We had the good fortune of connecting with Chase Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chase, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I grew up in a fairly small area of Virginia, Mount Crawford, where my father still lives today, and lived with my through high school in an even smaller town, Hot Springs. My graduating class only consisted of 69 people, and we were a “big class.”
Growing up, with both of my parents being in the construction/insulation business, I found myself staying in a somewhat similar field, architecture. I took classes in high school to fulfill this career, however I pivoted my junior/senior year of high school into the medical field. I initially chose radiology, but after summer internship, I realized that it wasn’t enough patient interaction for me, and that is when I finally decided on nursing.
I went to Dabney S. Lancaster Community College, the closest college to my home, and received my Associates Degree in Nursing in 2015.
Taking a step back for a moment, which will tie into future dreams and aspirations, I should mention my health. I grew up as the chubby kid. I played one summer of tee-ball and that was enough sports for me. I was never super active, but my health was never a big “concern” growing up. Until my mid-teens, when I gained freedom and independence. I then found myself choosing fast food and junk food more often for a snack or meal. No one was watching me. This eventually spiraled into a very unhealthy relationship with food and binge eating.
I continued to put the weight on year after year. Every January, I would set a New Year’s Resolution to lose the weight, yet every year would be another failed attempt and I would regain more than what I had lost.
Fast forward to 2019, when I was at my heaviest: 382.4 pounds.
Brandie, a friend and coworker at the time, suggested we do a challenge to see who could lose the most weight. I was skeptical that anything would last, but decided to give it a go.
We started working out together, eating better, and holding each other accountable. The weight literally began to fall off… but, I should remind you, I had a ton to lose!
A month or so in, we ditched the challenge, but still wanted to push each other to do better. By the end of May 2019, I had already lost 100 pounds. In August 2019, I hired my first nutrition coach, Josh, one of the best decisions I have ever made. He held me accountable, taught me more about nutrition, and became a great friend in the process, almost like a brother to me.
We continued to work through the ups and the downs throughout the rest of the year, but still managed to reach an amazing achievement of losing 150 pounds before the end of the year! I really felt like I had won the lottery… the lottery of health… but, a lottery I had to work for.
I fell in love with the process. All throughout this time, I was documenting my health journey on social media. Friends and family began to take note, followed by random strangers I had never met, now asking me, “how did you do it.”
My coach encouraged me at the time that I should consider possibly turning this passion into a real “thing” and become a coach myself. So, that is exactly what I did!
In June 2020, I took my Nutrition Coach Certification Course, through the Nutritional Coaching Institute, and started helping others, or in my eyes, paying it forward so no one had to go through the pain I did.
At the beginning of 2021, I was in a great spot to take my career and passion on the road. I was single, no kids, had just finished my bachelors in 2020 at UVA, and had an itch to travel. It was then that I began travel nursing, working in emergency departments around the country.
I started in Charleston, SC, had a blast making new friends, seeing the area, and trying new things every chance I could get! I really made the most out of my time!
From there, in July 2021, I drove from my home in Virginia, 23+ hours to Longmont, CO, the furthest West I had ever been!
The joy of being an online health coach, is that no matter where I travel to as a nurse, I will always be able to continue to help my clients. It really is the best of both worlds!
In Colorado, I have had the opportunity to climb four 14er’s in one day (the Decalibron Loop), climb the manitou incline, visit the Rocky Mountain National Park, and hike many other beautiful areas of Colorado.
Sure, the weight loss is cool and all, but that is just a part of me. That is not all of me. That is just another accomplishment.
However, with that said, I will never forget who I was 3+ years ago. That person held himself back from doing so much.
Now, I am actually taking action in my life and doing anything I set my mind to.
I’m no one special. I am just a regular guy from a small town in Virginia.
All it takes is putting one foot in front of the other. Anyone is capable of doing anything they truly desire to.
You just have to take that first step.
What should our readers know about your business?
Chasing Health LLC was created from personal experience, personal struggles, personal accomplishments, and my life as a whole.
While I do not believe that a coach or trainer has to have a story like mine, I do believe my coaching sets me apart from others because I can honestly tell my clients, “I HAVE BEEN THERE!” No, obesity is not something I am “proud” of, but it is apart of my journey. It allows me to relate to my clients accomplishments and struggles on a much deeper level. I love to celebrate the “small” wins with my clients, like being able to walk up the steps without getting out of breath, buying smaller clothes, being able to fit in the amusement park ride, not binge eating, or any other accomplishments we get to celebrate together!
I love working with their mindset along this process. I truly believe that if you don’t have your head straight in this game, you are just going to stumble right back to where you started.
Becoming an entrepreneur has not been easy. It’s been challenge to learn about the marketing, sales, social media, lead generation, all the back end work that no one sees. It’s not “just coaching” – so much more is involved. I have struggled big time with imposter syndrome. I find myself trying to convince myself that “I am not good enough to coach someone”. It has been just as much about changing my mindset through this process.
I have really leaned on living a mindset of abundance. There are so many people out there in this world that need help with weight loss. Stop chasing clients. I am thankful enough that I have a full-time job that pays my bills, so I am not dependable on coaching to keep the lights on or food on my table.
I want people to know that I could care less about the money. Yes, it is a business and yes, people pay attention when they pay money, so there is value in making people pay. However, the best payment I can receive as a coach is hearing a client tell me, “I DID IT!”
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
While on assignment in Colorado, my favorite spots have been: Rocky Mountain National Park
Colorado Springs, especially the Manitou Incline
Oskar Blues – good drinks and food – awesome vibe!
Smokin’ Dave’s BBQ – the best brisket of Longmont!
Longmont Athletic Club for a good lifting session!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I love this!!! Being an enneagram type 2, I love putting others in the spot light! I would not be where I am today without the following people:
My family, especially my mom, Susan, my father, Chuck, and my bro, Nick.
Brandie for getting me started and for challenging me to lose the weight. I honestly don’t think I would have any of this today if it were not for you!
Josh Pierce – my first nutrition coach, mentor, and amazing friend!
Jordan Lips – my current nutrition coach and personal trainer.
My Sardines & The Empowerment Collective – this is an INCREDIBLE group of friends and like-minded individuals who continue to push me every day to become my best self!
My current and former clients – you all make me so damn proud to be your coach! I learn so much from you and you continue to encourage me to show up better for you as much as I can!
Brynlee – my beautiful niece, who I aspire to serve as a role model for to show her that she is capable of accomplishing her biggest dreams of whatever her hear desires!
Jason Phillips, Jared Hamilton, and Enrico Incarnati – my business mentors.
All of the amazing coaches that I have interacted with and learned from over the past couple years!
The Staunton-Augusta YMCA – my first gym that supported me through most of my weight loss journey! This group is amazing!
My amazing coworkers that I have met throughout my travel nurse assignments – you all have kept me sane during a crazy time to be an ED nurse and you have made my adventures that much more special!
I KNOW that I am forgetting more people, but I just want anyone to know that if you have ever made me smile or supported me in any way, you deserve recognition. I would NOT be where I am today without those around me!
Skydiving Photo: Skydive Tennessee Photo of me talking in mic: Tina Dominguez