The Most Amazing Weight Loss Story

This story is for all of those people out there who have already given up on their New Year’s Resolution to finally lose that extra 20 lbs.

Maybe you gave up on the diet because there just wasn’t enough time in the day to prepare healthy meals to take to work.

Or maybe, you had to take the kids to hockey practice and had no choice but to stop at Timmy’s and grab a double double and some Timbits.

Or maybe, you just needed a motivational kick in the pants to keep you on the straight and narrow.

Consider this story your kick in the pants.

Your New Weight Loss Hero: David Smith

In only 26 months, David Smith managed to streamline his body from a gargantuan 630 lbs to a trim and fit 229 lbs.

And it wasn’t easy.

Losing 401 lbs. of body-fat is a very complicated experience. David didn’t get to 630 lbs. without picking up a whole bunch of emotional baggage along the way.

His transformation involved a lot more than burning off body-fat.

In his own words:

‘I had been overweight all my life.

‘I would have sticks and stones and dog mess thrown at me and I would be spat on.
I’ve had a broken arm and black eyes because people didn’t like me because of my weight.

‘It got so bad that I didn’t want to leave the house and I didn’t even feel comfortable in my own backyard until it was dark out.

‘I felt like I deserved as much pain as possible and I wanted to kill myself.

But one day, he took the first step and reached out for help.

He sent an e-mail to Chris Powell, fitness correspondent for Good Morning Arizona, a local news broadcast on KTVK, in Phoenix.

Powell paid Smith a visit. “We were both probably thinking: what are we getting ourselves into right here? There would be no way I’d have anything in common with this guy,” Smith said.

Powell, a former Cosmo magazine bachelor, was socially confident. But now he was trying to get through to this painfully shy man.

“I didn’t know what 600 pounds looked like,” Powell said. “He couldn’t really look me in the eye. He was just so broken. He really didn’t know what to say or what to do.”

Despite their initial awkward meeting, they made a deal.

Smith committed to losing the pounds and Powell agreed to stick with him as long as Smith didn’t give up. And 26 months later, David Smith was 401 pounds lighter.

‘The first few months were really hard, Chris would be telling me that I was doing really well and I was losing weight – but when I looked in the mirror I saw someone weighing more.

‘To begin with the training was really tough, at my heaviest I struggled to walk five feet without becoming out of breath.

‘Slowly, though, I got better and managed to do more and more and the flab was literally falling off me.


  • David Smith lost 401 pounds.
  • I am sure that he had lots of excuses not to eat right or exercise.
  • And yet, he lost 401 pounds.

So, put down that bag of chips and get to sweating.


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  1. I love it. Sometimes what we need is a ‘motivational kick in the pants’. How can anyone complain about the work it takes to lose that last 10 pounds when faced with a story like David’s. Thanks for sharing this, Doug. You have such a great site here.

  2. So I’m guessing the reporter might be publishing a book soon? Kudos to Smith for his hard work, though.

    Reminds me: Did anyone see on Oprah that the former Biggest Loser winner gained back a lot of weight? It might be interesting to read a post about the psychology of dieting. I always wondered if the super-strict mentality of BL contestants would result in some kind of backlash. I’ve read things here and there about the limbic system being involved — apparently that has to do with impulse control, and if it feels threatened (starved?) it can lead people to eat compulsively even if rational thought says not to. Perhaps why a lot of anorexic people eventually become bulimic? Not sure, just saying — food for thought. The brain’s role in dieting/weight gain/weight loss is surely quite significant.

  3. Aaah, Emily,

    A fellow skeptic.

    That was one of my first thoughts as I read about this story. So, I googled the reporter/personal trainer. Here’s his website.

    It’s more than a little cheesy, but I actually found the Stax system interesting. It’s sort of a well designed modular cooler to lug around your “healthy” meals.

    Re the Biggest Loser body-fat rebound, it’s not surprising.

    I have been helping people lose weight for years and at this point I can tell the people who are never going to lose the weight, those that will lose it and then re-gain it and those that will lose it and keep it off.

    And as far as the research into the brain’s involvement with weight management, there is something new almost every day. And it seems that this research is making the issue even more confusing. One study says your brain biology drives the brain chemistry which drives your fat storage hormones. And then another study says the reverse.

    For me and my clients, the most effective tool has always been controlling the release of insulin. Control the insulin and control the weight gain. For about 75%(my estimate) of the overweight population, this is the way to go. All of the other factors seem to always lead back to insulin.

    But getting back to the Biggest loser, I would love to know what percentage of the show’s participants have gained the weight back. i wonder if the show tracks that data???

  4. WOOOOOOOOOOOOW. I wanted to put wow in a font size of like 1000000 but couldn’t so stretched it out. What an amazing man and what motivation. Do you know how he lost it?

  5. As far as I can see, it was the typical approach: Stop eating crap and bust your ass at the gym.

    I have been searching for any reference to gastric banding, drugs, etc, and I can’t find any.

    What I loved about this story was how he spoke about the emotional side of this journey. All of that Oprah stuff about “eating your feelings” His journey was much bigger than simply losing weight.

    I laminated a picture of his transformation on the front of the binder that I use to record my clients’ training sessions. Whenever, they start dragging their butts, out comes the picture…instant motivation.

  6. DR, it is very interesting reading your comments. It seems we have some very similar experience with endocrine correlations and weight gain. I really believe that the biggest issues that cause this problem are addictions to fat, sugar and caffeine. Just like refined coco plant makes cocaine a highly addictive drug, refined saturated fats, concentrated sugars and intense caffeine delivery systems are just as addictive. And they have side effects. Look at the most effective “retailers” of food and I beg anyone to disagree: McDonalds, StarBucks, RedBull, etc. All of these (conveniences) are pushing highly addictive and detrimental doses of fat, sugar, and bad in levels and concentrations not seen in “nature”.

    That being stated, I met Chris Powell about 9 months ago. He approached us looking for an opportunity to supply-chain manage natural foods which he has been working to fit into his STAX System. It really is a novel idea that worked for humans since we were human, eat natural foods in many small meals every day. To do this prepare your meals twice a week in bulk and store them for use over the next few days. Simple, right? The biggest issue is we live in a give-it-to-me-now, urgent, stressful environment. Where people are rushed by the minute. BUT, if you to take an hour to breathe and prepare your meals it really works. Our business currently is the whey protein supplier for Chris’s STAX System:
    we are acquiring the other staples after we vett the farmers and suppliers to find the best products. I can’t tell you how my life has changed for the better by emulating Chris’s diet practices. I am by no way overweight, in fact I a quite thin, but just adding grains and protein powder to my daily routine has cut down on my animal product intake and my cholesterol has dropped significantly.

    But beyond the benefits of food, I think that the real miracle is the support system that Chris Powell provided (and still provides) David. Chris is the real deal and he truly cares about the health and wellness of David Smith. The TLC Documentary tonight will show this and I encourage anyone who struggles with weight issues and addictions to take note. If only there were more people like Chris in this world, he is really a great guy! Kudos!

  7. This is so not true i mean look at the before and after Theres no way he could lose all that weight and not have lots of lose skin Im sorry to be a party pooper but i dont belive it

  8. You really are inspiring, I’ve lost about 28 pounds and seeing your success is going to help me realize that I can accomplish anything… and fyi, your gorgeous…

  9. Good for you! You are a big inspiration to so many! I just lost 100+ pounds this last year and have 20 or so left to go. It has been a big struggle but so worth it! My life, as yours has, has completely changed. A year ago I never would have thought I would be taking up kick boxing and LOVING my life!

  10. This is an incredible story. Kudos to David Smith and everyone who went out of their way to help keep him motivated through this trying time. I remember how hard it was for me to lose just 40 pounds when I took the big step to finally get my health under control. I can’t imagine the work it took to lose 60% of his body weight.

  11. To the “party pooper,” this is a picture showing his face and forearms, he may very well
    have a good deal of loose skin under his clothes.

    Deep breath and on to more positive discussion- what an awesome story. No matter how much weight people choose to lose, it really is about taking a multi-level approach. Whatever model of eating and exercise you choose, you have to stick with it. Plus find a support system, work through emotional issues, and find room to be kind to yourself through setbacks.

    What’s interesting to me is what motivated this man to contact someone for help and make a change at this specific time rather than at, say, 300 or 400 lbs.? What made him make that choice?

  12. Losing excess body is ‘easy’. All you have to do is train for hours every day and eat as little as possible…which is what a lot of exercisers are trying to do.

    However, one factor that hardly ever gets mentioned in all the fat loss discussions is that of actually keeping the fat off once you have lost it on one of these specific fat loss programs. The Biggest Loser program for instance. Of course it works. The people are busting their butts for hours every day and eating minimal calories (I’m generalizing a little here.), which is terrific. Now try doing that for the rest of your life to keep the fat off. It just ain’t gonna happen.

    Very few programs actually teach how to keep the fat off with minimal training and “doable” nutrition. And that’s what my book and workouts focus on…efficient & effective Quality Exercise combined with Intelligent Nutrition.

    You should also read an article I recently wrote for Hive Health Media titled: “The 6 Biggest Mistakes That Most Exercisers Are Still Making”.

    Live Well,

  13. I think David smith is remarkable, He is a inspiration to all. His approach to weight loss was
    amazing, He is a real inspiration to all of us. I am
    losing weight because of him.
    Thank You.

  14. i must say  you really look awesome,,a very handsome smiling at the world and letting his light shine.. im glad you realized you deserve to be all you can be! sincerely Michele Petalas

  15. […] “I like being skinny,” says Carey. “I was sick of being fat on the camera. Really, I just got sick of it. Once I started losing weight, again, like once I started dropping a couple pant sizes, then it was easy ’cause once you see the results, then you don’t wanna stop.” […]

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