Four years ago, when he and a group of friends started going to Weight Watchers and working out regularly, Kyle Klobe tipped the scale at around 425 pounds (193 kg). Today, at 241 pounds (109.5 kg), he is only fifteen pounds shy of his goal of losing two hundred pounds, and is working on a masters’ degree in sports physiology. Listen as he shares the role a support network played his success.
“You can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pocket.”
Weight Gain Background and Contributing Factors
Kyle remembers he was in fourth or fifth grade when his parents noticed he was starting to gain weight. Kyle had always been an active kid who was into sports. Around this time, Kyle remembers having friends over to his house a lot, having a lot of sleepovers, along with a lot of ice cream at those sleepovers. At the same time, his activity level dropped. It wasn’t that he stopped being active altogether, but his level of activity was certainly lower than earlier in his childhood.
How Being Overweight Impacted Kyle’s Life
As an overweight teenager and young adult, Kyle developed confidence issues. This lack of confidence made it hard to do things like talk to girls. He also became less social in general; when friends would ask him to go to a sports event, he would tell them he couldn’t go, unable to face the embarrassment of not being able to fit into the seats at the arena.
Airline travel was another problem area—when he had to ask for a seat belt extender, Kyle could feel everyone watching him. Looking back, Kyle wonders what he could have accomplished if he’d started his fitness journey earlier—maybe he would have played sports in college.
The Turning Point
At his heaviest, Kyle weighed 420-425 pounds. He was so acutely aware of his weight that he was uncomfortable initiating a conversation in social and professional settings.
He describes his turning point simply as “peer pressure” from his support network. Towards the end of 2012, he and a group of friends decided to try Weight Watchers together. Kyle attended Weight Watchers meetings for about six months, until he felt he had a firm grasp of the principles and could do it on his own.
Starting The Weight Loss Journey
From the time he began attending Weight Watchers meetings, Kyle made slow and steady process, dropping ten pounds the first week, and a pound or two each week thereafter. During this time, Kyle was also learning what to eat and when, and creating a routine built around going to work and going to the gym. Kyle described the importance of planning ahead to have healthy meals on hand: “When I get home from work, I’m not trying to get in the kitchen and make some food.”
Kyle emphasizes the importance of group support in sticking with new routines.
“We’d get off work,” he recalls, “and start texting or calling to make sure we were going to the gym. There were people there to lean on for support.”
As he began a fitness routine, there were days he was tired, days he hurt, but there was always someone there to tell him, “You need to go. You need to get some sort of physical activity to stretch those muscles out.”
Without that push, he might have decided “I can take a day off, I’ll get back to it tomorrow.” Past experience had taught him that without that outside support, he would eventually grow tired of making the effort, and quit.
Challenges Kyle Faced Along the Way
Kyle had always been a big soda drinker, and recalls the switch from soda to water as one of his biggest challenges along the way. Then there was creating a regular schedule for himself, and planning his meals in advance. He had to learn to eat breakfast. Before Weight Watchers, he would have stayed in bed that extra ten of fifteen minutes; still no fan of early mornings, he now grabs a quick protein shake with a couple of bananas thrown in for extra energy.
Kyle’s earlier attempts at build a fitness routine on his own had lasted only a few weeks. He credits his support network with helping him stick it out over the long haul this time.
“I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with doing it by yourself; that may work for some people. But it’s way more beneficial for me to have someone there to push me along.”
What Kyle Learned About Food, Exercise, and Himself
As Kyle continued in his weight loss and fitness journey, he adopted the attitude that it was really a journey of self-improvement and self-discovery. Even though he has a bachelors’ degree in health education, he had not paid that much attention to nutrition. As his determination to succeed deepened, he began paying close attention. He learned about carbohydrates, and when to eat them—early in the day so they can be burned throughout the day. He learned that weight loss was not about starving yourself, but about eating smaller meals four to five times a day. In fact, Kyle has become so absorbed in learning about the effects of diet and exercise on the body that he is currently working on his masters’ degree in sports physiology.
Kyle has learned that he is capable of more than he ever thought he was. In the summer of 2013, after completing a 6K race, he asked himself, “If I can do that, what else can I be capable of?”
“If I can do that, what else can I be capable of?”
As Kyle dropped weight, he found it necessary to focus on cardio workouts, saying, “I found out I don’t hate it as much as I used to. It’s not terrible.” His cardio workouts include stationary bicycle, elliptical, treadmill, and jogging trails.
Today, Kyle finds that he is much more confident than when he tipped the scale at four hundred-plus. He is now more at ease in social situations, and more likely to initiate conversations.
“I’m not afraid to be who I am. You start to be comfortable in your own skin.”
Kyle’s Advice For Your Journey
Remember that the weight didn’t get there in a couple of days, and it’s not going to go away in a couple of days. Start out by setting really small goals. Don’t say “I want to lose fifty pounds,” say “I want to lose two pounds this week.”
In a few weeks you’ll be a lot closer to that fifty pound goal. Smaller goals are much more attainable, and you’ll have lots of successes along the way.
Kyle shared that even though his weight loss journey has been long, it’s better than if he could have taken a magic pill and had all the weight go away.
“I like the person I’ve become and the things I’ve learned about myself….”
Resources Discussed In This Podcast
- YouTube: When he was just starting to learn to lift weights, Kyle relied heavily on various YouTube videos to learn proper technique.
On Kyle’s Workout Playlist
- Rob Bailey and the Hustle Standard [ Amazon / iTunes ]
- Arnold Schwarzenegger inspirational videos [ YouTube ]
- Facebook: Facebook.com/kyleklobe
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