NBC’s The Biggest Loser, Winner Season 8 (2009)
Author, Losing Big, (2013)
Losing Weight with God’s Help
The 700 Club
CBN.COM-THE BIGGEST LOSER EVER
When Danny stepped on the scales of the final episode of NBC’s The Biggest Loser, the world was watching. Danny dropped half his body weight – 239 pounds – in 6 ½ months. Danny spent 7 – 9 hours working out every day. While he was on the show, Darci bought Jillian Michaels’ book and the pounds began dropping off of her, too. His body began responding to the workouts by week 3 and he no longer had to take his medications. By the end of the season, Danny lost 55.58 percent of his body weight which was 1 1/2 percent more than anyone on the history of the show. To date, he still holds the record as The Biggest Loser ever.
Danny’s eating issues began in 3rd grade. “My biggest need was for people to like me,” says Danny. “I never felt like I measured up.” At 15, he developed an interest in music and his focus shifted off of food. He lost 75 pounds and almost became anorexic. He kept the weight off for about 8 years until after his marriage to Darci in 1996 when the weight crept back on.
Though Darci and Danny gave their lives to the Lord in 1996, Danny still struggled with feelings of unworthiness. As Danny packed on the pounds, a gambling addiction which started in college began to spiral out of control. When Darci found out, he simply quit and worked on getting his family out of debt. “I felt guilt and shame,” says Danny. “I did a 180. I thought I fixed it, but I didn’t deal with the root.” For the next 3 years, Danny’s weight kept increasing. “I loved Jesus and was serving God, but I wasn’t giving Him everything,” he says. By 2007, Danny was 460 pounds and experienced severe chest pains. Concerned he was going to die, Dany was grateful every morning he would wake up.
In 2008, Danny went to a Christian retreat. One of the exercises was that each man would have to be held up by the others. Danny was horrified and said they could skip him. The instructor insisted and the other men picked up all 460 pounds of Danny and held him. This had a profound effect on Danny, showing him that there was no shame in getting help. At the same time, Darci’s prayers for Danny changed. She started totally surrendering Danny to the Lord and asked God to fulfill His plans for Danny’s life.
Danny applied to be a contestant on The Biggest Loser in 2007. After 2 years, he was finally accepted. Danny was still struggling with gambling at this time. When he was training on the show, Danny shared his guilt about gambling. The trainer said, “You made a mistake. Are you going to beat yourself up and crawl back into a hole or learn from it and move on?” This prompted a revelation in Danny. “My perspective of Jesus changed,” he says. “He wanted the whole me – everything, the praise, the worship, the anger, guilt and shame. I had been stuffing it with food, replaying the shame and guilt.” Then Danny decided to lay it all down and give up control. “On The Biggest Loser, I faced my demons,” says Danny. “I gave Him my all and let Him fill the hole in my soul with love.”
Today Danny writes, pursues music, speaks at churches and has a couple of television projects in development.
During the Christmas season, Danny says most people gain 5 – 10 pounds. “The holidays are a little tempting!” says Danny. He says it’s difficult not to partake in all the holiday meals. “Only partake once a week,” he says. “Add some exercise to maintain your current weight without gaining.
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