Watch John Glaude’s Journey from Morbid Obesity to CrossFit Athlete

John David Glaude has over half a million followers on his YouTube channel “Obese to Beast,” and hey, he deserves the attention. The man once weighed 360 pounds and wore 5XL shirts but gradually — or as his motto (and t-shirts) say, “one rep at a time” — cut all the way down to 190 pounds.

At his largest he was eating fast food “80 percent of the time” and drinking well over two liters of soda per day. Now a devoted fitness fanatic, Glaude has built a sizable following documenting the struggles and triumphs of his fitness journey, which has included heaping doses of functional fitness.

CrossFit HQ took notice and followed him on an average day, resulting in an pretty interesting video that’s part marketing for CrossFit Darkside, part John Glaude vlog, and all inspirational. Take a look.

[Check out CrossFit Games athlete Jared Enderton’s 305lb to 193lb weight loss here!]

His first move to weight loss was landing on what he calls a “common sense diet”: no soda, no junk food, no fast food.

When you’re as heavy as I was, if you just make a small change, you’ll see a big result. I made that small change, saw a big result, was more motivated to make another change to see more results, and then it just kind of compounded and it was like a domino effect.

Eventually he decided to balance the extremity of his obesity with the extremity of a physique show but found he developed a binge eating disorder from obsessing over his calorie intake. He also noted that bodybuilding helped him change his physique but he “still never felt very functional.” Then he found CrossFit.

I just like fell in love with it. CrossFit has that community aspect, you are doing the same workout as all these other people, you’re suffering together, and it makes the gym less like an isolated thing.

Glaude’s journey and his comfort in his own skin is a great lesson that CrossFit isn’t just for the Games athletes. Or as he puts it, “I’m not saying I’ll ever be (Mat Fraser) but why can’t you get closer? If everyone at the top is getting better and better and better, why can’t the people in the middle?”

Featured image via CrossFit on YouTube.

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Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of different kinds of things, but his passion for health ultimately led him to cover it full time.Shanghai was where he managed to publish his first health related article (it was on managing diarrhea), he then went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before he finished his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and headed to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.Nick’s interest in health kind of comes from an existential angle: how are we meant to live? How do we reach our potential? Does the body influence the mind? (Believe it or not, his politics Master’s focused on religion.)Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.