Many people struggle for years to lose weight and get into shape. A Sioux Falls man who was obese for decades hopes to inspire others through his more than 200 pound weight loss.
While it's a lot of hard work, Christopher Smith says he doesn't mind working up a sweat.
"I enjoy walking now, so I can do 11 or 12 miles a day," Smith said.
But that wasn't always the case. Six years ago, Smith weighted more than 400 pounds.
"I'd have nurses tell me, 'You are going to die,'" Smith said.
The Sioux Falls man tried several different methods to lose weight over the years, but he struggled to keep his goals - that was until he lost one of his loved ones.
"I watched my mom at 60 pass away from being morbidly obese," Smith said.
The now 42-year-old decided he needed to live a healthier lifestyle.
"I could only walk half a mile, but I would do that every day," Smith said.
Smith has improved his strength and endurance. He now weighs 195 pounds. He works out almost every day. And he meets twice a week with Complete Fitness Trainer Travis Hackett.
"Making a decision, having a committed mindset and knowing why you want to lose the weight are going to be your foundation," Hackett said.
Along with working out several days a week, Smith also incorporates physical activity into his lifestyle by walking places instead of driving.
"His story is a story of hope. He takes away excuses from people because he'll be the first one to tell you if he can do it, anybody can do it," Hackett said.
But Smith says it takes a lot of hard work and determination to make a big weight loss change. Still, he says as you make lifestyle changes, leading a healthier lifestyle does get easier.
Smith doesn't even relate to the man in pictures from years ago anymore.
"I will never go back to that," Smith said.
Smith also watches what he eats. One mistake he first made was limiting himself to 500 calories a day. Instead, he now eats three small meals and two snacks, with fruits and vegetables being a major part of his diet.