31 – Robert Porter and his coach Patrick Flannery on losing 90 pounds with CrossFit and finding the right community for you

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Robert Porter was a swimmer growing up and active through high school and college. As the years passed, he became more sedentary, and with his job as an insurance broker he ate a majority of his meals at restaurants. His weight slowly crept up to 240 lbs at its peak, and although he wasn’t taking any medications he was starting to develop fatty liver disease, he was snoring at night, and he knew he was heading down the wrong path. His initial experience at a CrossFit affiliate wasn’t what he was hoping it would be, but a year later he followed the advice of his friend, Pate Katz, and decided to give it another shot. That time it stuck, and he has since changed his diet, lost a total of 90 pounds, and influenced dozens of his friends and family members to change their own lifestyles as well. I caught up with Rob and his coach Patrick Flannery at his affiliate, Great Lakes CrossFit in Bedford Heights, OH to learn more about his journey and what clicked for him with this affiliate and community.


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Rob’s Transformation

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Rob’s athletic background growing up
  • How things started to change as he became more sedentary
  • The breaking point when he knew he had to make a lifestyle change
  • His first experience with CrossFit and why he didn’t go back
  • Why he decided to try CrossFit again a year later and what was different that time
  • His experience during his first few months of CrossFit
  • The changes he made to his diet
  • Changes he’s noticed in his life outside the gym
  • What it was like to go back to his physician’s office after making these changes
  • Using milestones in the gym to keep him motivated
  • How Patrick approaches working deconditioned athletes
  • Advice Rob would give someone who is overweight or intimidated to make a lifestyle change
  • How Rob has influenced others in his life to start CrossFit and change their diets
  • How each CrossFit affiliate is unique and Rob’s advice for finding the right community for you
  • How Rob approaches eating out
  • Three things both Rob and Patrick do on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on their health
  • One thing they struggle to implement that could have a big impact on health
  • What a healthy life looks like to them
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Rob in 2012


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Rob and his friend Pete Katz


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Meeting Rob


If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear all of your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #JFHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.
Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.

One Response to “31 – Robert Porter and his coach Patrick Flannery on losing 90 pounds with CrossFit and finding the right community for you”

  1. Clifton Goins

    JF – I love hearing these stories and really appreciate when they are shared. It was easy for me to relate to Rob’s story. My wife and I (collectively) lost 156 pounds about 3 years ago and have managed to keep most of it off…MOST of it…this is where Rob’s commentary resonated. The point where the goal is achieved you come to a place where you ask, “what’s next?” or “now what?” – for me, CrossFit came after and it was EXACTLY what I was looking for. The challenge for me is that while my initial weight loss got me to 185lbs (i’m 5’8″) a still clean diet and CrossFit, took me to 204 where I sat for most of 2014 and 2015. I consulted with a nutritionist a few months ago did my best to follow her advice and I’m now sitting at 225 – not the results I expected. While I am certain SOME of this is added muscle, some of it is not. That said my wife and I are going back to where we started our fitness journey, the 4 Hour Body (Tim Ferris) where we will engage the fat loss strategy the helped us lose the weight 3 years ago. Any advice is appreciated. Love your Podcast!


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