5'8" 280 lbs No More!!

by Rob Ryan
(Roanoke, VA)

Me, Jan 2008

Me, Jan 2008

Hi, my name is Rob.


At the end of high school I was 280+lbs and 5'8". 42" pants were tight. I was always the fat kid. I can blame a dozen things for it. A dysfunctional family, like we all have; being picked on by class mates, like everyone else was; never being taught proper nutrition, and so on but ultimately I was young and didn't have the will power to change.

One day when I was shopping for 44" pants for the first time I decided, “That's it I gotta lose weight.” My first go round with weight loss was all wrong. I was able to lose about 30lbs but I did it by eating a no fat diet. My thinking was no fat would make my body burn the fat. Not a bad idea but all wrong because no one wants to never eat anything with fat in it again.

The next attempt at loss was around age 23. This time it was all exercise. I hit the gym as often as I could and as hard as I could for nearly 3 months and was able to get down to 220lbs but ultimately, it was doomed to failure because I still had bad eating habits and no one wants to live in a gym.

Skip ahead to about 8 months ago. At 240lbs I decided to do what everyone tells you and try a lifestyle change. Something I could stick with. I began tracking everything I ate for about 3 months paying special attention to portion size, calorie, protein, carb, and fat intake. This allowed me to start, after 28 years, getting a feel for what my body needs and what a proper amount of food is like. I started putting all the little things I knew about nutrition to use. I would eat 6-8 tiny meals all day long. I would limit fat and carbs and eat more protein. I would aim for a calorie deficit of around 7000-8750 calories per week making for not more than 2.5 lbs of loss per week. Now I haven't said anything about exercise. That's because I'm still like that 18 year old I was in high school. I don't have enough will power to turn my world upside down overnight so I didn't do anything with exercise ... at first. I put all my energy into getting my eating habits right, and energy it took.

At one point I was eating only 900 calories a day and not hungry. I figured if cutting some calories helps me lose fat then cutting a lot of calories will make me lose faster. Wrong, I stopped losing weight, couldn’t sleep at night, was tired all the time, and was shutting my body down. So, I started eating more and started losing weight again. It’s a great feeling to look at your food intake for the day and say, “Hey, looks like I need some calories, I had better eat some ice cream so I can lose weight.”

Jump to present day. I am still 5’8” or so but now I weigh 180 lbs, 12% body fat, and I have great control over what I eat. Since I don’t have to work to eat right anymore I have freed up some will power to concentrate on exercise. I have been lifting weights about 15 minutes each day. This isn’t a lot but I mix up my routine and I don’t rest between exercises so my heart rate gets up. I want to eventually add some cardio like running to my 15 minutes of workout and maybe up the workout to 20 or 30 minutes. I want to make it down to 6-7% body fat because I can feel these awesome abs and I look better than I ever have but there’s still just enough fat to cover the definition that I can feel there.

If anyone is interested I have an excel spread sheet I made to help track the food you eat and I wrote a little paper about some of the things I used and did to lose this weight. Keep in mind I am not a professional, not a nutritionist, and only know what I do from personal experience so do everything, and use everything at your own risk. Write me and I would be happy to share. Sum10fishy (at) yahoo (dot) com

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Oct 29, 2015
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Aug 31, 2015
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Excellent effort NEW
by: Anon

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Aug 18, 2015
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Nov 22, 2010
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How to see results
by: mickey

I'm 5'11 180 I been wanting a 6 pack for a long time I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I don't know if is the workouts or is the diet but I see no results. Can someone help?

Jul 26, 2010
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You can do it.
by: Rob

It's not simple and you have to think of whatever you do as permanent, but it is very do able. That was Jan 2008 and I am still 180 lbs so I have managed to keep the bulk of it off. If you commit you can do it.

Jul 22, 2010
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5-8 280
by: Hendic

whats going on with 5'8 280 lbs? Im the same too!

May 12, 2010
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5"11 285 lbs
by: Anonymous

I know what you mean man. I'm starting my own dietary plan tomorrow. Hopefully lose enough to drop to 220. I am going to be excercising aswell, so I think I can get my weight down a bit. Being at 285 at 23 my waist size is 44 tight. Gotta lose it :P

Jan 04, 2010
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5"6 , 25 y/o 280
by: Anonymous

Congratulations man! I don't know you but I'm very proud of you. You failed a few times but in the end learned from your mistakes and reached your goal! Reading your story of an average guy trying to be healthy has been an inspiration. Thanks for sharing and I wish you all the best in getting those wash board abs! Happy belated New Year and happy Kwanzaa!

Nov 29, 2008
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HELP reply
by: Rob Ryan

Baby Steps. Since this does need to be a life style change, just pick one little thing you can change at first until it is second nature. Then move to the next step. Remember how long it took to put on the weight, it is going to take time to take it off. Maybe do nothing more than track the food you eat during the day for a while. Don't try and change the habits yet but make a log of every single thing you eat and record the calories, fat, protein, and carbs of it all. Pay special attention to serving sizes. Get an idea of what you should be taking in for calories, protein, fat, and carbs. As for a workout, I had a lot of trouble getting motivated to work out so I didn't do it at first. But, if you can do it, the more you do the better but remember anything you do needs to be permanent, so if you start working out plan for yourself to do it for the rest of your life. I decided an eating habit change to match my life style was more realistic than a lifestyle change to match my eating habits. Meaning I changed the amount of food I ate to match the amount of work I naturally did throughout the day instead of worked out more to burn the extra food I ate. Good luck!

Nov 29, 2008
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HELP
by: Anonymous

I DONT HAVE THE MOTIVATION, CAN YOU HELP ME? I AM 28 YR OLD FEMALE 182 POUNDS WOULD LIKE TO DROP 50 LBS WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST IN WORKOUT

Oct 08, 2008
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good job
by: Anonymous

great man im 24 5'8'' and 280

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