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CCU Atheneum: CCU alumnus Dexter Holman's before and after picture for the
CCU alumnus Dexter Holman's before and after picture for the "Revenge Body with Khloe Kardashian."

CCU alumnus Dexter Holman appears on ‘Revenge Body'

by Monica Trepiccione
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Former Coastal Carolina University football player Dexter Holman gained more than 100 pounds while playing defensive tackle for the Chanticleers. After a successful first three years on the team and being ranked as the best defensive end in the Big South conference at the start of the season, Holman spent his senior year as a third-string defender, a demotion he says began a downward spiral in his life.

Throughout high school and college, Holman says all he ever wanted to do was play football. After his lackluster senior year, he felt lost and without purpose, struggling with bouts of depression and irritability.

Holman played football at Coastal from 2007-2011. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business management and moved to Los Angeles, Calif., to pursue a career in acting and stand-up comedy.

During one of his comedy acts, which he devoted to self-deprecating fat jokes, someone told him about a new TV project, called “Revenge Body with Khloe Kardashian.” As a lark, with little expectation of actually getting on the show, Holman applied. To his surprise, he heard back from the casting director quickly and was invited to start the 12-week journey to a new body.

“Revenge Body” is a weight-loss show on E! Network where contestants are paired with celebrity trainers and stylists to change their lifestyle and their look. Contestants are filmed over the course of 12 weeks.

Holman was paired with celebrity trainer Corey Calliet, who worked with Michael B. Jordan for his starring role in the film Creed. At their first meeting, Calliet outlined three rules for Holman: “Don’t be late, don’t be late, and don’t quit.”

From day one, Holman obeyed the rules, although it wasn’t easy. He recalls throwing up every day during the first three weeks of training. After his first day with Calliet, Holman returned home and laid on his couch, defeated, and contemplated quitting. He then got a call from Kardashian herself and, after an inspiring pep talk, resolved to continue with the show. “Khloe is super invested in this. I’m definitely not going to let Khloe down,” he said after the phone call. “I can’t give up now.”

Holman’s goal was to get back into shape to show his father, a man dedicated to physical fitness, that he could do it. “My dad loves to work out,” Holman explains. “He’s always harping on me about my weight.”

Holman certainly achieved his goal of surprising his father, who was brought to tears when he saw how far Holman had come. Calliet surprised Holman with another guest, fellow Chanticleer and former teammate Josh Norman, now a starting cornerback for the Washington Redskins. Holman was ecstatic to see his old friend, whom he hadn’t seen in five years, but Norman was the one who was the most surprised.

“I’ve known Dexter for eight years,” Norman says, “and to come back today and see him in the form that he’s in, I’m just speechless.” Following the reunion, Calliet had Holman complete the same circuits that he did on the first day of training, but this time with a self-proclaimed “beast mentality.”

The daily negative comments from his father regarding his weight is what made Holman realize he needed to change. After college, he tried working out, eating healthy, taking diet pills, and even starving himself. Eventually, he recognized that he needed to figure out a solid, healthy routine to shed the weight, which is exactly what “Revenge Body” provided.

Holman says the best thing about being on the show, besides losing 100 pounds, was his newfound ability to inspire others. “About halfway through training for the show, I realized that the moment was bigger than me,” he says. Holman now channels his energy into helping others by writing about healthy recipes on his blog and working on a book about maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Khloe, the youngest Kardashian sister, says in the show’s introduction that her motivation for creating the show was being labeled by the public as “the fat sister.” She says on her website that she often felt insecure growing up when people, especially teachers and other adults, compared her to her older, slimmer sisters. She recalls hearing things like, “You’re really Kim and Kourtney’s younger sister?” Comments like these made Khloe want to achieve her own “revenge body,” and she is now dedicated to helping others do the same.

Holman has nothing but positive things to say about Kardashian. “Khloe is such a genuine soul who wants to help and inspire people who are dealing with struggles that she overcame.” Holman says he and Kardashian made meaningful connections about self-esteem problems, emotional eating and the societal pressures that come with being overweight.

Since filming ended, Holman has moved from Atlanta to Los Angeles to pursue a career in stand-up comedy and acting. He was encouraged to make the move as a result of something he learned through the show: that he ultimately has control over his own life.

Holman can be found on Instagram @dexterholman and on his blog,


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