Changing My Mind Changed My Life: How I Lost 280 Pounds

My name is Vinson Smith of Charlotte, North Carolina.

In 2007, I weighed in at 500 pounds; 280 pounds more than my current weight of 225 pounds. After my father’s untimely death in 2005, from aggressive liver cancer, my battle with obesity skyrocketed to another level. I was 16 when he passed. After my senior of high school football, I stopped doing any sort of exercise and started eating through my emotions. I gained over 150 pounds in a matter of months after graduating from high school.

Unfit and unhappy with my life, I decided to make a change. I made a commitment to myself to fight my depression and food addiction. It was finally time for me to face my obesity issues; this was the only way to save my life from a slow suicide. By the time I turned 20, I had lost about 140 pounds, and people had started to notice.

Friends would tell me I looked like a pro football player. I felt good; I had a whole new swagger. I started showing my arms at the gym. But at 360 pounds, I was plateauing — my workouts were no longer really working — and I was tempted to quit.