BiggestLoser.com had the opportunity to get an exclusive interview with Season 14’s Jeff. Below is our interview with Jeff and his advice for weight loss and fitness success!
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BiggestLoser.com: How has the weight loss affected your personal life?
Jeff: The weight loss has affected my personal life in more ways than I could have ever imagined! I am finally a good representation on the outside of the person that I am on the inside. I’m genuinely happy these days, and I look forward to the endless possibilities that my life has to offer. This is drastically different to the sad, sick and depressed person I was before coming to the Ranch.
BiggestLoser.com: What's your typical daily schedule? On average, how many calories do you eat each day?
Jeff: My daily schedule varies. It all depends on what I have scheduled for that day. A lot of days it begins with a workout, usually back-to-back spin classes or a killer hour at the gym, then I handle some work and business, and then I always make sure I take time to relax and do something that I enjoy. As for calories, I am still playing with that number but anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000. It all depends on the day and what my workouts were like. I can say that everyone out there will have a different number that will work for them, and to consult a dietitian for the right calorie budget.
BiggestLoser.com: What obstacles did you overcome to lose the weight?
Jeff: One of the biggest obstacles I had to overcome was getting over my fear of failure. Now, I honestly believe it’s okay to fail because it will feel far worse to have never tried. Another thing I had to overcome was my desire to quit. Once my desire to lose the weight became more powerful than my want to quit, it worked.
BiggestLoser.com: What was your biggest realization while being on The Biggest Loser?
Jeff: My biggest realization was the fact that I really can do anything I set my mind to. Before the show, I’d always assumed that was some corny thing people would say when they didn’t struggle at something, but it turns out it’s true.
BiggestLoser.com: What advice would you give The Biggest Loser At Home members?
Jeff: Start today. It isn’t going to be easy and probably won’t be a whole lot of fun, but why put off until tomorrow what you are capable of doing today? It is going to be a slow process at home. No one should ever expect to see the weight loss results we saw on the Ranch. Start slow and work up to your potential.
BiggestLoser.com: What was the biggest cause of your weight gain?
Jeff: Several things contributed to my weight gain starting with being put on steroids at a young age to help fight my asthma. After that, a sedentary lifestyle just added to it. Another large factor was when my father passed away during my senior year of high school. I wasn’t sure how to cope with the loss so instead of sharing my emotions I ate them. I was already on the heavier side and that just made me balloon up. Combine that with the lifestyle of a freshmen in college and I easily found myself nearing 400 pounds.
BiggestLoser.com: How are you staying motivated since the finale?
Jeff: I have been staying motivated by surrounding myself with positive people and people who like to do the same things that I like to do. Unfortunately, I have had to cut several people out of my life who were trying to keep me in the same lifestyle I was in before The Biggest Loser. Also I like to do new things, fun and active things that are conducive to the healthy lifestyle I want to lead. Lastly, I am studying to take my exams to become a certified personal trainer and spin instructor.
BiggestLoser.com: What food-related triggers cause you to overeat? How are you dealing with those now?
Jeff: My foods of choice when it came to overeating were in the salty, fried, crunchy family. I’ve never been big into sweets, thankfully! I don’t have those triggers now. I like the feeling of being satisfied when I eat and not being sickly full. Don’t get me wrong; I still have a handful of chips every now and then or some popcorn at a movie, but never in excess and only as a treat. I believe when trying to maintain that everything is okay, in moderation.
BiggestLoser.com: What's the biggest change you found going back home after losing the weight?
Jeff: The biggest change I found is that things are easier for me; just everyday tasks I find myself so much more able to do. I’m not tired from a simple walk around the block. I can buy clothes off the rack and (as Francy would say) I have developed a shopping problem, haha. I eat very differently now. I have new things that I do for entertainment. Just about everything about my life at home has changed, and I couldn’t be happier.
BiggestLoser.com: You and Francelina became close during the show. Are you still seeing each other?
Jeff: Francy and I did become close during the show and we are still going strong. She is currently staying with me here in Chicago until we figure out our next move.
BiggestLoser.com: You lost your father at a young age, and you and Bob really connected over that. Can you talk about how that affected your health journey? Is there any advice you would tell others who are dealing with a similar loss?
Jeff: I will be forever grateful to Bob Harper. He helped save my life in more ways than one. I saw Bob as a father figure, and someone I could look to that would help mold me and he did that and so much more. I don’t think that if I were on another team, I would have been nearly as successful as I was. We still stay in touch even if it’s just a picture here, or text there. I know if I ever need him he's only a phone call away and the same goes for me.
The advice I would give to someone dealing with a similar loss is talk to someone. Talk to a friend, coworker, loved one, teacher, counselor, someone. There are plenty of people who would want to listen. That was a big mistake I made. I kept all my feelings inside and it almost destroyed me.
Jeff found success on The Biggest Loser, but you don’t have to be on the show to lose weight and start your own transformation! The Biggest Loser At Home Program gives you online access to The Biggest Loser diet and fitness program designed by our health and wellness experts - personalized to fit your goals and lifestyle. The Biggest Loser gives you all the tools, expert help and community support you need to succeed. Click here to sign up. Start your own weight loss journey today!