Three years ago America celebrated with David Smith as he showed off his new buff body on TODAY. After losing more than 400 pounds, he’d become the poster boy for extreme weight loss after his battle with the buldge was spotlighted in a TLC documentary titled “The 650-pound Virgin.”
But the makeover didn’t last. Over the past two years, Smith regained more than 250 pounds and he now stands as the cautionary tale for those who seek to lose vast amounts of weight without first dealing with the underlying problems that led to their obesity.
“I looked really good on the outside, but inside I was a terrible mess,” Smith told TODAY’s Janet Shamlian in a report that aired Wednesday.
Though Smith had, in his words, gone from “dud” to “stud,” he was jarred by that metamorphosis each time he looked in the mirror. “I saw somebody that didn’t know who they were,” he told Shamlian. “All my life I was a monster in my head. And all of a sudden to be, you know, this good-looking guy — it blew my mind away. I didn’t know how to deal with it.”
Smith seemed to be on the right path the first year after his dramatic weight loss. His life had turned around. He got a job as a personal trainer at a gym. He met his first — and current — girlfriend, Megan Povar. But in the mirror Smith didn’t see the same person that Povar, and the rest of the world, did. His body never looked right to him.
“I wasn’t happy with the way I looked,” he said. “No matter what I did, I thought I could never achieve the perfect body.” Frustrated and depressed, Smith first turned to alcohol and drugs for solace. Then he went back to his familiar friend — food.