At age 43, Edmond native David Brown found himself weighing 409 pounds and suffering from sleep apnea, high blood pressure, hypertension, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. David lost his first wife, Andrea, to cancer and made a promise to her that he would be there to care for their two children, daughters Jordan and Mackenzie (then ages 4 and 6). In order to fulfill that promise, David knew it was time to make a change.
Taking It to Prime Time
The day David tried out for The Biggest Loser, there were 854 applicants and he thought it was a “colossal waste of time.” But, to David’s surprise, he became a contestant on Season 15.
With the blessing of his family, David spent four months working to gain the health he needed to keep up with his kids for a lifetime. “I was the one slowing them down,” David remembers. “Since I was taking time away from my favorite people on the planet—the people who were my biggest fans no matter what size I was—I didn’t take a single day off when I was at the ranch because I knew that the sacrifice was too great. I was up earlier and went to bed later than just about everybody. I put in more work because I knew that my family back home was just boot strappin’ it. To be without them was the hardest thing I have ever done.”
With the support of his second wife Melissa, their daughter Trinity (age 6), and his older daughters (now ages 16 and 19), he successfully lost 222 pounds on the ranch and was the season’s first runner up for most weight lost.
Spreading Hope, Healing and Health
After his experience on The Biggest Loser, David set his sights on sharing his story and inspiring a nation to get their health back. “For me it was literally a journey of 2.2 million steps. There is no ‘one step’ process,” he explains. “There are a million steps to success and you literally have to take just one step at a time. People need hope and healing. Health is the result of that.”
Though he continues with his previous employment as a project manager for a construction company, David’s recent experiences have changed the focus of his life. “I want to spend my life inspiring people,” David explains. This new focus includes speaking engagements around the country for corporations, schools, churches and business groups.
Giving Life His All
David has a busy life and says there is no such thing as balance for him—he gives one hundred percent in every area. “Whatever made it okay for us to say ‘I am going to give one hundred percent at work’ and then make an excuse to only give fifty percent at home? Why is that okay?” David asks. “Why would I not give one hundred percent at work, at home, to my wife and my kids? If I need to rest, I put it in my calendar and give one hundred percent to that, too. Why would I not want to give one hundred percent in everything for the rest of my life?”
David says that living all out has made him able to keep the promise he made to Andrea before she passed. “Throughout the show I was able to say everything that was on my heart for 12 years,” he explains. “If I could talk to her now, it wouldn’t be about the weight. It would be about change. It would be about the kids. For far too long, I existed in the life that I had created. Today, I’m living the life that I created.”
Looking back, David says his family is closer now in every way imaginable. “It is such a change for me to come in with such energy,” he reflects. “I can go all day every day now and so it’s really kind of reversed. As active as they are, they still are trying to keep up with me.”
Here’s more about how this 43-year-old dad shares the love
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
I did sports broadcasting for a couple years while finishing up college in the early 1990s.
What are you passionate about?
Faith and family.
How has fatherhood changed you?
Fatherhood makes me the man I am today, gives me purpose beyond myself and helps me impact the next generation. Fatherhood is the most rewarding gift.
How do you banish stress?
It used to be food. Now I crush a workout, especially cardio boxing workouts or spin classes.
What inspires you?
People who finish what they start. People who don’t just talk about change, but actively take part to make change.
What is on your wish list?
I want to be on one of the early commercial trips to space.
What is the biggest challenge in your life?
Being efficient on a daily basis, and continuing my fight for health daily. I also have to repeatedly give myself permission to say no to the good, but wrong, things to have time for the great and right things.
Advice for other parents?
Think about the legacy you are leaving behind. Now think about the legacy you build to impact generations to come that you’ll never meet face to face. When you start thinking about intentionally building a legacy today, that impacts seven generations from today, now you’ve started doing the right things and asking the right questions.
What is your parenting style?
In a word, active! I am intentional about parenting, because I have a vision for my family that goes well beyond the here and now.
Quick Facts about David:
- What are five words that describe you? Inspiring, warrior, stronger, servant, faithful.
- What is your favorite indulgence? Shoes!
- What’s your favorite date night venue? Any occasion to dress up and go out on the town.
- What’s your favorite movie? The Shawshank Redemption.
- What’s your guilty pleasure? Reality TV, of course!
- Coffee or tea? Yes, please.
Learn more about David at www.1stronger.com.