Home Health News 400 Pounds Lost? No Surgery? Stop Lying!

400 Pounds Lost? No Surgery? Stop Lying!

by Erika Nicole Kendall

Taken from Fitness 102:

Here is a man who a few years ago contemplated suicide.  He felt hopeless and had no desire to live.  He wanted to disappear from the world around him.  Just a few years later, he’s completely changed his life and is starring in his own television show.

His story should certainly give hope to others who currently struggle with obesity.  You do not need surgery and you certainly do not need anything fancy in terms of exercise and diet.  A consistent and diligent effort has once again come out on top… [read more] — Fitness 102

Check him out:

Never be amazed by what a little hard work can do. Be INSPIRED by what a little hard work can do. : )

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anony December 23, 2009 - 12:11 PM

what’s up with the title of this article. people can lose a lot of weight without surgery. i think your title is stupid.

Erika December 23, 2009 - 12:14 PM

I think it’s equally stupid to post snarky comments on a site and claim your name is “Anony.” See how that works?

The title of the article is about the fact that people tend to think that only surgery can bring about major weight loss. If you bothered to browse the site, you can see that I’ve endured my OWN major transformation, so CLEARLY I don’t believe that to be the case.

Alas, I understand how people post on the Internet. It happens.

Have a lovely day!

Sheshe December 30, 2009 - 5:17 AM

I guess understanding sarcasm isn’t her strong point. lol!

Erika December 30, 2009 - 9:59 AM

For crying out loud, I guess not. LOL!

Tiesha March 6, 2010 - 10:06 AM

If people READ more, and JUDGE less, maybe, just maybe, they will and understand how he was able to lose the weight without the surgery. Skimming around the facts will cause you to make a dumb ASSumption.

Gail March 20, 2010 - 7:25 AM

Hi Erika,

It’s been very hard for me to loose weight ever since I was young. I don’t remember my slim years at all. I tried Bally’s but quit after I was insulted by a man who was trying to pick up on me. Some times I think those women are there to loose weight but also to fine a man, how do you to the gym with make up on looking like you are in a beauty pagent. So I’m on the treadmill and I had on a sauna suit, when I told him that I wasn’t interested he told me that I look like a big thing of aluminum foil and walked off. I never returned, I tried women’s work out world, curves and so forth. Maybe it’s just me! I know it is, so Tuesday I have an appt. to go to a seminar at Northwestern Hospital for the lapband surgery. I’ve heard mixed messages about it, what do you think about it?

Erika March 23, 2010 - 11:27 AM

I’d hate for you to take the easy way out, only to find that you still have to face the issues that caused you to gain/keep the excess weight in the first place.

I think you can do it without the surgery, as long as you have supportive people around you. 🙂

Mia August 2, 2011 - 8:31 PM

I’m sorry, but Weight Loss Surgery is NOT the easy way out. The fact of the matter is, that diets fail 95% of the time. Kudos to you, Erika, for being in that slim 5% of people who are successful at keeping the weight off and achieving their weight loss goals. But for a person with chronic illnesses, using a tool (yeah, A TOOL, not magic bullet) is not the “easy way out,” it’s taking advantage of the advances in medicine to help turn the tide against proven statistics.

Erika Nicole Kendall August 2, 2011 - 8:58 PM

“Diets fail 95% of the time.”

I’m so tired of this phrase… and please don’t lump me into that “magic 5%” because I didn’t achieve my weight loss through dieting. I achieved it through doing the same thing surgery participants have to do after they’ve had their surgery in order to maintain their loss… thereby STILL leaving me to question the need for the surgery in MANY people’s cases, in the first place.

Your disagreement is noted. I still stand by what I said.

Angie S April 13, 2013 - 6:03 PM

I assure you surgery is not the easy way out. I work with several people who have had weight loss surgery. One lost no weight at all Only excuses for why it didn’t work. The other gained all her weight back within 2 years. There are several others that are Thin after surgery. They are very regimented and exercise and eat right. I agree with others who say it is a ” tool”.. It is not a cure all and not a crutch. If anyone thinks they can have surgery and be done they will be very disappointed. I’ve seen it first hand.

Erika Nicole Kendall April 14, 2013 - 11:59 AM

You can’t assure me of much; if it wasn’t a surgical means of assistance – a shortcut – then people wouldn’t do it.

Your comment only furthers my underlying belief that most of these people don’t need surgery; they need THERAPY.

And, before anyone takes that as slander, remember: I saw a therapist about MY food addiction.

LaDonna April 13, 2013 - 5:59 PM

In some cases weight loss surgery IS the easiest way out. I can’t tell you the number of people I’ve seen who’ve had the surgery to only gain the weight back. All I can think is that person just wasted good money on surgery only to gain all the weight back. If you don’t get to the root of the cause of your weight gain you will gain it back and some more!!! I believe 99% of the battle is fought in our minds. Renew your mind, change you life!!!

Candice April 13, 2013 - 7:11 PM

I’ve seen people and know a person who had the surgery and it didn’t work. There are underlying issues to most people’s weight gains and if you don’t address them, no amount of surgery will help.

vesta henderson April 7, 2010 - 5:32 PM

Hi, read your article and was very impressed by the truth of it all and want to know, because i couldn’t find it what diet did you follow i would like to have an example to get started and share it with my niece and daughter and friends. I’m glad you mentioned the HCG spent my money didn’t believe it my niece told me to try it I told her if you eat 500 cal a day you will lose wt. alone. so i truly thank you for that. if you don’t mind giving me a start i would appreciate it.

Erika April 7, 2010 - 11:21 PM

Vesta, the best that I could do is tell you to subscribe to the site and go through all of the articles. I give excruciating detail about the things I’ve gone through and how they’ve worked for me, as well as the science (sensible science) behind the basic principles of health and wellness. If you have any specific questions, I’m all ears… but unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to the question you asked.

lakeisha stringfellow April 23, 2010 - 2:17 PM

Hi Erika,
I absolutely love your site. I dont believe that having the weight loss surgery is the easy way out, as I have heard stated before(I personally know of a couple of people who have had the surgery and its not easy at all, and may even be harder than trying to live a healthy lifestyle, its so much more than having the surgery and WHA-LA youre thin). I think that it just gives some hope and a jumpstart to a healthier lifestyle. Ive personally thought about doing the surgery, but I do understand the importance of a changed mindset and healthy eating habits. Thank you so much for sharing your journey and I look forward to writing a chapter or two of my own!!!

Erika April 23, 2010 - 2:31 PM


I’m glad you support the site and I hope that it continues to help you… but I stand by my position. Surgery allows you to lose weight regardless of how many mistakes or screw-ups you make on your journey. I value my screw ups, because I’ve learned from them. Surgery takes that opportunity away from you. I stand behind that.

I am perfectly aware that it’s about more that going under a knife, and voila… but just like there’s more to surgery, there is way more to weight loss in general that cannot be ignored. Surgery undercuts that. Sorry that we disagree. 🙁

Meka January 15, 2011 - 10:48 AM

Hello, I am enjoying your website! I do have to disagree
with surgery being the easy way out. I had the lap band surgery
which is totally different from the bypass. I can still eat
everything that I could before and if I don’t make healthy choices
or go workout I will not lose a single pound or even gain back the
80lbs I have lost so far. I am losing about 5lbs a month due to
making healthy choices and hitting the gym. I work just as hard as
the next person that didn’t have the surgery. The band is a tool
that allows me to not get hungry as often as I used to. Some people
choose to take diet pills to dim the hunger but I chose the band. I
can sit around and drink milkshakes all day and eat all the ice
cream I want and the lap band would not stop it. So, as far as the
surgery taking away the opportunities to make mistakes and learn
from them, it has not done that for me. I didn’t lose any weight
from June to August because I was drinking Starbucks Frappuccino’s
every day and not working out. I am so happy that I made this
choice. I have lost weight in the past only to gain it all back
plus some. I am hoping that by making a lifestyle change this time
around will help me keep it off. All people that had surgery can
gain all the weight back if they don’t make a lifestyle change just
like you did. So, for the ones that manage to keep the weight off
deserves a hand clap because it was in no way easy. Thanks for your
encouraging words!

Gail April 25, 2010 - 9:38 AM

Hi Erika,

I pray and hope this go through, I agree with both you and Lakeisha on the matter of the surgery. As I stated to you, I did go to the meeting at Northwestern University. Surgery is no piece of cake, did you know that if you do make the mistake of eating something that you’re not suppose to, that because of the surgery your body will reject those foods and baby it won’t be pretty. You get sick, you throw up and you feel awful, these are the things you can no longer have when you get the surgery. No carbs (period), sugar (period), soda (including diet) beer, pizza of no kind (including your delicious pizza), a small piece of rib tips (no greasy food period). I was funk that man, you can only have 64 oz of water a day, the doctor said some people can drink that in one sitting, after the surgery it will take you a full day to get that down. You have to take it really, really slow eating otherwise your body will throw it back up. So no eating on the go.
I was like damn! I rather try to exercise as best I can, and eat healthier, at least I can treat myself once in a while and have family night, make me one of your pizzas and enjoy myself. Because of you, a close friend of mine who did have the Bariatric Surgery, and the meeting. I decided not to go through with it. The surgery is way harder than just doing it myself, even if I did cheat, the pain of being sick just wouldn’t be worth all that.

Ms.Nikkie February 27, 2011 - 8:06 PM

I AM INSPIRED! I just visited your website about a week ago after reading the featured article on you in Essence. I have been on a mission to loose weight for the past couple of weeks and have found the idea of “clean eating” very insightful. I have begun reading labels looking for “high fructose corn syrup” and have not bought anymore of those “chicken sausages” that have added pork (I ate that brand ALOT and never bothered to read the ingredients!). After viewing the video above, I know if that guy can commit to loosing 400 lbs., I can definitely commit to loosing 81.

Thanks, Erica

Amber March 23, 2011 - 7:03 PM

That’s amazing!

LaDonna May 4, 2011 - 12:55 PM

I loved this story. It inspired. I recently enlisted the help of an online trainer to get myself going on a self motivated path. He provided the do’s/don’ts nad supplement and exercise regimens. The willpower is up to me. This first month has been rough going. But I’m working on it. I find its battle because some of my food trends are habits driven by triggers and emotions. And everytime I have to make a food choice I confront them. The habits and the underlying issues. I won’t lie. Some days I win the battle…somedays I don’t. But just like building endurance in exercise its getting better as I go. Jogging was extremely uncomfortable at first. Constriction of breathing is no picnic. In the same way I find my appetite is not comfortable when I restrict it. Its tough. I’m like an unrulely child wanting his/her way. But the more I press…the more I confront and the more I push…the more I accomplish. The little victories are so encouraging.

Seeing this man keep at, even when he hit blocks and discouraging patches…I’m inspired that like building cardiovascular endurance, my endurance to eat right will broaden. I’ll get better…feel better and be better. Ups and downs aren’t defeats! They are part of the process! An entire psychological exercise!

Thanks for sharing!

Arnita May 23, 2011 - 2:44 PM


Thanks for posting this. I believe I saw a part of this previously and I forgot about it. The reminder was much needed for me. This clip brough tears to my eyes (I know I’m a wuss!) but it really touched me. This just speaks volumes to me and says, hey, if this man can lose 200 lbs, I can lose the first 70 that I need to lose. I am very impatient and I heard that it took this man 2 years and he stuck with it. And for me, I can say that surgery is not the answer because I flat-out refuse to even entertain the notion of it. Between this and your story and all of the encouragement you give on your site, I know that I can do it. For that, I say a heartfelt Thank You! 🙂

purplefro June 20, 2011 - 10:23 PM

man man man…this guy and stories like this is my motivation. There was a woman who lost 200lbs. I think the same netwoek featured her on ABC News. They asked how did she loose the weight. She said:

Good ole fashioned hard work.

I think weight loss is more than the outer. It really addresses why we eat what we eat..it forces us to take a look at how we really view ourselves…it sort helps us face the skeleton in our self esteem/food closet.

seeing stories like this not only make me rejoice for the person, but it shows me that anything worth having is not easily gained.

It just takes work and most of all consistency…i notice these folks who are apart of such stories did not go on diets…they just changed their eating habbits and remained faithful to them. I lost as much as 30 lbs but gained it back…why…cause I did not remain faithful and consistent. Im sure if I did..i’d be overstock.com looking for size 12 summer dresses (i’ve always been a 16..sometimes 14)

Hard work, sacrifice and consistency for long lasting goals…

i even appreciate monique for going about it the old fashioned way for those of us who have no intentions of spending $$$$ like that to loose weight. Ill just take the money, buy healthy food and hire a trainer…

now…off to bed so that I can get my tush out of bed to go on my pre-work power walk.

I love love love this site..finally im tackling my real weight loss issues…not so much the food, but perception. I think the weight comes off when we finally love and appreciate ourselves so much that we actually want to put the right foods in our bodies and excersise..and most of all relax…being overly caught up in weight loss i think stresses us out..then what…the body just holds on to the extra fat because its under duress….

ok im done! 🙂

DN December 15, 2011 - 10:19 AM

Yeah, I tried diets and I don’t particularly like them. I tried the Banana diet but eventually I stopped thinking of it as a diet and something that allows me to sleep longer before I have to get up and step out into this cold.
I caled myself saving money and going on a diet sort of by not eating the school lunch provided at my job (I pay for it every month, this month I did not), I got sick and the vice principal said it is because I am on a diet and I WILL be eating lunch with them next month as usual. She said I am already slim (I’m not really, just my shape and clothes make it look like I am. I am still over my threshold and can lose the last whatever extra and tone.)
I decided not to diet anymore and have been eating whatever I felt like and I feel much better. Plus, I live in South Korea right now and there are mainly veggies in their food and they are fresh. The garden is right outside and I live in the country country so we get fresh veggies and fruit everywhere.
Heck, I lost that first 20lbs without really thinking about it. I just ate their food and walk around a lot since where I lived the public transportation was awesome and I could walk where ever I wanted to go really. In the country, I can not do that as much because of my severe allergies to all the pollen and I am so far away from everything it costs too much.
I will go back to doing that since I have no patience for the other stuff any longer. I love walking around Seoul and will walk for hours around their (It’s hilly and there are stair EVERYWHERE). No need for a stair master.

By the way, I am a long time lurker and I don’t think I ever commented. Congrats on achieving your goals.

Now I need to try working on mine.

saundra April 11, 2012 - 9:40 AM

I really enjoyed the short clip on the man who lost 600 pounds it just confirms that with determination and setting small goals that I can lose weight without surgery. I have continued my journey and am pleased to say that thus far I have lost over 40 or more pounds. I take it one day at a time and don’t look to tomorrow or next week, but the day that I am in.

Patricia April 11, 2012 - 12:49 PM

Thanks Erika for posting this. It’s a message I know but needed to be reminded of today. Thanks for always being a source of inspiration. 🙂

Dani November 16, 2012 - 10:29 AM

The sad thing is that this young man gained the majority of the weight back. Which isn’t to say that clean eating, lifestyle change, and exercise don’t work -but if you don’t address what’s going on in your HEAD, then you will have to resign yourself to the inevitable backslide…

Ann April 8, 2013 - 6:13 PM

I thought this was him. I remember seeing him on the Today a few months ago.

lovely lisa April 13, 2013 - 8:28 PM

Hi this is a uplifting story buy this guy has gained back all his weight so its more mental

Gerri January 16, 2014 - 10:12 AM

I absolutely adore this site!!!!!
You are my Inspiration !!!! I am a work in progress !!! I have come from my high point in Aug 2013 of 394 LBS to now Jan 2014302 LBS in the last 6 months and this is from changing eating habits and trying to understand the difference between being really hungry and my emotional eating I’m still working on it slowly but surely I AM WINNING!!!! Being a cancer survivor now 5 Years and having Knee and joint problems has been a Struggle as far as active exercising but I get it in ladies I get it in!!

Bianca January 26, 2014 - 10:15 PM

Hi Erika,

I think your blog is really inspiring. I tend to lean towards diet pills to help me lose weight. I feel like I lack the confidence to lose weight and keep it off. Four years ago I got down to 140lbs from 289. I kept it off for awhile until I had my second and third child. Now I’m up to 240 lbs and feel hopeless. Ever since I graduated high school I have struggled with my weight. I’m scared I won’t be able to lose weight this time. I start an exercise regimen and watch what I eat then I get stressed and eat too much or something vowed to leave alone. Instead of stopping the cycle right there , I give in and turn one bad choice into a full day or two. I then give up on myself. I don’t even know where to startanymore, or how to get help out of this destructive cycle.

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