Now he is being crowned TOPS International King for his 171 pound loss.
TOPS, "Take Off Pounds Sensibly," is a nonprofit weight loss support organization. According to TOPS, royalty are the men and women who have recorded the largest weight loss from their starting weight at the end of the year. "I always said that when I graduated from high school I wasn't the smartest kid in the class, but I sure was one of the biggest (at over 300 pounds)," said Gillespie. "My doctor told me I was probably just one cheeseburger away from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, a stroke, diabetes – or a heart attack. At my highest weight, I weighed 552 pounds."
After losing 171 pounds Gillespie is now the leader of his TOPS chapter. Gillespie says he started TOPS back in March 2008 to get people off his back. Soon he could see positive results and began walking. He went from walking only a few blocks with the help of canes to walking three miles per day, five days a week, without assistance.