Kyle’s Inspiring Extreme Weight Loss (270 lbs.) Without Surgery

A few weeks ago I got an email from Kyle. The subject heading “My 270 lb weight loss”. Needless to say, he had my attention. A friend had linked him to Vasely’s story of overcoming obesity. He attached a picture of himself and I knew right away I had to share his story with you.

Morbid obesity is not something many people came back from. His doctor told him he’s now in the top .05% of people in the US who’ve lost the amount of weight he has, without drugs or surgery. His transformation is real, powerful and is bound to set fire to all your excuses.

Kyle’s been awesome enough to answer our questions below.

Kyle’s Journey to Extreme Weight Loss and a New Life

Why did you decide to transform your body?

There were quite a few reasons I wanted to change my body, however, I think the biggest reason might’ve been living with the knowledge I was within a year of being completely bedridden.

I’m a truck driver and I couldn’t walk or stand for more than two minutes at a time. I was constantly tethered to a chair. If I had to walk somewhere, I had this mental timer ticking before the extreme pain in my lower back and drenching sweat kicked in.

Also, I’m a hopeless romantic and I knew that being so incredibly heavy was really impeding my ability to find someone to share my life with. While I agree we shouldn’t be superficial, I was on the extreme end of the obesity scale and finding someone to overlook that much mass and even handicap was a pretty difficult thing.

What was the diet plan or strategy that guided your transformation?

The day I started eating differently to improve my weight, I had no specific plan. I was angry at myself for having eaten about a gallon of Ben & Jerry’s (Hey, I still dream about Red Velvet Cake Ice Cream.)

That night I climbed down out of my truck determined to exercise. I walked the length of my truck (100 feet) one time, and I was already in pain. So, I gave up exercising.

My only strategies from the beginning were using the myfitnesspal app on my phone, a digital food scale, and a set of measuring cups I bought from a grocery store. Portion control was my overall strategy.

I had no knowledge of nutrition, and I’m still fairly ignorant, but I’m just now AWARE of how much I eat. Even today, I still use the scale and measuring cups for everything that isn’t pre-portioned.

My first meal was literally one fried chicken strip from a fried chicken chain. I remember logging it on myfitnesspal and it said 300 calories!

I set my goal for the day at 1,500 calories, which was down from 7,000-10,000 daily, and sometimes as high as 15,000.

I had a 120 dollar a day fast food habit.

Kyle's Recovery from being morbidly obese

Note: The photo on the left was after Kyle had already lost 90 pounds and he was feeling “super skinny”

Did exercise play any role in your transformation? If so, What?

At my heaviest, I was 478 pounds. (Maybe closer to 500, but I had weighed in with my doctor for the last time at 478.) I couldn’t exercise. I was lucky I could stand, even briefly. I had to lose 160 pounds before I could even attempt to walk.

Once I had lost about 160 pounds, I was finally able to walk a bit without extreme pain. I started at 2 minutes and scaled up as I got comfortable.

Soon a two-minute walk became five, five became ten, ten – twenty, and so on, until I was walking about 45 minutes every day. The only exercise I have ever done during this time is walking.

I am a firm believer in diet being 90% of losing weight. I really think I’m a testament to that. I could be wrong, but it’s worked well for me.

Did you find you became obsessed with food, or felt like the diet was taking over your life? How’d you deal with that?

I don’t really feel like I became obsessed with food. Moreover, I trained myself to have a healthy relationship with food.

Before, I would obsess. If I’d go more than two hours without a meal, I’d get anxious and aggravated. I gained more awareness to my relationship with food. I thought of it more as a fuel source, rather than a source of emotion – since before I had used it to feel happy or satisfied.

I’m not exactly sure how I got there, other than determination and exploring my mind as I got cravings. Although I didn’t know much about nutrition, I decided to cut down on sugar.

Honestly, my appetite was really under control after 30 days without sugar or sugar substitutes. Once my body was essentially detoxed from sugar, I had won the war on hunger. I still deal with urges, but if I can ignore them long enough, they subside.

What’s one mistake you made during your transformation?

One mistake was probably going into this without much forethought. I dove right into this without thinking it through. I never really expected to succeed let alone come as far as I have.

If I could do it over again I probably would’ve studied nutrition a bit more, and taken a few of those ‘before’ shots everyone has in a pair of underwear and from a few different angles.

Unfortunately, the only photos I have of myself were ones that people were able to sneak of me while I wasn’t aware. Cameras were my worst enemy.

What Aspect of your weight loss journey has challenged you the most?

If I’m going to be completely honest here, I have to say my mind. Trying to keep both my mind and ego under control has been the most difficult thing I’ve experienced. Is that bad? Probably. However, it’s the truth. Like I mentioned earlier, I’m a romantic and going from being invisible to everyone to now somewhat noticeable has started to give me some complexes.

People didn’t notice me before but now people want to be near me? I’m the same man, just smaller. It’s a complex issue with many facets I haven’t even begun to touch. I’m very introspective and I’ve really explored my mind and emotions throughout this entire process.

It’s interesting to think how much has changed about me since I started. I find myself less stubborn, more open, and progressive than I ever have been before. Stepping outside of my comfort zone in every way possible.

Being aware of my changing mind and controlling my ego has definitely been the biggest challenge.

What are your future plans with health and fitness?

I like to fantasize about helping others. My weight loss has been so extreme and yet I’ve kept it natural. I have quite an interesting story, too. My ability to talk about the most uncomfortable aspects of being nearly 500 pounds really seems to affect the people I share it with on so many levels.

Obesity is an epidemic in the trucking industry and I’d like to help the Department of Transportation develop some easily attainable health initiatives.

For now, I’ll just continue to keep my blog online and help those that seek me out.

My personal plans? Just maintain. I’m going to learn how to ski and I plan on turning my walking into running once the weather breaks. I’ve already started skateboarding and posted a video of myself doing an ollie. From 500 pounds to an ollie. It makes me emotional when I think about it.

What advice would you give to others aspiring to change their body?

The only advice I can give is this – just know you’re not alone. I felt so hopeless at 500 pounds. I thought there wasn’t a person in the world who knew what I was going through. All the emotions I was dealing with or even the everyday tasks, like clothes shopping. I felt like I was alone and that I had no one to relate to.

I was always angry because people would sympathize for me. Meanwhile, all I was thinking was ‘You don’t know how this feels.’ Then I’d go back to a fast food spot to find some comfort.

Who could I blame? Eventually, I realized it doesn’t matter why, who, or how I got to be 500 pounds. I AM. I can be as upset and hurt by it as I want. I can try to find someone to blame. What I realized was all of that is irrelevant. I’m here. I’m 500 pounds and the only way that’s going to change is if I take control.

“I just don’t have your willpower,” is one I hear a lot. It always takes my mind to this place of remembering I was hands down the weakest man I knew. There is nothing in me that you don’t have in yourself. I know everyone can achieve their health goals, especially if I could.

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Disclaimer: Your results may vary and Kyle’s were largely due to his dedication and adherence to his calorie/macro protocols.

Ted Kallmyer is an ISSA certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition and is our lead macro coach. If you need help reaching your weight loss/fitness goals see our personal coaching options.
Last Updated: October 10, 2019

106 Comments

  1. Latasha Bladen 2 months ago

    Hello,
    I’m Tasha
    I’m 41 years old and weight 520lbs standing at 6’0. I suffer from depression. I have tried to lose weight then get stuck and give up. Know I’m asking for help. I wanted to have weight loss surgery but the last 7 years I bought insurance and come to find out none will help me. So I have to do it on my own . My doctor can’t really help because my insurance won’t pay for anything dealing with weight loss. If there any advice you can start me with will be greatly appreciated.

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 2 months ago

      Hi Tasha, Have you tried using an app like MyFitnessPal to track what you are eating and establish a safe calorie deficit?

      Reply
  2. ElizabethSchmauch 3 months ago

    Im 52 my health is very poor and i now weight 298 at 5’7″. Im not ready to giveup but Im not into books. HELP!!!!!

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach) 3 months ago

      Hi Elizabeth, So glad that you aren’t giving up. I’d love to coach you. I’ll show you how much you should be eating and help you with meal plans and planning your own meals to match that. Here’s my coaching page: Personalized Macros Coaching

      Reply
  3. Karen Bach 12 months ago

    I’m 54, 4’11” and I’ve lost 210lbs naturally. I don’t track my food but just know I can’t eat processed or junk food. My Ally is swimming! I clock about 4 miles a week. I do always want to explore menu options though!

    Reply
  4. Carolyn S Fizer 12 months ago

    I am 4’11″& I weigh278 lbsI have gotten so I won’t go into the grocery stores or anything because I can’t walk very far like you my back kills me I can’t seem to stay on a diet cuz it seems to be the only thing I have control of I lost 30 pounds but I gained 8 pounds of it back how do I keep myself in the groove I’ve losing this weight that is pegging me and keeping me from doing much of anything?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Macro Coach) 12 months ago

      Hi Carolyn, Losing 30 pounds is a great accomplishment! It seems like you need a little accountability and encouragement. I’d love to coach you and help you on your journey. Here’s my coaching page: Personalized Macros Coaching

      Reply
  5. Kelly

    I did the same thing! I went from 400 lbs down to 138lbs Now I’m up 90 lbs after getting married. I cook a lot and a car accident limited my mobility. I’m frustrated.

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer (Macro Coach)

      Hi Kelly, Great job on your weight loss, that’s amazing. Sorry about your accident and that does make it more challenging. A good place to start is to learn how much energy your body requires and then use that to factor a good weight loss calorie intake. Flexible Dieting Macro Calculator

      Reply
  6. Leni

    Could you please tell me roughly what your daily diet consisted of? As its hard to start a diet when you are not sure what to eat. Just an example of the first few months would be a great help. Thankyou

    Reply
    • Ted the Macro Coach

      Hi Leni, Kyle doesn’t monitor this post but we have a lot of good resources on this site to help you. Here’s a meal plan for 5 days. 5 Day Macro Dieting Meal Plan

      Reply
  7. Chris

    Hi,

    Im Chris a 36 year old man from Leeds in the UK,

    I have recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabettes i also suffer from anxiety/depression/sleep apnea and a heart condition called AFIB (other then this im in perfect condition lol) i got injured playing rugby many years ago and pilled on weight.

    I currently weigh around 450lb and i have family pushing me to have weight loss surgery and it scares me especially due to my sleep condition. i too feel to big to exercise my kneed and back been the main issue! unfortunatly for me eating is a comfort thing and no matter what i try i always slip into bad habits! all it taked is one comment one look from someone to make me feel like life just isnt worth living!

    I have a utube channel under couchios corner which has a few videos about me and a weight loss journey that i was starting (and failed) i dont want to give up but i just feel like its something that i am never going to achieve!

    Reply
  8. Felipe Saldivar

    Man congrats on your weight transformation im also a truck driver so i do under stand were u comming from i would like for you to help me loose my weght with the same method that you use please send me an email I really appreciate it God bless you keep up the good work

    Reply
  9. Veronica Smith

    Hello Kyle, your weight loss journey has inspired / encourage me. I’m so angry with myself for my weight. I have tried diets but dont be consistent a key point you said change your mind about food (fuel for energy not to satisfy your anger). I was looking at surgery that I really don’t want to get you encourage me through dedication different mind set I can do this with my Lord saviour Jesus Christ .Thank you!

    Reply
  10. Kyle Priestley

    Hello my name is Kyle as well, I am 33 years old and have struggled with weight my whole life. I started eating healthy again a week ago and have dropped 10lbs in the last week. I was at my heaviest last Sunday at 521lbs! I have tried so many times to lose weight and just didn’t think it would happen, I decided to cut calories and track mine as well but have been skeptical if it would work. Kyles story of success is a HUGE inspiration for me tonight, I feel good about the 10lbs I have lost but was still nervous I would never be able to get down to 200ish lb goal that I have ultimitally set for myself. I am married, have a good job, can still get around decently, I can walk but not for very long without back pain I also only have one kidney from birth so I know that unless I change things I will probably kill my self with diabetes setting in within a few years that could lead to kidney failure. I can’t wait to be able to do things that I enjoyed doing as a kid again, mostly I can’t wait to play basketball and ride roller coasters again. Thank you for sharing Kyle’s story and I hope to be another Kyle with a 250+ weight loss story.

    Reply
  11. Anthony DosSantos jr

    I need help I have a 39 year old daughter she has to be about 500 lbs I’m reaching out because I’m going to lose my daughter I want her to get the help that she needs the thing is she lost her job because of her weight she has no benefits if anybody tell me where she get this help that she needs before she dies I would appreciate it.

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer

      Hi Anthony, Does she have the desire to change? Family members often mean well but if your daughter isn’t willing to start changing things then there’s not much anyone can do. People who are that heavy usually have a lot of psychological factors at play which makes losing the weight even more difficult. It’s not just a matter of eating less.

      Reply
  12. Derrick

    Hey 👋 I’m Derrick and I’m currently about 500 lbs and it’s awful. I made food a crutch for my emotions. Mainly junk food and fast food . Sometimes I feel helpless but after reading this I’m determined to lose this weight and if you would like to follow me on my journey add me on Facebook @ Derrick Skipper I will make posts and encouragement it’s time for a change….

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer

      All the best with your journey Derrick and if you need help let me know.

      Reply
  13. Cherie

    I need help, the doctor wants me to get bariatric surgery, I’m 300 lbs, morbid obese, . I have to lose 65 lbs., to get my knees replaced.
    My knees are bone on bone and splintered, I have hypothyroidism.
    I don’t have a problem with appetite control. I don’t know what to do? Except listen to doctor about having surgery? I have been in good active shape all my life till 5 yrs ago. I was crying at the doctors office, asking why am I gaining weight? That’s when my head doctor had them check my thyroid. It took 2 yrs of begging doctors to find out what was wrong with me, I’d gained 130 lbs., my bone on bone knees are now destroyed. I still have the weight. What can I do?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer

      Hi Cherie, sorry to hear about your struggle, but it’s great that you are seeking out help. You can lose weight without surgery as long as you get your thyroid levels back to where they should be with medication. Once that’s in place you could eat about 1500 calories daily 30% protein 40% carbs and 30% fat. For exercise, swimming would be your best bet given your knee situation. But, at 1500 calories, you’ll still lose weight without exercise but at a slower rate.

      Reply
  14. James

    Kyle,

    You are an inspiration to us all. I am currently 503lbs and i can’t walk… The doctors said that the surgery would kill me because of my heart. I eat twice a day, drink close to 12 9oz bottles of water a day. I have to move from my family because I needed to assist medical issues… It’s to the point I’ve been told if I don’t get it under control, I’ll be dead in a year. Please if anyone is out there that can help email me. apachefreedom@gmail.com..

    Reply
    • James

      Sorry I’m 34 years old

      Reply
  15. JoJo

    I am 62 years old, a retired elementary school teacher and I weigh 490 lbs. I am both angry and sad that I have allowed myself to get into this predicament. I can barely walk without holding on to something. The weight has effected my knees and it is a task just to stand up. I’ve tried several times to have the weight loss surgery but Blue Cross/Blue Shield will not pay for it; although my doctor has deemed that this is a medical necessity. I feel alone and helpless. I really need some help and I don’t have any family support. My daughter and granddaughter lives far away and I don’t know where to turn. Any help that I could get would be a blessing. I don’t want to die and I would like to have better quality of life. What should I do? How do I start?

    Reply
    • Ted Kallmyer

      Hi JoJo, Kyle doesn’t monitor this page but I’d love to help you. I can show you how much to eat and how to make sure you are eating the right amount. All you need is a computer or smartphone and the desire to get healthier. You definitely have the desire, which is great. Have a look at my coaching options here and see if it’s something that seems like a good fit for you. If you have any questions, please let me know.

      Reply