A man who used to eat 10,000 calories a day has revealed that he changed his life with a grueling bodybuilding regimen.
Michigan’s David Roden went from 60 percent body fat to just 15 percent in three years, emerging with a much healthier mindset about his body.
The 31-year-old business owner and transformation coach shares inspirational videos about his journey on TikTok, where he has 100,400 followers, often touting the power of slower, more consistent fitness.
The athlete revealed that he used to consume up to 10,000 calories a day. Now the figure is closer to 3,400 and he can deadlift more than twice his body weight.
David Roden (pictured left before weight loss and right after) was determined to transform his life through a grueling bodybuilding regimen
David (pictured), from Michigan, has gone from 60 percent body fat to just 15 percent in three years and has developed a much healthier outlook on his body
But most importantly, he has changed his whole lifestyle and outlook.
David explained that despite growing up in a loving home, he developed an unhealthy attachment to food as a child.
As a young teen, the now-athlete spent years playing video games and eating until things got dangerous.
At age 18, he weighed 392 pounds and was eating 15 Reese’s peanut butter cups a day as a snack, and before long he was diagnosed with pre-diabetes and high blood pressure.
David admits he’s taken on the role of the “fat funny friend” all his life — but the merry act was mentally a cover for a much darker place.
The entrepreneur and transformation coach (pictured after his transformation) revealed that he used to consume up to 10,000 calories a day
In high school, he attempted suicide twice, noting that he “absolutely hated his body.”
“Nobody knew how depressed I really was,” he said. “To the people around me I was a funny fat kid. But for myself I felt trapped in this obese body.’
As a young boy plagued with self-esteem issues, David said he couldn’t see how loved he really was by family and supportive household – with many people enjoying his company.
He described his childhood as “ideal” and with “all the resources you could wish for,” including a 7,000-square-foot home with a full gym and indoor basketball court.
Plagued with self-esteem issues as a young boy, David (pictured before his weight loss) said he couldn’t see how loved he really was by family and supportive household
But it was still hard to see past the pain he felt emotionally.
“I just saw the pain and anxiety being around 400 plus pounds and being a failure,” he added. “I hyperfocused on the few things that were bad, which made me lose track of how much of my life was great.”
David also admitted that he was his own harshest critic when it came to self-image.
“The bullying I did to myself was far worse than anything anyone said or did to me,” he said. “I said terrible things to myself: ‘Why can’t you change?’ ‘Why are you such a failure?’ ‘You’re a big loser.'”
Relationships with girls weren’t easy either – and led to unhealthy coping mechanisms.
“My self-esteem was really low and I struggled when every girl would reject me when dating,” David explains. “Every time I would get the courage to try again, it would end badly and I would end up in poor mental space again. Using food to deal with my feelings and playing more video games.”
Now David has found inspiration in a new health-focused routine — and says it’s helped him “build a better relationship with himself and learn to hold himself accountable while treating himself with the respect he deserves.”
David (pictured when he was younger) also admitted to being his own harshest critic when it came to self-image
David (pictured after losing weight) admitted to taking on the role of the ‘fat funny friend’ all his life – but the merry act was mentally a cover for a much darker place
He cites meeting new people as putting him on the road to recovery.
“I was about to graduate from university. I decided that medicine was not my way. I was in a transition period in my life. God put new people in my life who inspired me beyond belief,” he said.
“They were big on personal development and reading books. The first book I read, The Compound Affect by Darren Hardy, really shook me up.’
David explained that he felt “trapped” by the “astronomical idea of losing 200 pounds” — but breaking the huge goal down into smaller tasks helped immensely.
“If you lose two pounds a week for 100 weeks, you’ll lose 200 pounds,” he said. “I stopped thinking about losing 50, 100, 150, 200 pounds. I fixed on two pounds a week.
“I weighed 410 pounds then, next Sunday I’ll be 408, I’ll hit it, next Sunday I’ll be 406, I’ll hit it. I was just fixated on losing two pounds a week.”
David (pictured when he was younger) says his life has changed thanks to the weight loss and two surgeries to remove excess skin – but explains it’s much more than a purely physical change
Preparing meals for four days at a time also gave David more control and consistency over what he put into his body while focusing on a “high protein lifestyle” with more lean meats.
He would have one or two “indulgence meals” a week – and enjoy dining out with friends – then “get back on track.”
The journey was not all smooth and sometimes frustrating. David admitted that there were instances where he would like to speed up the process and cut his calories down to 1,200 a day – which was just “unsustainable.”
After losing his first seven bricks, mostly from cardio, he started lifting.
Now he trains five to six days a week for about an hour and a half, ‘mainly focused on strength training with some cardio’.
“I can squat 300 pounds, deadlift 500 pounds, and bench 300 pounds,” he explained. “My focus is on volume and reps rather than strength or max weights.”
David says his life has changed thanks to the weight loss and two surgeries to remove excess skin, but explains it’s much more than a purely physical change.
David (pictured after his change) shares his tips for anyone in the same place as him and advises focusing on a healthy lifestyle rather than just shedding the pounds
He said, “I reversed my pre-diabetes and high blood pressure. I have been off all medications for almost six years now.
‘I love who I am. Not only my body, but also my way of thinking, my character. How I treat myself and how I treat others.’
David shares his tips for anyone in the same place as him, advising focusing on a healthy lifestyle rather than just shedding the pounds.
He explained: ‘Weight loss is easy, building it into a sustainable lifestyle is the game. Your standards and disciplines change.
“Ask yourself, what do you value most? What are your top priorities?’
He warned against “diet rollercoaster” strategies.
“You have to understand that you’re changing for the rest of your life,” he said.
David continues: ‘Ultimately it’s about ‘eating less’ and ‘exercising more’. A calorie deficit causes fat loss. Focus on eating more protein and find fitness routines that you enjoy.
And celebrate all progress. Nothing destroys progress faster than rejecting all the great progress you make.’