Paul Cooper – losing 40kg and keeping it off

Name: Paul Cooper
Occupation: Software Tester
Family: Wife and 4 year old son
Achievement: Losing 40kg and over 20cms around his waist

Before: The biggest Paul got to was 120kg

The beginning:
When I first started Muay Thai, I lost six kilos in six weeks and I won the biggest loser competition at work. Everyone was  shocked because in the first 12 weeks of the competition, I had only lost 1.5 kg from a combination of the gym and running, and then all of a sudden, I started doing Muay Thai and ended up winning.

On his weight:
I’ve struggled with my weight most of my adult life, going up and down but always being on the bigger side. At the beginning of 2013, I was at my biggest – 120kg.
The turning point was when I played Laser Force.
I was so out of breath and sweaty and unfit. And I felt disgusting. I knew then, that it was only going to get worse if I didn’t do anything about it. It hit me: I didn’t want to be that middle-aged guy with a big pot belly.

Someone at work mentioned they were going to try JAI out and I thought I’d go with them. I was a bit nervous, but I was hoping to lose about 30kg before my wedding. Well, the results were so good, and I had so much fun that even after I met my weight goal, I just kept going.

A thing to remember is to not obsess about the numbers. Yes, losing 40kg to go from 120kg to 80kg is an achievement.  But I try  not to get stressed if I gain a few kgs. Because I used to be so big, I know how demoralizing competitive weight loss can be. Now that my goal is not to lose weight, I’d like to stay fit, improve my technique, and who knows… perhaps there is a fight on the horizon?

wedding paul losing 40kg

Before: Hanging out with his son

His “secret” to weight loss:
I am very open with everyone when they ask me how I did it. I think the main problem is that people are looking for a “miracle easy fix”. They want results… but they are not prepared to put in the hard work. Fad diets  work short term, but in the long run, they are difficult to maintain and can make you miserable. I wanted something which would work with my lifestyle.

The key to permanent weight loss is not a secret. You just have to work at it. I train 4x a week, mainly during lunch times. It’s not a chore for me, in fact, it’s something which I look forward to. The hardest part, is actually just getting there. The people I train with regularly are great. Even though we are competitive, we all want each other to improve. We know that we are there for just that hour, so we want to get the most out of it, otherwise we’re only cheating ourselves.

wedding paul losing 40kg

After: No longer camera shy


On people’s reactions:
My dad lives overseas, so when he saw me he was gobsmacked. I get three or four compliments a week and my best friend’s sister, who I’ve known forever didn’t recognize me. When I approached her, and she clicked, she was like: “Holy moley!”

On how Muay Thai has changed his life:
The old me couldn’t even run a kilometer, and now I can run 10km without a problem.  My resting heart rate is 48. Its made a huge difference in my life.  I’m easily in the best shape fitness-wise of my adult life. The only thing I have to worry about now is that I have no clothes that fit anymore!



What his wife Hannah thinks:wedding paul

Hannah: His weight has never bothered me, but I’m really proud of him. He now has this inner confidence which is obvious in the way he carries himself and the fact he’s not embarrassed to take photos anymore… (Laughs) You could say he’s literally half the man he used to be.

We’ve known each other for nine years and though his personality hasn’t changed, he’s definitely happier in his skin. I’ve started training now. After I saw how much fun he’s having, not to mention his results, I wanted to get in on this.


The Cooper Family

Replies for “Paul Cooper – losing 40kg and keeping it off”

  • Emma Harwood-Matthews

    Congratulations Paul. I’ve been really impressed with your progress and love that your emphasis is fitness over fat loss now. Fantastic – I look forward to hearing of your progress as you increase your skills. Well done!

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