How Michael Lost 300lbs and Become a Personal Trainer

I came across Michael’s transformation story on another website and, once I did, I knew I wanted to share his story with you guys.

Michael blew me away with not only his promptness to my emails (always a good start!) but his transparency and vulnerability when answering our questions.

I personally learned a lot from him and I know you will too.

Why did you decide to transform your body?

I simply got tired of being fat, got tired of the stares from people, the mocking gestures when I’d walk into a restaurant, the fingers being pointed as I attempting anything they thought unworthy.

There comes a time where you have to decide to live with the pain, or fight out of it. I fought it!

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

Basically, I counted calories.

I tried the common sense approach: grilled instead of fried, no grease, more veggies etc. Then I simply had a whole lot of willpower that lead to even deprivation at times.

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

Not really in the beginning, but eventually you have to start exercising or loose skin starts to become a HUGE issue.

I started out as a cardio freak but then after hitting a bottom weight of 193lbs I decided it was time to put on muscle, started lifting weights and haven’t looked back since.

After

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

The diet did take over.

My starting point was obesity, and even when I started, I never thought I would lose any weight.

When I actually saw the weight starting to drop off I become obsessed and got into a certain mindset.

I adopted that “weight-loss mindset” so much I became anorexic for close to 9 months.

The turning point happened when my wife and I went out of town one day just for fun, we hadn’t eaten all day so my wife suggested that we go out to eat at a restaurant.

I insisted that we wait until we got home (which was a 2-hour drive.) and she wasn’t having that. During a heart to heart conversation she opened up and shared she thought I was killing myself by not eating.

I was on a 1500 calorie diet and made sure I always left a 200 calorie deficit in case I miscalculated my meals.

Essentially I was eating no more than 1300 calories a day, and burning off a ton more by working out for 2 1/2 hours a day.

I then threw away my scale and started to focus on being healthy, not just skinny.

What’s one mistake you made during your transformation?

I should have started weight training sooner, but then I should have lost weight sooner as well.

What Aspect of your journey has challenged you the most?

Loose skin, it’s a hard thing to fight, but I’m adamant about proving ANYTHING is possible without surgery. My stomach when I first lost hung right above my knees, now all I have is an inch of overhang left.

BEAST 046

What are your future plans with health and fitness?

I’ve found my passion with fitness. I’ve become a personal trainer and now manage a fitness center!

I eventually want to be able to take fitness photos with my shirt off, and no matter what I could always clean up my diet.

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

Anything is possible so don’t give up, as cliché as it sounds. If I can do it, anyone can!

Focus solely on how you feel, don’t base your success on others, a scale, a chart or anything else. YOU determine where you’re comfortable!


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

8 Comments

  1. Marcus Barnett

    I’m over 500lbs and I’ve wanted to get cracking and loose weight while putting on muscle for some time. What keeps discouraging me is that I have 2 herniated disk which causes me a lot of pain. I was initially 315 when my back first started getting to the point the pain couldn’t be ignored. I was actually pretty active for my size but I never really did anything extra past that. As of right now I don’t have any weights of my own to use and my back is literally so bad getting to the gym would be very painful enough. As for eating healthier I live with 2 of my neices that tends to just eat whatever is in the fridge so my balanced diet of whatever foods I try to run with gets eaten before the months end. Any advice would help tons.

    Reply
    • Ted

      Hi Marcus, I would love to coach you and get you back on the right track. You won’t have to do much exercise and there aren’t any forbidden foods. Please see the options on this page. The coaching option is the 3rd one. https://healthyeater.com/ebook I’m confident that I can help you and there is hope!

      Reply
  2. Gabrielle

    I am a woman and weigh over 400 pounds. I caculated my daily calorie intake and it is 2500. Is that too much? Should I start at 1800 instead?

    Reply
    • Dan Bolton

      Hey Gabrielle, 2500 may be right. Give it a try and see what happens!
      1800 definitely seems too low of a place to start for you

      Reply
  3. spectra311

    Fantastic story! I can relate to doing TOO much exercise and getting almost too thin…at one point, I was running 70 miles a week and was down to 11 or 12% body fat, which is very low for a woman. I increased my protein levels and carb levels and got back to a healthy weight, but I’m glad I had the good habits in place to gain weight in a healthy way and not just start eating junk again. Congratulations on a fantastic accomplishment 🙂

    Reply
  4. the10principles

    Congratulations Michael! Your approach to exercise (via not really exercising in the beginning) is great. I think a lot of weight loss attempts fail because people try to ‘flip a switch’ rather than take baby steps away from old habits and towards new ones. For ten years I kept telling myself ‘tomorrow will be different’ and it never was until I did something different – by focusing on tiny changes vs, to quote Billy Joel (!), go to extremes.

    Reply
  5. Daniel Wagle

    I lost my weight never consuming fewer than 2000 calories a day. I even upped my caloric intake to close to 3000 and I still lost weight. I was bicycling a lot each day and now still do just as much if not more and my weight is still very slowly drifting down even though now I am consuming around 3300-3600 calories a day. It has been four years since I reached my weight where I stopped trying to lose more weight at 160. This morning without clothes I was about 153 and I am about 5 11 to 6 foot. I do some weight lifting, although I don’t want to bulk up that much. I would tend to think that drastically cutting one’s caloric intake will backfire in the long run, because it will make one’s body burn fewer calories and therefore lead to a rebound weight caused greater hunger brought on by nutritional deficiencies. My weight loss formula would be moderate, not very low or very high, caloric consumption, nutrient dense calories and daily exercise. Instead of low fat or low carb, I eat a healthy carb, healthy fat diet of legumes, whole grains and nuts and seeds. Over time during and after losing the weight, I have improved the nutrient density of my diet. I lost most of my weight while I was eating meat, but since then have cut it out, for ethical reasons. I have drastically cut down on dairy and eggs also for ethical reasons, but haven’t yet completely eliminated these. This hasn’t hurt my weight maintenance at all and actually made it easier. I drink fortified Soymilk as well as fortified Red Star Nutritional Yeast for B12 and my B12 levels were fine according to medical tests. I bicycle out in the sun a lot and probably get Vitamin D from that, as well as from fortified foods, such as the Soymilk, cereals and Clif bars. A Vegan can get Vitamin D from mushrooms exposed to sunlight, but I don’t eat mushrooms on a regular basis. I now eat dark green vegetables and other vegetables daily and lots of nuts and seeds.

    Reply
    • JamesF

      Interesting what you say about cutting down on meat. One thing I could never stomach with body transformations is where the guy bulks up on muscle by eating mountains of steak.

      Our planet cannot support people eating huge amounts of red meat for vanity reasons.

      Good on you for making some ethical choices.

      Reply