Obese Man Makes Rare Trip Out of Home - NBC Chicago

Obese Man Makes Rare Trip Out of Home



    Twenty-four-year-old Harold Smith leaves home to work out, a progression of the classes he's been taking online. (Published Monday, Dec. 9, 2013)

    Twenty-four-year-old Harold Smith says since college, he's only left his house once or twice a year because he's overweight, topping the scales at more than 500 pounds.

    "One day I caught myself in the mirror, and I was so hurt I let myself get like this," Smith said.

    So he started using an online program called Downsize Fitness, which allows you to work out at home via Google Hangouts. On Monday, he actually felt good enough to visit the Chicago facility in person.

    "People go out of their way to make people over maybe 250 pounds feel like they don't belong. So that's another reason why I stayed at home, why leave my safe house," Smith said.

    Monday was the first time Smith met his trainer, Michael Cooney -- who lost 60 pounds himself -- but the two have known each others for months online. But now he has a support system to discuss all elements of his new healthy lifestyle.

    "A year ago, you couldn't pay me to work out," Smith said. "It's a gym just for people like me."

    Smith hopes to eventually get to a point where he'll be able to hold down a job.