Koko: What made you join Koko?
Michael: My weight loss journey started from childhood. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis as a preteen and the doctors didn’t know what to do with me. Eventually, they prescribed steroids, and my weight ballooned for life. Throughout my journey I would diet, exercise and lose weight – only to gain back more weight each time. It was the dreaded ‘cycle’.
As an adult, I have been diagnosed with diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, allergy related asthma, and elevated bad cholesterol, all linked to my obesity. As you can imagine I have a multitude of medicines to combat my different diagnoses.
Two years ago, I got angry. I was tired of the snickering and ridicule of others. I was tired of all the medication I had to take. And, I was just plain tired of how I felt about myself as a person. I was determined to change how I looked, improve my health and, damn it, I was going to do whatever it took to feel better about being ME.
I went to a nutritionist and started a healthy diet of high fiber, lean protein and lots of veggies and fruit. I started working out over 2 hours at a time doing strength training and steady-state cardio, spending additional hours every night researching what exercises to do for my next session, and how to do them properly. I thought I was doing great. I lost 35 pounds. But suddenly everything stopped. I hit the dreaded plateau.
One of the FitCoaches at Koko asked me to come by to see what was happening, why I had stopped seeing progress. Once I tried Koko, I finally understood what I was missing. So, I changed gyms and joined Koko FitClub, the digital gym, in October 2012.
Koko: What is the biggest difference between your former gym and the digital gym?
Michael: When I came to Koko it was night and day. All that research and planning I was staying up at night to do, Koko DOES for you. All I have to do is print out my meal plan, follow what I am told on the screens, and it works. I couldn’t believe how good I felt after 15 minutes of cardio. I was always a steady-state guy – just hit Quick Start and go — but after 15 or 30 minutes of Koko Cardio[interval training], I felt it. I couldn’t believe how much better it worked. As for strength training, I used to be in the gym for hours. With Koko, I’m done in 30 minutes.
Koko: What results have you seen?
Michael: My eBMI has dropped 4.8 points. I’m losing the weight — down to 301 now, and I was over 400 lbs. I’ve had 70 perfect workouts in 1.5 years. But most importantly, my health has improved.
Koko: What keeps you motivated to stay fit & healthy?
Michael: To be smaller and improve my health. I’m diabetic and had hypertension and sleep apnea. Since Koko, the sleep apnea is gone as far as the doctor’s are concerned. I went from 30 incidents of “stop sleep” to 5. Insurance will no longer approve the machine I once required. I don’t take cholesterol meds any longer. My hypertension meds are cut to 50%. My diabetes meds have gone down 25%. I am working to get to the point where I don’t need medication.
Koko: What do your doctors think?
Michael: My doctors are amazed. They keep saying, “Whatever you are doing, keep doing.” They had me track glucose levels for a month, concerned that I went too low and were afraid I would spike. Nope, I’m steady state now. I won’t miss going to a regular gym anymore. I indulge sometimes, but I know I’ll work it off and I’m healthier overall.
Koko: What do you want to do with your healthy body?
Michael: I want to run a marathon. That’s what I’m building towards, starting with a half marathon then moving up to a full marathon. Now I’m doing the Michael Wood [Koko Cardio] running program – I was the guy that couldn’t run around a track even once. It was a struggle to walk. I’m now jogging and power walking for the whole fifteen minutes. And, I had never been hiking before, but I did a 4-mile hike 6 months ago and I loved it.
Koko: Has anyone paid you a compliment about your body that made you feel great? What was it?
Michael: All my family back home have seen the transformation through my Facebook photos. My sister shared my picture with my mom and she couldn’t believe that her son looked so good. My cousins are amazed and can’t believe what I’m doing. We are a family of big people – I hope I inspire them to make healthy changes too.
Koko: What would you like people to know about Koko?
Michael: Would love to share my story. I thought that this could never happen. That’s a lie. I want others to know that all the research and everything that you need to do and know is packaged in the plan for you at Koko. It’s proven to work. The data shows that it works. My cardiovascular health has improved. My strength has increased by 81%. I want people to have hope. Koko will give you the hope. I’ve been in gyms before, you have people looking, snickering, making assumptions about you. You don’t get that at Koko. The owners and all the FitCoaches are there to help, always encouraging. You don’t find that anywhere else.