Motivation Articles

''How Weight Loss Saved My Life''

The Story of Bill Smith


Before Bill Smith (pictured to the right) joined SparkPeople in September 2002, his life was in disarray. He weighed 335 pounds and was an "eating machine." He loved buffets and would order an entire large pizza and finish it by himself. He did not exercise at all, was stressed out all the time, and just wanted to sleep all day. In his words, "I truly wanted to curl up in a corner and just give up."

Bill had tried numerous diets in the past, but to no avail. None of them involved goal setting, and diet alone just didn't work for him. Even when Bill first joined SparkPeople, he wasn't very active on the site. He would post on the message boards every now and then, and he did set some goals. But he didn't start using the site until the following month--after his wife told him she wanted a divorce.

She had recently lost a lot of weight and said that her life had changed because of it. Bill blamed himself and became depressed. "I began to hate myself for what I was and started realizing that I had a lot more I could look forward to," said Bill.

So he started to get serious. He re-started his SparkPeople and concentrated on his goals. And he started depending on the SparkPeople Community for support. He saw how much support the message boards provided and realized that, through the stories of others, he could make a difference in his own life.

To exercise, Bill started out by walking two miles a day. After a month he increased his mileage to four miles a day. Then by January 2003, he joined a gym and started working out there, too. Soon after Bill started exercising, he saw huge results in all aspects of his life. For starters, he was losing weight consistently, every week, for the first time ever.

His weight loss positively impacted other areas in his life. He had the energy and interest to get out and do things instead of lying around the house. He did not depend on food to get through the day; he ate less. Instead of walking or lifting weights because he "had to" to get into shape, he did it because he wanted to.

Bill also become a pastor in compassionate ministries at his church. Now, he was helping others along with himself. He was making great changes in his life and feeling great.
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About The Author

Zach Van Hart Zach Van Hart
Zach is a journalist who regularly covers health and exercise topics.

Member Comments

  • Wow! Bill this is a great story. It sounds like myself dieting, but not serious about it. My husband just found out he was a diabetic. He has lost weight and eating right doing everything to the letter. My on the other hand, I do eat when he is not home. Thanks, I needed a wake up call. Best Wishes. - 12/20/2013 3:15:53 PM
  • What a blessing! Thanks for sharing. - 10/9/2013 3:59:46 PM
  • Amazing story. Very touching. Keep up the good work. - 7/26/2013 5:24:54 PM
  • A very inspiring story. Keep up the good work. - 7/31/2012 8:01:02 PM
  • Way to go bill. What a great motivational story - 4/26/2012 3:13:36 PM
  • Highest compliments to Bill! His involvement helping others reminded me of the reason I went into medicine - to help people recover and return to the good they are doing in their sphere of influence. So happy he is finding his "true self" and a part of Spark People, lending his example and inspiration! I hope he finds love again, he deserves good things! - 5/22/2011 4:57:27 PM
  • This is such a great story... really goes to show how important it is to find the strength to turn your life around and get healthy. Not just to avoid the typical medical pitfalls associated with being overweight, but even things that seem beyond one's control like this. Congratulations to Bill for being able to get on track despite all the setbacks in his life. This story has inspired me to become more committed to my own weight loss program which has been sitting on the back burner for years. I want to get healthy too. :) - 6/17/2010 11:32:44 AM
  • SPBTB59
    I really enjoyed reading the article , because he did what needed to be done. He ran out of excuses,and just did it. I feel inspired to stay more motivated. - 5/23/2010 8:02:23 PM
  • I loved that story! I would also like to know how Bill is doing now and about his wife... - 2/21/2010 2:20:31 PM
  • Have there been any updates to this article? How is life these days? Still on track? What about the marriage?
    God really showed up. - 12/10/2009 8:36:56 AM
  • Inspiring story... but I agree we are left hanging about the wife. - 10/27/2009 9:48:13 AM
    .God was certainly in that whole scenario for sure.... - 6/29/2009 9:03:43 PM
  • What happened with his wife? That's a great story, but depressing too. - 6/29/2009 2:00:33 PM
  • Bill, thank you for writing this amazing story! God bless you. You are an inspiration to everyone! - 6/29/2009 2:15:43 AM
  • Loved this story. It's amazing that we don't think about those kind of accidents happening and how because some one has too much weight could make the difference between life and death. What an eye opener. - 6/22/2009 7:19:35 PM

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