June 13, 2011 08:41 PM by Veronica Dudo
Weighing in at 498 pounds, Dana is known as the life of the party. He had hoped he would qualify for gastric bypass surgery, but when that didn’t happen he was extremely disappointed and felt hopeless and alone. Dana is a youth counselor and sings in the choir at his church. He is the youngest of eight children. He struggles with controlling his eating at night, as he is known to make two or three trips a night to his favorite fast food spots. Dana says that he moved to Tennessee away from his family and doesn’t even see them on Christmas because he is ashamed of how much weight he has gained.
Trainer Chris Powell says he can help Dana start a healthy new life. On Dana’s first day of exercising, it’s a reality check as Chris pushes him.
Back at home Chris had Dana’s house transformed into an at home gym and stocked the refrigerator with healthy food. Chris tells Dana that for Phase One his goal is to lose 110 pounds in three months and if he can do it then Chris will get him a vocal coach. Dana is losing weight but hits some snags. Chris discovers fast food wrappers and approaches Dana who apologize to Chris for cheating. Sensing that this is deeper, Chris asks Dana why he turns to food and Dana reveals that he was sexually abused. Chris tells him he needs to stop punishing himself for something that he had no control over.
After 12 weeks it’s time for Dana to weigh-in and he needs to have lost 110 pounds. He steps on the scale and it reads 387 pounds so Dana lost 111 pounds. Chris tells Dana that on his birthday he will fly out to Los Angeles to see and sing with his brother. The day has finally arrived and Dana’s brothers is very emotional when he sees Dana’s weight loss success.
Back at home Dana injures his knee and falls back into bad habits. Chris visits a doctor and finds out that Dana tore his ACL but says they can continue by cutting out weight-bearing exercises. It’s now time for Dana to weigh in for Phase Two and he needs to have lost 70 pounds. When he steps on the scale is reads 358 pounds only totaling a loss of 29 pounds instead of 70 pounds.
It’s now Phase Three and his nine month weigh-in and Dana needs to have lost 108 pounds in order to be a candidate for skin removal surgery. He steps on the scale and it reads 318 meaning he only lost 40 pounds. Dana says he needs to talk to Chris about something very important. Dana says that throughout the year Chris has been asking him where the real “Dana” is and Dana says he thinks he finally found him and tells Chris he is gay.
On day 365, family and friends gathered at the YMCA in Nashville, TN to see Dana’s transformation. When he walks out everyone is overwhelmed with joy and Dana himself is smiling from ear to ear. At his last weigh-in, Dana steps on the scale and it reads 295 pounds bringing his total weight-loss to 203 pounds!
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Photo Credit: ABC