At the height of his success in the business world, Marcus Cook weighed 489 pounds. As the founder of an oil pipeline supply company valued at tens of millions of dollars, Marcus had it made, but lacked the health to enjoy it.
Then a business partner and mentor who had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer dropped a truth bomb on him: “I'm dying from an incurable disease. You're dying because you have a choice. You're the American dream, and you're throwing it away.”
Marcus got the message, and also realized that too many people depended on him for him to die from completely preventable and reversible causes.
Marcus sought out Garth Davis, MD, to perform his gastric bypass surgery, and the two of them forged a medical partnership agreement. Garth would perform the surgery, but Marcus would then do the work of improving his lifestyle. His task: “change everything about who you thought you used to be and have an open mind about the new you.”
Marcus is now five days away from becoming, for the second time in 3 weeks, an Ironman Triathlete.
How he got to be nearly 5oo pounds, and what he's discovered since embracing a plant-based diet and athletic lifestyle are the topics of our conversation.
- being a chubby “rockstar” as a child
- falling in love with a welder's daughter and becoming the “godfather of pipeline”
- borrowing $5ooo from his mom and a Jeep Cherokee from his brother and turning it into a $10 million company in four years
- being 500 pounds at Disney World
- why lap band surgery is a terrible idea
- building a team to hold him accountable
- “you are now Marcus the athlete” – even when walking 20 minutes a day tops
- going into the former fat guy “witness protection program”
- “I never knew my family wanted to change”
- thanking God for a second chance (“I've been waiting for you to talk to me for ten years”)
- evangelizing health everywhere he goes
- getting educated and inspired by Proteinaholic
- how his son lost 80 pounds and ran a marathon at age 14
- on staying a Southern guy with Southern roots and political leanings – and evolving every day
- learning to understand and respect the “snowflake treehuggers”
- and much more…
Enjoy, add your voice to the conversation via the comment box below, and please share – that's how we spread our message and spread our roots.
BigToLittle.com – Marcus's website
Big Change the Film – interview with Marcus
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The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.
It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.
You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website, WillRidenour.com.
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