Round to ripped! Determined dad loses ten stone (137lb) for New Year’s Resolution after being fat shamed online

A determined dad has gone from round to ripped from losing ten stone for a New Year’s Resolution after being fat shamed online.

Neil James, 36, from Grand Rapids, Michigan, was determined to prove a friend wrong after he posted a photograph of him at nearly 23 stone and titled it ‘Fat Neil’.


On January 1st 2017, he started to reverse the toll years of sedentary life had on him by exercising for 15 minutes, eventually working up to two hours.

He achieved his goal to get below 14 stone 2lbs within a year, after cutting sugar and reducing his carb intake by following the keto diet.

Now a muscular 12st 11lbs, Neil feels more confident and says he is grateful to have had his ‘dad bod’ shamed.

Now he incorporates intermittent fasting too – where he eats his entire day’s worth of calories within one massive meal – consuming gigantic steaks and mouth-watering ribs but eating nothing else for the rest of the day.

Since then his body fat has fallen to a low 15.2 per cent revealing chiselled abs and a shredded physique, which he achieved through the diet and from thousands of hours exercising.


Neil, an application specialist, said: “Before the only six pack I had was from the liquor store, now it’s the first time in my life where I’m like ‘oh wow, there are abs down there’.

“My triggering moment came when one of my friends who I would play online games with found an old picture of me super-overweight and called it ‘Fat Neil’.

“I knew I was getting out of control and that was the nail in the coffin.

“After he posted it, I thought, ‘I’ll show you fat Neil’ and now two years later it’s like, ‘Look who’s fat now’.

“It was around the time when I was thinking about losing weight, he was right I was fat, so weirdly it was a good motivator on top of how I was already thinking.

“I feel grateful for that post now, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back and pushed me to do something rather than procrastinating.

“Recently I told him, ‘Thanks man, you’re the reason I’m jacked now’ and try to encourage him too.”


Neil attributes his physique to dropping his body fat, thanks to intermittent fasting.

He said his weight fluctuated throughout his childhood until turning 21, the legal drinking age in the United States.

Neil believes socialising over the calorific craft beer led him to pile on the pounds – but with his increased weight gain also came depression and self-consciousness

He added: “It took the entire of 2018 to reduce my body fat to be where I am right now.

“Now when I look in the mirror, it’s like ‘wow’ but I know I really worked hard to get where I am.

“I’ve been busting my ass for two years to get where I am, this week alone I worked out twice a day for two hours each time.

“It’s very humbling, I’m definitely proud as I have put thousands of hours into working out and committing to a restricted diet, changing my eating habits and way of eating.


“Before, I was socialising, going out for a couple of beers after work, then not eating super healthily, with candies, pizza and whatever else.

“I started to feel depressed and self-conscious about my weight gain, it dawned on me that I needed to take better care of myself to be around for my son.

“It was pretty much my New Year’s resolution from January 1st, I was determined to do it and to stick to it, now two years later I’m half the person I was.”

After hitting a plateau with his weight loss and unable to get lower than 18 stone, Neil started researching intermittent fasting.

Initially he feared it sounded ‘crazy’ but after trying it, he soon became hooked and now gorges on massive meals once a day to consume his daily calories.

Outside of the allocated times he can eat, he only has coffee, tea and water.


Now nearly half his body weight, Neil believes his life has changed drastically in every way – from the amount of fun he can have with his son to daily energy and self-confidence.

He recommends to others that all it can take is a few small lifestyle changes initially to start on the path to healthiness.

Neil said: “People believe you are starving yourself, but I don’t feel like that at all as I’m really not hungry.

“I may have a steak with mushrooms, roasted cauliflower and salad, and I might have two servings, I just eat until I’m full then I know I’m good until the next day.

“I feel it’s super satisfying and not just salad and cabbage, it’s fulfilling, I get full and am not constantly hungry.


“I’m a whole different person, I’m so much happier and more outgoing, I can’t look back and imagine how I left myself feel that bad.

“I look a hell of a lot lighter now, I’m way healthier in every way, it’s nice to feel fit and is definitely easier to shop now.

“I’m proud of myself and thankful for the friends and family who supported and encouraged me to stick with it and keep going.

“If you want to change your life just take that small step, small steps leave to big steps and can turn your life around.

“It doesn’t have to be everything at once – in bad spots those small decisions can make a real change.”