Trust ProSource to fill all your supplement needs! Orders placed before 3pm EST ship same day. Want to speak to a customer representative? Our phones are open M-F 9-5. Click here for more information.


Inspirational Minister's Amazing Transformation Stands the Test of Time

Lee Claypoole Shares the Secrets that Helped Him Shed 100 lbs--And Keep It Off for 3 Years and Counting!

With the hustle and bustle of daily life, many Americans have fallen victim to poor eating habits and overall unhealthy living. In fact, adult obesity rates have doubled since 1980, from 15% to 30%, and two-thirds of U.S. adults are now considered overweight.

Being able to lose weight is one thing, maintaining and keeping it off is totally another. Kentucky native and minister Lee Claypoole has been able to achieve both of these feats and then some. At age 40, Lee dropped over 100 pounds and went from a size 44 waist to a size 30. Featured in a profile for USA Today's Weight-Loss Challenge in the summer of 2007, Lee was commended for his complete lifestyle change and admired for his newly lean and sculpted body.

Now, almost a year and a half since that original USA Today profile, I recently had the opportunity to catch up with Lee to check his weight loss status and ask him some fitness related questions.

Q: Thank you Lee for doing an interview with us. Your dramatic weight loss story was featured in USA Today, on the 700 Club television show, and other media outlets. For the people who haven't heard your name, can you please tell us a little bit about yourself? What is your personal background, as well as your background in relation to health, fitness?

A: My name is Lee Claypoole and I'm a proud Kentuckian. I've spent most of my life in Kentucky but moved to South Carolina in 1999. I've been in fulltime ministry for the past 25 years. For the bigger part of my life I've been pretty active; I played football and basketball in high school and as a youth pastor continued for a period of time to play various sports and activities on a regular basis. When I first started in ministry, I maintained my health pretty well for the most part. But at about my twelfth year in fulltime ministry, I began to busy myself in the office with work and really broke away from a healthy meal plan, and a consistent workout regimen. Ultimately I gained about 90 pounds in a 6 ½ year span and I went from a 34 waist to a 44 waist.

My real wake-up call came in March of 2005 when my family and I were on a cruise of St. Thomas Island. At about 3 days into the cruise I was on the beach with my daughter and she wanted to ride one of those 2 person excursion boats. Well, to make a long story short, the guy I was trying to rent the boat from told me it wasn't safe for me take my daughter out on the water because I was too heavy. "I thought to myself: 'This is ridiculous that I can't do things with my daughter because I'm not taking care of myself.' And so standing there on the beach that day, I made the decision that I was going to totally change my lifestyle and change it for the good.

So I went back to the ship and weighed in at 284lbs' at 6 feet tall with a size 44 waist. I was 39 at the time, and I made up my mind that I would not be 40 and overweight. I immediately started going to the gym and lifting weights, long distance running and eating right. By the time the big 40 rolled around I weighed 184 pounds and had a 30-inch waist. It will be three years in March since the cruise and I'm happy to say that I've been able to maintain.

Q: At what age did you really start packing on the pounds?

A: I really starting picking up weight around the age of 30 and once I started down that slope of not working out and eating fast food etc., it was just really hard to break out of.

Q: Do health issues run in your family? If so, did that have any effect on you changing your lifestyle?

A: Yes, my mother, father and two of my brothers are all diabetic. My mother actually passed away 11 weeks ago due to complications stemming from her diabetes. My dad has and my late mother had severe heart issues as well. Basically the doctor told me that if I didn't get a handle on my weight that I was a strong candidate for everything my parents had. So yes, potential health issues were definately a major factor in me becoming determined to turn my life around.

Q: What did you pattern your diet/workout routine on? Diet, books etc?

A: The Abs Diet is a nutrition routine of better eating habits that I've stuck pretty close to. It's basically six small meals a day, high in protein with snacks like almonds and walnuts. I can honestly say that in the 3 years I've been doing this, I can't think of any time that I've ever been hungry. It's not that I stopped eating, it's just I started eating more nutritious foods. I have also stopped eating so much late at night by just making sure I get an optimal amount of nourishment throughout the day.

Q: Your physical transformation hasn't just consisted of you losing fat, you've actually gotten lean and added a fair amount of muscle. What has your fitness / exercise plan consisted of?

A: Its funny, actually a lot of trainers at the gym I've worked out at throughout my transformation have been there and seen me since the very beginning. They frequently ask me for fitness tips and advice on how I did what I did. I do a mixture of cardio (3.5 mile run 5 days a week) with moderate strength training and some circuit training. I don't really lift massive amounts of weight, but I do a full body regimen every single week and it's worked really well for me.









































Circuit Training
















Q: Have you used supplements in the past and are you taking any currently?

A: Really nothing other than protein bars and protein shakes. I decided from day one to make my physical transformation 100% natural. One particular product that I do take on a regular basis is the Supreme Protein® bar. Honestly, I've never been a huge fan of protein bars, but these are different. Supreme Protein® bars have 30 grams of high quality protein and they taste great ... which is a combination I rarely if ever see in a protein bar.

Q: What is it about the Supreme Protein® bars that you like best?

A: They're just an outstanding product! There's really nothing else like them on the market that I know of. Not only are the bars a great energy boost before, during or after an intense workout, but again they taste fantastic!

Q: What was your meal plan before the transformation?

A: Let's just say that for about an eight year span, I probably ate at McDonald's or some other fast food joint almost every single day, every single weekend. In the last 3 years however, I maybe have eaten fast food 3 times total. I just don't crave that type of food anymore.

Q: Making a life change as drastic as you did can have an effect on your family and friends. Did they start making smarter eating choices as well?

A: Well my wife has always been able to manage her weight well. She was 103 pounds 25 years ago when I first met her, and she's stayed the same throughout our marriage. My nephew actually became really inspired by my story and he's now lost 111 pounds through his own dramatic fitness journey. I'm also very happy to say that my father who's suffered from heart issues and diabetes for many years, has changed his lifestyle and lost about 45 pounds. Several of my friends and people in the church congregation have turned around their lives and lost substantial amounts of weight as well.

So my health and fitness journey has impacted far more than just my own life, it's really had an impacted and has inspired numerous people from all over. I guess you could say my transformation has had a snow ball effect in that it has affected a lot of people for the good.

Q: With you being the pastor of a church, how has your remarkable transformation affected your congregation?

A: It has been unbelievable! According to the local gym I've been a member at since the very beginning of my journey, I am personally responsible for influencing about 40 people or so to join the gym and become members who work out regularly. It encouraged so many people, especially when the USA Today story broke, and then the 700 Club interview. I've received emails from not just America, but also from Europe and all over the world, from people just wanting encouragement and help. A lot of these people were actually individuals, who like me, work in fulltime ministry and whose health has just gotten out of control.

Q: How did the whole USA Today profile come to fruition?

A: I read a small profile in USA Today about somebody who lost 25 pounds and had been successful keeping the weight off. At the end of the article it said: "If you've lost 25 pounds or more and have been able to keep it off, please contact us with your story." So I just sent in a 3-line paragraph about my weight loss story and at that time I had lost about 90 pounds. So a few weeks later, I received an email response back saying that out of several thousand personal stories received, they had selected me and twelve others to profile in the USA Today Weight Loss Challenge.

Since the first article was released, they've run another follow up article last year and I actually just received an email this morning about doing another follow up interview in two weeks. They'll basically maintain doing continual follow up pieces every year on my life to track my progress and to see if I've been able to maintain.

Q: You mentioned earlier that you received letters and feedback from all over the world after your story was featured in USA Today. Can you give me any examples of some of the feedback you've received?

A: Well about a week after my profile was featured, I received a phone call from a Hollywood image consultant who works with various A list movie stars like Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks and others. Basically he initially called me to get some diet and fitness tips for himself and to share with his clients. Since that initial phone call, we've actually really become pretty good friends and speak quite frequently. In fact, he was on set this week with Brad Pitt whose filming a new Quentin Tarantino movie called Inglorious Bastards. He was just calling to check in and ask some fitness related questions.

Q: What was the experience like going on the 700 Club?

A: It was a very cool experience. Everyone had been telling me prior to the interview that Pat Robertson, who's 78 years old, wakes up every morning at 6am to work out and run for an hour or so in his fitness center in his house. Sure enough, when 6 am rolled around the morning I did the interview, I looked out the window of my hotel and noticed the light was on in that part of his house.

In regard to the actual interview, it was just an honor to speak to a guy who's not only made a major impact in ministry circles around the world but also a guy who again, at 78, is huge into health and fitness.

Q: I understand you recently spoke at a youth conference on fitness. Is this a topic you speak on regularly now?

I think the conference you're referring to in your question was the National Youth Workers Convention I spoke at last month in Nashville, TN.

A: Yes, actually I do. This whole experience has really opened up a lot of new doors for me. I've been fairly successful in youth ministry for some time now, and I've had the opportunity over the years to speak at seminars and conferences on student ministry and various other ministry related topics. But now I've kind of come full circle in a sense that now there's more interest in me speaking on health and fitness.

Q: Being such a busy individual, how do you find the time to eat right and workout? With your heavy work load and extensive travel, how do you stick to a consistent fitness routine?

A: Well three years ago I decided to make health and fitness a top priority in my life, so I work extremely hard to stay committed. When I travel (and you're right, I travel quite a bit) I make sure to arrange to stay at a hotel with a good fitness center so I'm not too far removed from my routine. I've worked and will continue to work tremendously hard to keep my routine in place when at home or on the road.

Q: What do your wife and kids think of your transformation?

A: They're all extremely happy. Again my wife has always been extremely health conscious and she's maintained the same weight for as long as I've known her. So now that I'm on the same page, we enjoy eating healthy meals together like baked chicken or fish with veggies and other variations.

Q: How much do you weigh now?

A: I've maintained my weight at 184 pounds with a 30 inch waist and let me just say, it feels great!

Q: Do you ever struggle at times now with eating the right foods, and staying active on a regular basis?

A: Well let me tell you, this year has been a real test. I've recently changed occupations from Student Pastor of a church in South Carolina to Lead Pastor of a church I'm starting in Kentucky. My wife was diagnosed with breast cancer this year and had to undergo a double mastectomy. Though she's doing well now, that was a real scare to say the least. Also my mother's passing about 11 weeks ago. So the emotional things I've dealt with this year have really put me to the test. But you know, I've still been able to maintain my weight, I'm still wearing size 30 pants and I'm still doing what I do.

Q: What does your diet / nutrition plan consist of now?

A: I try to spread my meals out a bit, optimally eating about six small meals a day. Again, I stick pretty close to what the Abs Diet instructs: 1,800 to 1,900 calories a day, high-protein, high-fiber, with several small meals a day and not eating so much late at night. It's not that I'm eating less than what I did before, I'm just eating more nutritious food sources in a healthier meal pattern and portion size.

Example Daily Meal Plan


Oatmeal or Bran Cereal with almonds and banana slices/ skim milk


Almonds, apples


Turkey sub with vegetable soup or fruit


Peanut butter and crackers


Baked chicken or fish with mixed vegetables or salad


Apple slices and or almonds

Q: Is your workout routine and diet the same now that it was when you lost all of the weight two years or so ago?

A: For the most part yes. I mean it's evolved some over time as I've discovered new exercises and learned what works and doesn't work for me.

Related Links:
USA Today's Weight-Loss Challenge
National Youth Workers Convention