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Dropping Pounds: Tom Firshing, Elmont

Tom Firshing weighed 652 lbs in May of

Tom Firshing weighed 652 lbs in May of 2013 and lost more than 320 pounds through diet and exercise. Credit: Tom Firshing; Rory Glaeseman

Tom Firshing

Age: 45

Town: Elmont

Job: He's starting a medical coding job

Height: 6'

Before Weight: 652 lbs. in 2012

After Weight: 325 in May 2015


His Story

Tom Firshing stopped weighing himself when he neared the 400- to 425-pound range. Experiencing personal issues and career disappointments, his life started to unravel. While driving a taxi, he would visit fast-food drive-thrus 3-4 times daily. A typical order was two Big Mac meals, 20 chicken McNuggets and 4 packs of cookies. That was in between the 3 packs of cigarettes he smoked daily.

Firshing soon "grew out" of the cab and retreated to his bedroom and ate. A typical breakfast was two three-egg heroes, nearly a pound of bacon and soda. Lunch was eight hot dogs and fries. "I ate Entenmann's doughnuts like TicTacs . . . It was a slow suicide," Firshing said. He eventually reached 702 pounds. A 42-day hospitalization for blood clots in October 2012 led to a 100-pound weight loss. But it was short-lived (though he quit smoking).

A happenstance meeting with Chris Cope, a mixed martial artist and a competitor on "The Ultimate Fighter" show, was the start of a turnaround for Firshing. Initially, Cope wanted only 10 minutes of movement a day from Tom. With rest stops (and Cope following with a folding chair) it sometimes took 90 minutes. Progress was slow but steady. The gym celebrated the day a treadmill could finally bear Firshing's weight. Between healthy eating and five to six weekly workouts at the gym, the pounds came off. He isn't finished and wants to lose 100 more pounds.

Firshing is an inspiration to many. "I love talking to people and helping them . . . I'm not religious but there' some reason I'm still here."


Breakfast is egg whites, coffee and a banana. Lunch is a salad with chick peas, tuna, and avocado. Dinner is chicken and broccoli, spinach or kale and water. Snacks are dotFIT bars and Rockin Wellness shakes. Firshing takes a multivitamin, Omega 3, a joint restorer, and amino acids daily.


Firshing does 20 minutes on the treadmill or elliptical and then uses the sled, battle ropes or a medicine ball. He's at the gym 5-6 times a week


Set small goals. Losing one pound a week means a 50-pound weight loss in a year.