Chef “Tee” Terrell Danley

A new FIT man!Collage

“Oh my God!  What happened to you?” is what Chef Tee’s friends, who haven’t seen him in a while, usually ask when they see him now.  The six-foot-three, gregarious Washington, D.C. native was 305 pounds last Thanksgiving.  He’s shed 60 pounds since then and plans to lose 25 more.

“I lost 14 inches off my waste, and I dropped almost four suit sizes,” he said.  “I’m wearing cloths I couldn’t fit in, in ten (years).  I feel amazing.  My skin looks and feels healthier.”

It’s hard to believe that this is the same guy who’s often said “fat tastes good,” “you can’t trust a skinny chef,” and “chefs are supposed to be big.”  Turns out, all that talk was just bravado.

“I wasn’t happy,” he admitted with a sigh.  “I looked at old photos and missed that guy.”

Even though Chef Tee longed for his former self (he was 225 pounds when he graduated from college in the 80’s), he wasn’t in a hurry to change because he didn’t have any major health problems.  No high blood pressure, cholesterol or heart disease.  Then, he knew it was time for a transformation when the following things happened within a week last year around the holidays:

  • The D.C. native didn’t recognize a chef (who was also a friend) because the chef had lost 150 pounds and looked great.  This slimmed-down buddy encouraged Chef Tee to lose weight.  Seeing a fellow chef and friend, who was morbidly obese, now in shape, gave Chef Tee hope that he could get fit too.
  • Chef Tee’s chronic back pain had gotten so bad, that he was walking bent over at work.
  • A co-worker’s dad, who was just a few years older than Chef Tee, died from a heart attack.
  • Chef Tee’s daughter said she wanted him to look “sharp” for her high school graduation, and he knew that was her way of saying she wanted him to get in shape.

 So how did he do it?

“It’s a lifestyle now,” he said.  “I’m not on a diet.  I eat less and exercise.  There are no shortcuts.”

Chef Tee’s Weight Loss Plan

Lose It application — Chef Tee used this app to set calorie goals and keep track of how much he ate daily.  If he consumed too many calories in the morning, he would cut back in the afternoon and evening, and vice versa.

Portion control — He ate several small meals and healthy snacks (apples, yogurt and almonds were his favorites) high in fiber and protein, throughout the day to keep up his energy.  He also enjoyed food in moderation.  For example, he would opt for one slice of pizza instead of two.

Exercise — Chef Tee walked a lot and used Fitbit, a wrist device that tracks the amount of calories you burn per step.  He did push-ups and sit-ups.

Lots of water — He drank a gallon-to-a gallon and a half of water a day.

The end result is a lighter and healthier Chef Tee with an improved back, more energy and a thrilled family.

“I’m quite proud of him,” said his wife, Portia.  “He’s a much happier person, which makes for a much happier house.  I never thought I’d see him back in shape and taking his health seriously.  It’s also great to see how many people he has inspired to follow suit.”

Read how Chef Tee stopped smoking cold turkey.


  1. Tara L. Webb says:

    Chef T looks great. Seems simple enough. I’m inspired because I know him and I believe there are no gimmicks. Great job!

  2. Raquel Moreno says:

    Very powerful. Chef Tee has shown with his life what you can do when you make up your mind and have spiritual connection. Bravo!

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