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UVA nurse shares incredible weight loss journey

Updated: Jan. 3, 2020 at 8:37 PM EST
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STUARTS DRAFT, VA. (WVIR) - This time of year, gyms are packed with people resolving to make health a priority. Chase Smith, a University of Virginia nurse who lives in Stuarts Draft, made that choice one year ago and now he's sharing what's possible when you don't give up.

“People - their first question is, when did you have the surgery?” Smith said.

There was no surgery. Twenty-five-year old Chase Smith lost weight the old fashioned way.

“I’ve done this all through just eating better and moving more. There is no magic pill. There is no magic fat-burner,” Smith said. “Your body can put up with a lot. A lot of times it’s your mind that you have to get over the hump to keep going.”

As a registered nurse, Smith says he felt like a hypocrite. “Here I was almost 400 pounds trying to tell somebody they need to lose weight.”

On January 1, 2019, Smith accepted a friend’s challenge. “To see who could lose the most weight.”

However, the challenge quickly fizzled and the progress became exhilarating. One year ago, Smith walked into the Staunton-Augusta YMCA wearing a 5X t-shirt and now he’s 151 pounds lighter wearing an XL t-shirt.

“I feel like a brand new person, I mean honestly. I’m the size that I was probably even before high school,” Smith said.

Powerlifter and weight room attendant David Redman has been on the job for 33 years. He’s been watching Smith’s progress.

“It does my heart good when I see someone like this who I think is like - they need help, they need to lose weight for their lifelong pursuit of happiness and health. It does me good to see somebody like that,” Redman said.

Smith has been very public about his journey sharing it on Instagram (@changing_chase) and occasionally with a patient or two he cares for in the UVA Emergency Department.

“When they say that they can't lose weight - I say yes, you can,” Smith said.

Smith says it’s important to celebrate every little victory no matter what it is, don’t be afraid to ask for help and trust the process - you will see results.

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