"He was the man," Powell laughed. "He walked in, the girls are kissing him on the cheek and everyone is high fiving him. When we got in the car and I'm driving him home, he goes, that was the best night of my life."
Eventually, David had to undergo two surgeries to remove 23 pounds of flesh, but that wasn't his only procedure. After having Lasik surgery for his eyes, cheek implants and cosmetic dental work, which also helped boost his confidence.
After two years of working together Powell and Smith became very close, even sharing a bachelor pad. The trainer never charged Smith for his services, and he says that what he got in return was much more valuable -- a best friend.
"I've cried on his shoulder a lot more than he's cried on mine. He's been with me through the worst times in my life," Powell said. "I was with him through his physical transformation and his emotional transformation but he's been with me through my own journey over the last couple of years, and that's the real reason why we're so close."
Smith's dramatic weight loss and their story of friendship have garnered worldwide attention. From television appearances here and abroad, to an online fitness program called Reshape the Nation, the duo are now on a mission to transform the lives of others. Powell even inspired Smith to give back.
"I helped him through his ACE exam and how he's a certified personal trainer," Powell said.
"David's story was very inspirational to me," says Jeff Flosi a salesperson for Cox Communications in Arizona. "I was about 525 to 550 pounds and he was heavier than I was. And knowing that he worked it off and didn't do any type of gastric bypass or anything like that and did it the hard way, that's kind of what attracted me."
Using the same carb-cycling formula that Powell created for him, Smith has helped Flosi lose 149 pounds in 10 months.
"I've learned from David it's not about the numbers," said Flosi. "The important part at the end is to be healthy and to be active and feel good."
That's the kind of transformation Smith wants people to get from his training and from his story. While he's still on a journey to improve his life, Smith strives to make others aware that they can change their lives too.
"If somebody was in my shoes a few years ago, I would just tell them not to give up, not to lose sight of what they really want in life and go get it. I got it."