441-Lb Dad Loses More Than Half His Weight to Get Healthy for His Kids — Now He’s Running Marathons
It only took him 15 months.
31-year-old Rob Sparkes of Somerset, England knew he had to make a change. Not just for himself, but for his two children as well.
Topping the scales at 441 pounds, Rob was missing out on many of the things that other parents got to do with their children. Things like going on rides at the play park and going to movies. Just walking up a flight of stairs would leave him breathless.
But more than the FOMO (fear of missing out) was the fear that if he didn’t do something soon, his kids would grow up without a father.
So, he decided to lose the weight, and in doing so, gained a whole new life.
How a Dad Lost More Than Half His Body Weight
After a routine checkup and a dire warning from his doctor that he was on the road to diabetes or worse, Rob began his weight-loss journey in September 2019.
Living off of a diet of pizza, bacon, chips, and burgers & fries and chasing it down with a 2-liter of Coke, Rob was consuming a whopping 6,000 calories a day. More than double the recommended amount, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
“I just couldn’t stop. I just got in a really bad rut,” Rob said.
Using his kids as motivation and with the encouragement of his wife, he started by changing his eating habits. He replaced his junk food with chicken and veggies and ditched the sugary snacks. Six months later he decided to start working out.
While the world was coming to a stop thanks to a global pandemic, Rob was just getting going. In March 2020, he downloaded the Couch to 5K app and joined the gym and a running club.
Nine months later, he crossed the finish line of his first marathon, having just run 26.2 miles (42.19 km).
“It was meant to be an official one, but they all got postponed due to Covid, so my running club did an unofficial one. I had my wife and kids there waiting for me at the end, and it felt amazing. I ran it in five hours and 24 minutes, but I ran the whole thing.”
And he hasn’t stopped.
Losing Weight Was Just the Beginning
In just fifteen months, Rob lost an impressive 228 pounds. Not only did he reach his goal weight, but he also gained a new passion for running. Nowadays, he spends nearly every weekend running a half marathon to stay in shape.
He’s also raced in several marathons and raised $1500 for the Alzheimer Society by hiking the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge—a 25-mile hike up the 3 highest peaks in Yorkshire.
And in January 2022, Robert Sparkes fulfilled his dream of competing in an ultramarathon, running a grueling 43 miles (69 km).
He completed the Country to Capital Ultra Marathon, which winds through the English countryside and into the heart of London, in 9 hours and 55 minutes.
Rob’s transformation is truly an inspiration. With dedication, commitment, and hard work, he was able to achieve his weight loss goals.
Today, not only is Rob able to keep up with his children, but he’s also able to do things he never thought possible. By prioritizing his health, he was able to achieve a healthier and happier life for himself and his family. And he no longer worries that he won’t be around for his kids, which is the biggest win of all.