Season 2 Contestant on the Biggest Loser
Fee Range: Call For Quote
Traveling From: New Jersey
As a family practice physician and associate professor directing women's health programs at Robert Woods Johnson Medical School, Jeff, 43, had put together a good life for himself, his wife, and his four daughters. There was only one problem, one » Read Full Bio
As a family practice physician and associate professor directing women's health programs at Robert Woods Johnson Medical School, Jeff, 43, had put together a good life for himself, his wife, and his four daughters. There was only one problem, one very big problem: Food had become a drug for Jeff. It helped him stay awake. It helped him calm down. It helped him reduce stress. He had literally become addicted to food. That addiction caused his weight to climb to 400 pounds.Eventually, it caught up with him."I started having a lot of physical problems. I'd get blood clots in my legs when I'd fly. I found myself falling asleep in the middle of meetings. I would joke and say I was just having 'selective narcolepsy,' that I was just bored. One time I fell asleep while talking to a patient, which was extremely embarrassing."
The health problems escalated. Jeff began to suffer very painful, obesity-related arthritis in his ankle. His blood pressure soared to dangerous levels: 160 over 90, most of the time. His blood sugars were too high, and his insulin levels were double the norm. His personal physician wanted to put him on diabetic medication.To make matters worse, Jeff learned he had sleep apnea, a temporary suspension of breathing that occurs repeatedly during sleep and is associated with being obese. He began wearing a special face mask at night that gently pushed compressed air through his nose to keep the airway open.
These problems intruded on his quality of life. "I could no longer play basketball. I couldn't carry my kids up the stairs. When they wanted me to play soccer with them, I could play only goalie, but barely. My deteriorating health began to affect my intimacy with my wife. While you're wearing a sleep apnea mask and sound like Darth Vader, it's hard for someone to want to cuddle with you."Jeff pictured his wife a widow-and that's when he vowed to get healthy.