Cole Prochaska Incredible Weight Loss: Dropping 360 Pounds, Still Facing Loose Skin Worries
Cole Prochaska's Journey: From Overcoming 360 Pounds to Battling Loose Skin – A Story of Triumph and Challenges
When it comes to weight-loss stories, it's common to see incredible before-and-after photos, but for Cole Prochaska, revealing his transformation picture turned out to be one of the toughest moments. Having shed a whopping 360 pounds, he faced a new hurdle—loose skin, which left him feeling a bit trapped and self-conscious.
"I thought, I’ve got to show people where I’m at," says the 39-year-old. "It’s like, well, everyone in the world has seen it. So what’s the big deal?"
After his story hit TODAY.com in June, millions saw Cole's photos, and suddenly, strangers were recognizing him. "It’s pretty crazy," says Cole. Even people from Brazil were following him on social media.
Look it's cold and raining outside. Not a single person would know if I didn't get at least my 10k steps in.
I didn't lose 360+ lbs because someone else was holding me accountable.
I hold myself accountable! It's the only way to take control of your life. pic.twitter.com/XkHoE8zZVk — Cole Prochaska Weight loss & Health (@3to1fitnesspro) November 26, 2023
The Loose Skin Struggle:
Back when Cole's weight hit 585 pounds, he decided it was time for a change. He lost a remarkable 360 pounds without any surgery or weight-loss drugs. He felt better than ever, but there was a catch—the loose skin.
“I’m trapped,” admits Cole, who manages a store in St. Matthews, South Carolina. "I’ve lost all this weight, I have muscles, but if I take my shirt off, I’m still self-conscious about all the loose skin."
To raise money for skin removal surgery, Cole took a bold step and posted a shirtless photo. "I needed to show everybody all the skin I have and how far I’ve come and just embrace it. And that’s what I did," he shares.
From Overeating to Overcoming:
Cole's journey began as a big kid who kept getting bigger. Blaming overeating and a sedentary lifestyle, he would devour bags of chips and guzzle down a 12-pack of sodas daily. Fast food outings meant ordering five cheeseburgers or polishing off a whole pizza. His estimated daily calorie intake? A staggering 5,000 calories.
“I felt pretty bad,” recalls Cole. Despite putting on a happy face, he was a lonely person, avoiding events and feeling uncomfortable about his appearance. The breaking point came when a seven-year relationship ended, propelling him to save himself.
The Path to Success:
Cole's first step was simple—start walking. A couple of blocks turned into longer daily walks. He changed his eating habits, cutting out sweets, snacks, and chips, and opting for water instead of sugary drinks. Counting calories and embracing a high-protein diet became part of his routine.
Feeling the positive changes, Cole joined a gym, incorporating body weight exercises and heavy lifting. He walks at least 10,000 steps every day and, by December, was averaging 15,000 steps, breaking records with 27,000 steps in a day.
His routine includes lifting weights three times a week and savoring lean beef, ground turkey, chicken, and beans. He skips pasta but enjoys bread and other carbs in moderation. His daily calorie goal is between 2,000 to 2,500, steering clear of chips and sweets.
The Challenge of Excess Skin:
While Cole has triumphed over weight loss, the challenge of excess skin lingers. In the spring of 2023, he took his first flight to California to meet with a plastic surgeon he found online. Skin removal surgery is on the horizon, possibly involving three to five surgeries over two years, starting in 2024.
The cost is uncertain, but Cole remains undeterred, wanting to share his journey and inspire others. As he puts it, "You're never too far gone. It’s never too late. You can always come back."