The 700 Club with Pat Robertson

Todd's Book


Fox News Radio Anchor, since 2005

Embed reporter on President Obama’s campaign

Participated in numerous races and marathons including New York City Marathon and half-marathan

Lee University, Journalism


Todd Starnes: Lose Weight or Die

By Mimi Elliott

Todd grew up in a Southern Baptist home in Mississippi. He was fond of fried chicken, buttermilk biscuits, and sweet potato pie.

“Southerners have figured out a way to deep-fry the entire food pyramid,” Todd said. 

Growing up in church, Todd gave his life to the Lord at the age of 13. He says he often heard the pastor tell them about the dangers of hitting the bottle, but never about overeating and obesity.

After high school, Todd started his jounalism career in Georgia. Soon, he was offered a job as the news director for a radio station in Sacramento, California. By the time he was 37, Todd weighed over 300 pounds. In 2005, Todd had difficulty getting out of bed. He was exhausted and a cough he had got progressively worse. X-rays and an examination revealed he had an enlarged heart. His aortic valve was defective which required open-heart surgery to repair. Todd also needed to lose weight because the extra weight was putting additional strain on his heart. Not only was Todd faced with open-heart surgery, but he was forced to make other decisions, like losing weight and living a healthy life.  Doctors said if he didn’t, then he wouldn’t live long, even with a new heart valve. 

“My cardiologist told me I had a choice to make,” Todd said.  “Either keep stuffing my face with Nutter Butters or I could make some changes in my lifestyle and live a long and healthy life.” 

This wasn’t the first time he needed to lose weight, so Todd prayed about it. 

“The Lord not only heard my prayer, but He honored my prayer,” Todd said.  


Two weeks after his recovery, Todd’s pastor, Wayne, and wife, Nancy, took him on daily walks. Surprisingly, he started losing weight. Soon Todd could walk the length of the local mall. One day, his physical therapist declared that one day Todd would run a marathon. He thought, I can’t even walk around the block without getting winded!

Todd Starnes

Four months after surgery, Todd got a call from Fox News Radio. After checking with his cardiologist, Todd got the okay to fly. He accepted the job as news anchor and moved to New York City. Exactly one year after his surgery, Todd ran his first 5K (3.1 miles) road race. He already lost 120 pounds but still had some weight to lose. In 2007, Todd began training for his first marathon. (A production team from Fox News documented his journey.) It took him six hours and fifty-three minutes. 

“My time won’t make the record books, but it was my time,” Todd said.

Todd, now 41, says he lost weight without spending a dime. He says:

  1. You need to take personal responsibility for yourself. Admit you are overweight and that you want to do something about it.
  2. Build an accountability team. Losing weight should be a team sport.
  3. Set reasonable goals. Set small goals in five pound increments.
  4. Start exercising immediately. Start walking or join a running club.
  5. Seek divine guidance. It’s a physical and spiritual journey. 

Todd also says to stay away from all-you-can-eat buffets. Once in a while, he has a meat-free day and also picks one day a week to splurge. 

“On Saturdays, I will have a few slices of pizza or a cheeseburger,” he said. 

Walk whenever you can and avoid elevators. He also says to get rid of your old clothes.  When he started, Todd was a a size 54 waist. Today, he’s a 36 and getting smaller.

“Every four sizes, I had to buy new pants,” Todd said. “I had to give away my clothes to charity. It’s about total commitment. Never look back.”

Todd is still losing weight. He still runs five-miles a day, regardless of the weather. He started training for his first triathalon. 

“I’m only going to do it if I can reach my target weight of one hundred forty pounds,” Todd said.    

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