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Man Raises $76k To Surgically Remove Excess Skin After Huge Weight-Loss Transformation
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Man Raises $76k To Surgically Remove Excess Skin After Huge Weight-Loss Transformation

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“Three to one meet Cole Prochaska.” A 40-year-old man who used to weigh “as much as three men” has finally become “one” after shedding hundreds of pounds naturally. Now enjoying a healthier life, the determined man is seeking financial help to complete his transformation by undergoing skin removal surgery.

Cole, from Saint Matthews, South Carolina, USA, used to weigh 585 pounds (265 kilograms), which “was as high as [his] scales would read,” he said.

Highlights
  • Cole Prochaska lost over 361 pounds naturally and avoided steroids or gastric bypass.
  • Cole used to weigh 585 pounds and now seeks financial help for skin removal surgery.
  • He raised $76,407 out of his $100,000 GoFundMe target as of June 25.

The American man shared before and after photographs that highlighted the incredible metamorphosis he underwent, losing a significant amount of fat.

“It’s very hard to share a shirtless picture but I’ve come so far!” Cole wrote on his GoFundMe page, created on April 26, 2024. “I know it is hard for some of you to look at. People didn’t believe in me, but I believed in myself.”

RELATED:

    40-year-old Cole Prochaska used to weigh “as much as three men,” but he has become “one” after shedding hundreds of pounds naturally

    Image credits: 3to1fitness

    The now-avid gym-goer affirmed to have never touched steroids or undergone gastric bypass surgery, a type of weight-loss surgery that involves creating a small pouch from the stomach and connecting the newly created pouch directly to the small intestine, Mayo Clinic explains.

    With over 361 pounds down (164 kilograms), Cole has been left with excess skin, and he described having to “tuck” his skin in his pants while being forced to wear loose clothing to “conceal the flab.” 

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    “I have been heavy since I was six years old and at 38, I have never walked on a beach without a shirt on and always avoided pool parties,” Cole said. 

    He continued: “I’m still trapped. Due to this extra skin. I’m asking for financial help.”

    Image credits: 3to1fitness

    Seeking plastic surgery to remove his loose skin, the transformed man set up the GoFundMe page to cover the costly expense.

    Cole explained: “I first estimated $60K but now I know I will have no less than three surgeries and will have to stay in California four weeks after each surgery.” 

    As of Tuesday (June 25), the South Carolinian has raised a total of $76,407 out of his $100,000 target.

    If you lose a lot of weight, your skin might not have enough elasticity to spring back into place, The Johns Hopkins University states.

    Now enjoying a healthier life, the determined man is seeking financial help to undergo skin removal surgery

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    Image credits: 3to1fitness

    This can cause extra skin folds of tissue. You may have this tissue on your lower belly, thighs, arms, chin, and breasts. This may happen after you lose weight after weight-loss surgery, the university adds.

    Cole was always a big kid who just kept getting bigger as he became an adult, Today reported on June 14.

    He blamed overeating and a sedentary lifestyle, recalling that he regularly went through bags of chips and could drink a 12-pack of soda cans in a day. 

    At fast food restaurants, he would reportedly order five cheeseburgers in a sitting and could eat a whole pizza “easy,” estimating eating 5,000 calories a day.

    Image credits: 3to1fitness

    Exercising was impossible because Cole was too out of breath to do anything. He told Today: “I felt pretty bad, I would always put on a happy exterior because that’s what a lot of big people do.

    “But I was a pretty lonely person. 

    “You don’t want to go to anything because you don’t want to have to worry about fitting in the chairs and worry about having to walk very far, what you’re going to wear.”

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    The breaking point came when a seven-year relationship was coming to an end, as he recalled: “I knew she had lost respect for me because I was just a really big person and didn’t do anything, and I wasn’t going anywhere in life where I needed to go.”

    As of Tuesday (June 25), the South Carolinian has raised a total of $76,407 out of his $100,000 target

    “I was trying to save the relationship. I didn’t save the relationship, but I saved myself.”

    The fitness influencer’s first step was just to start walking — a couple of blocks at first, then a little farther every day, Today reported.

    He reportedly started to eat healthier, cutting out all sweets, snacks, and chips, in addition to replacing sugary drinks with water and starting to count calories while eating a high-protein diet.

    Cole eventually joined a gym, where he started doing bodyweight training in addition to never failing to walk at least 10,000 steps a day.

    Image credits: 3to1fitness

    According to Dr. Jennifer Oberstar, an assistant professor in the University of Minnesota Sports Medicine program, the famous 10,000-steps-a-day theory can be linked to a marketing campaign developed in 1965 for a step-counting device named Manpo-Kei, which translates to “10,000 steps meter.”

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    However, a 2019 study by Dr. I-Min Lee, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, has demonstrated a 41% reduction in mortality rates among older women who take an average of approximately 4,400 steps per day compared to sedentary individuals who take only 2,700 steps per day. 

    More steps were linked to lower mortality up to 7,500 steps per day. The study also suggested that the 7,500 figure—25% fewer steps than the common goal of 10,000—is enough for people to reap the benefits of lower mortality.

    “The overall focus needs to be on increasing physical activity to lessen the risk of chronic diseases,” Dr. Oberstar told Bored Panda. “Move more, sit less.”

    With over 361 pounds down (164 kilograms), Cole has been left with excess skin

    Nevertheless, when Today caught up with Cole in December 2023, he was averaging about 15,000 steps a day and broke his record of 27,000 steps in one day.

    He reportedly does it by walking around a lot in his job at a big box store and walking on a treadmill for 20 to 30 minutes at the gym. 

    Additionally, the changed man also walks down the road on his days off, usually a five-mile (eight-kilometer) round trip.

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    The prevalence of obesity among U.S. adults was 41.9% from 2017 to March 2020, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). During the same time, the prevalence of severe obesity among U.S. adults was 9.2%.

    The prevalence of obesity increased from 30.5% in 1999-2000 to 41.9% in 2017–March 2020. During the same time, the prevalence of severe obesity increased from 4.7% to 9.2%.

    Obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30.0 or higher. Severe obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 40.0 or higher, the CDC explains.

    According to the CDC, many adults with obesity have other serious chronic diseases. For example, 58% of U.S. adults with obesity have high blood pressure, a risk factor for heart disease. 

    While approximately 23% of U.S. adults with obesity have diabetes, the condition often requires expensive health care

    Cole joined a gym where he started doing bodyweight training in addition to never failing to walk at least 10,000 steps a day

    In 2019, annual medical costs for adults with obesity were $1,861 higher per person than adults with a healthy weight. 

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    For adults with severe obesity, the excess costs were $3,097 per person. This accounts for nearly $173 billion in medical expenditures in 2019 dollars, as per the CDC.

    Research published by the World Health Organization found that a rise in fast food sales correlated to a rise in BMI, and Americans are notorious for their fast-food consumption ― such food makes up about 11% of the average American diet, Public Health mentions.

    The lack of exercise is also a major culprit in the obesity epidemic in the USA, Public Health says.

    It’s been decades since most Americans worked in fields and on factory floors, and the majority are now sitting throughout the workday. 

    “You can only do so much at once,” a reader commented

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    Andréa Oldereide

    Andréa Oldereide

    Writer, BoredPanda staff

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    I’m a journalist who works for Bored Panda’s News Team. The team, which has been launched on the website fairly recently, produces stories focused on pop culture. Whenever I get the opportunity and the time, I investigate and produce my own exclusive stories, where I get to explore a wider range of topics. Some examples include: “Doberman Tobias the viral medical service dog” and “The lawyer who brought rare uterine cancer that affects 9/11 victims to light”.

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    Andréa Oldereide

    Andréa Oldereide

    Writer, BoredPanda staff

    I’m a journalist who works for Bored Panda’s News Team. The team, which has been launched on the website fairly recently, produces stories focused on pop culture. Whenever I get the opportunity and the time, I investigate and produce my own exclusive stories, where I get to explore a wider range of topics. Some examples include: “Doberman Tobias the viral medical service dog” and “The lawyer who brought rare uterine cancer that affects 9/11 victims to light”.

    Ugnė Lazauskaitė

    Ugnė Lazauskaitė

    Author, BoredPanda staff

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    I am employed as a Visual Editor in the news team. I make sure you have the best pictures near the most interesting text. In general all day I am looking at all you favourite celebrities facies and I am geting payed for it!

    Read less »

    Ugnė Lazauskaitė

    Ugnė Lazauskaitė

    Author, BoredPanda staff

    I am employed as a Visual Editor in the news team. I make sure you have the best pictures near the most interesting text. In general all day I am looking at all you favourite celebrities facies and I am geting payed for it!

    What do you think?
    Add photo comments
    POST
    mfergel avatar
    Mark Fergel
    Community Member
    4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    This is one thing I hate about the American health care system. This is classified as 'cosmetic' surgery. This guy literally just saved his life and saved the healthcare system/insurance industry tons of money by doing something preventative.

    kayrose avatar
    Roan The Demon Kitty
    Community Member
    4 weeks ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    tbf, as much as us people in the UK like to s**t on US healthcare... in a lot of cases, loose skin removal is classified as cosmetic here, too, and not always available for free. That said, it costs around 5-10k pounds here, and we consider that insanely expensive, nevermind 100k! I think in some more severe cases it should be free though, loose skin can easily cause sores/become infected etc.

    Load More Replies...
    linda_cohoon avatar
    FlagCityDiva
    Community Member
    4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    That is NOT cosmetic. Those folds are a breeding ground for skin problems such as infections and/or skin ulcers. Yet I'm sure that when he does have those problems, his insurance will pay for it after several denials and appeals. All that time to fighting the denials or non-coverage will only make it worse.

    swanhart avatar
    Swan
    Community Member
    2 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    eee>< how can we get this operation? lik, not for free, I willing to pay for my stuff, how can we get it when it's illegal, like removing painful sick skin and breast tissue from over your chest.? is it just illegal everywhere?

    Load More Replies...
    franoisbouzigues avatar
    François Bouzigues
    Community Member
    4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    If only you were in one of those socialist nightmare countries where health insurance would allow you to have this surgery for free... But freedom i guess

    Load More Comments
    mfergel avatar
    Mark Fergel
    Community Member
    4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    This is one thing I hate about the American health care system. This is classified as 'cosmetic' surgery. This guy literally just saved his life and saved the healthcare system/insurance industry tons of money by doing something preventative.

    kayrose avatar
    Roan The Demon Kitty
    Community Member
    4 weeks ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    tbf, as much as us people in the UK like to s**t on US healthcare... in a lot of cases, loose skin removal is classified as cosmetic here, too, and not always available for free. That said, it costs around 5-10k pounds here, and we consider that insanely expensive, nevermind 100k! I think in some more severe cases it should be free though, loose skin can easily cause sores/become infected etc.

    Load More Replies...
    linda_cohoon avatar
    FlagCityDiva
    Community Member
    4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    That is NOT cosmetic. Those folds are a breeding ground for skin problems such as infections and/or skin ulcers. Yet I'm sure that when he does have those problems, his insurance will pay for it after several denials and appeals. All that time to fighting the denials or non-coverage will only make it worse.

    swanhart avatar
    Swan
    Community Member
    2 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    eee>< how can we get this operation? lik, not for free, I willing to pay for my stuff, how can we get it when it's illegal, like removing painful sick skin and breast tissue from over your chest.? is it just illegal everywhere?

    Load More Replies...
    franoisbouzigues avatar
    François Bouzigues
    Community Member
    4 weeks ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

    If only you were in one of those socialist nightmare countries where health insurance would allow you to have this surgery for free... But freedom i guess

    Load More Comments
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