The same thing occurred with Brown Rice. I began to eat it with every meal along with steamed vegetables with the same results.

Eliminating The Coffee, Alcohol and Drugs

I quit smoking and drinking alcohol. I quit drinking coffee and soda pop and replaced them with water, fresh fruit juices and the Sunrider herbal tea Calli I mentioned earlier. Where I once craved a beer, I began to crave Calli tea. I realized that if my body was craving this new “whole food beverage” then I should listen. I remember a time when I had ordered some beers at a local pub and when I was into my third one, I began to crave Calli. I paid my tab, ran home and made a pot of tea.

Soon I added more Sunrider foods to my diet and things began to rapidly improve. My skin tone began to change, my skin tightened up and my stretch marks began to heal. My fingernails began to become harder and I began to heal much much faster. I had been addicted to drugs for about 4 years and a short 3 months after starting on Sunrider, my stress levels were lowered so much that I stopped smoking pot cold turkey. I began to sleep better and had an even better outlook on life.

I went from being addicted to alcohol and drugs to being sober and drug free.

I learned about fats – good fats and bad fats. I realized that our body needs essential fats for many metabolic functions and good health, so I added Essential Fatty Acids to my diet rather than following a no-fat diet. To this day, I use coconut oil for cooking and consume Udo’s Oil as my primary EFA.

Each time I learned a new principle and applied it, I took my weight loss another step further and my health continued to improve.

Exercise

weight loss story
At a weight of nearly 400 pounds, I began walking daily, at least 20 minutes, and more if I felt inspired. I realized that I was not able to do pushups at that body weight and body size, but I could use the stairs in my house to do incline pushups, so that’s exactly what I did.

When I reached my lowest weight of 187 pounds, I traded my drug addiction for bodybuilding. One reason was because I didn’t want to be skinny. But I also realized that when you give up a negative habit, that leaves a vacuum that must be filled with a new positive habit, or else the old habit may easily return. So I started weight lifting and became addicted to the bodybuilding lifestyle!

I could only do three or four sit ups, but I realized that if I did only three sit ups per day, at some point I’d become stronger and I would then be able to do six, and then twelve, and then twenty or more – so that’s exactly what I did. I was nowhere near able to see my abs at that point, but I knew that given time, the abs would be there when I dropped enough of the fat that was covering them.

I started from scratch, but I had read Muscle and Fitness magazine when I was in junior high school and dabbled in some basic training back then, so I knew a little on the subject when I took it up seriously later in life.

I began working out with weights three times a week in addition to my walking, which continued for many more years. When I started, I could only bench press 40 pounds and squat only 80 pounds. But the amount was not important to me, because it was a start. What was important to me was the act of exercise for the sake of exercise.

I was so enthusiastic, my workouts grew to almost two hours in length, including 30 minutes just for abdominal training. Since those humble beginnings, I’ve learned the power of periodization and I began to change my weight training programs every few months. Today, each training program lasts me no longer than six weeks at most. I realize that my body will adapt and I will hit a plateau if I don’t change routines frequently.

Today I train no longer than 45 minutes and treat my abdominals no differently than any other body part. I hit them with intensity, with low reps and focus more on core training than abdominal training. I split my abdominals between workouts, doing upper abs one day, lower abs another, and obliques on yet another day.

In the years that followed, I applied these new philosophies on a daily basis and my new habits became a lifestyle that I enjoy to this day still.

In the photo series to the right, you can see how following a program of natural whole foods along with Sunrider and daily exercise can transform a man from 475 pounds to lean and muscular.

The Power of Protein

Even when I was on a vegetarian diet, I began to put on muscle, but it was a full 12 years after I started, that I learned the power of protein to take my bodybuilding results to the next level.

I had been weight training as a vegetarian for years – with very good results – but wanted to know what effect protein would have on my physique and muscularity. My philosophy has always been to experiment with new ideas, test them and see what results I got before judging. After being vegetarian for so many years and for so many reasons, it was not easy! It took me two years of thinking about it before I made the decision to eat fish, chicken and eggs again.

I started with a whey protein powder, but it wasn’t long until I felt a calling to start using animal protein. When I did, I felt a surge of energy course through my body from the very first day of eating meat and I loved it.

I began to lose even more fat, break even more fat loss plateaus, and pack on even more muscle. I also noticed that my body temperature increased (from the thermogenic effect) and I even slept better.

Today, my training days consist of two parts, a morning cardio session, where I do High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) in a fasted state and then another session in the afternoon. I found that these frequent training sessions kept my metabolism burning all day long and I burn more fat.

When I was at my highest bodyweight of 475, I had a 55 inch waist. At my lowest weight of 187, I was a size 38 waist. Now at 240 pounds, I still have a size 38 waist – but I have much more muscle, rock hard abs and a well-conditioned core.

I’ve found that with the increase in muscle and with twice the daily energy output, I require more calories than I used to. Every pound of muscle that I gained requires more food to sustain it, so over the years I’ve had to constantly “tweak” and update my food program.

Even though I’ve lost hundreds of pounds and kept if off for years, I feel my best when I continue to exercise on a regular basis and eat only whole, natural foods. I keep my metabolism up with exercise and by following simple bodybuilding nutrition principles.

At 40 years of age, I am in the best shape of my life, but I know I have much more I can accomplish with my physique. New goals continue to keep me motivated, but along with setting goals such as reaching a specific body fat percentage, my goals today are more about the journey than the destination. My biggest goal today is to continue to train week in, week out – for life – and to continue to strive for peak performance in every area of my life.

I’ve recently released a free eReport called “How I Lost 300 Pounds – How to Lose 10 Pounds a Month, Every Month, Until You Reach Your Goal Weight” to subscribers of my monthly newsletter. To get this report, simply go to my Former Fat Guy website and sign up using the form on the main page, or in the sidebar (or bottom) of any other page. You’ll have instant access to the report once you subscribe.

In the report, I lay out the foundation for the steps to take to begin your journey. As a subscriber, you’ll also have access to any other reports that I release the instant I do so. My subscribers come first. Many have been with me for over 5 years, and continue to check in with me about their weight loss success stories.

I’d love to have you get the same results, so please, go subscribe and get the report so you can begin taking action.

Be Well

Rob

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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