Exclusive Biggest Loser Weight Loss Secrets with the "New" Jerry Hayes
At the outset of the second edition of The Biggest Loser Couples, retired Illinois engineer, Jerry Hayes, tipped the scales at 369 pounds before being eliminated in only the second week of competition. A Biggest Loser competitor that was suffering from a variety of ailments due to his inactive and unhealthy lifestyle, including gout, diabetes, and Plantaritis among others, 63-year old Jerry Hayes was on a one way track to the danger zone of life. After fainting in the weight-room and unable to adapt to The Biggest Loser regiment at "The Ranch," the prognosis for Jerry living a future as a healthy man looked grim. With his loving wife of 42 years, Estella, also eliminated from The Biggest Loser, Jerry had a near impossible road ahead of him to transform himself into a healthy winner at home while the other remaining competitors battled it out on the scales of The Biggest Loser to become the last and lighter Biggest Loser standing.
18 weeks later when the competitors returned for the live season finale of The Biggest Loser Couples that saw self-proclaimed "domestic engineer" Helen Phillips walk away the winner, Jerry Hayes stepped on to The Biggest Loser finale stage to reveal his "at home" progress. In what turned out to be a weight-loss transformation that almost trumped and overshadowed this year's winner, Jerry walked onto the stage a completely new, disease free, and barely recognizable man in one of the most amazing weight-loss reveals in Biggest Loser history.
When Jerry stepped onto the scales for one final time to take a crack at winning the $100,000 "at home" prize, the once 369 pound 63-year old (now 64) almost single handedly stole the spotlight from everyone by losing a whopping 177 pounds and over 47% of his original body weight. And when it was all said and done after all previous Biggest Loser ranchers weighed in one last time, it was Jerry who rightfully walked away with $100,000 in his pocket to share with his family. And if one amazing weight loss transformation wasn't enough in one family, Jerry's wife Estalla looked fantastic after losing 83 pounds and 34% of her original body weight.
We were so impressed (and still blown away) by the "at home" transformation of Jerry Hayes that we tracked down the new and improved Hayes 48 hours after The Biggest Loser Couples finale for an exclusive, one-on-one chat to find out how Jerry managed to completely transform his life in such a short amount of time, whether he was ever hesitant to continue his journey, how he overcame the mental mountain he had to climb, and exactly how he lost an amazing, almost unheard of, 177 pounds while at home.
At 64-years of age, now under 200 pounds and looking years younger than when he walked into The Biggest Loser Couples competition, Jerry Hayes is inspirational proof that a better life is indeed possible for anyone struggling to find an entry point into a healthier lifestyle.
THE DEADBOLT: When you were still on the show and you passed out in the gym, did you have any second thoughts about taking this journey?
JERRY: After I passed out there was an element that was never televised. I actually hurt my foot, too. Both my feet. I got huge blisters on them because I was not able to go to the gym. I was walking outside and I had plantaritis on my foot. I had orthotics in my shoes that they had me take out (not at the ranch), but my doctor did, the insole of my shoe. I was walking on my shoe, right on the base, and I got this huge blister. So I had a lot of problems with that. And if you watch the videos you can see I was walking on them real gingerly. So when I got home, I had problems with that. It took me about 5 weeks to get that solved.
But, you know, they gave us enough bases and we knew we had to do it, so we exercised. Dr. H, from the show, the doctors laid out a program that said we should exercise 2.5 hours a day, cardio and weight training and so forth, to build our muscles. And thatís what we followed, we got a trainer that followed that with us and we never missed a day of exercise. I shouldnít say that, I missed two days because I had cataract surgery done on both eyes. But beyond that I never missed a day. Stella had sinus surgery and it took five days to clear that up, that was it. And we never missed on the food either. We never went off the diet.
THE DEADBOLT: Most of the competitors have said itís just as much a mental challenge as it is physical. How did you find that aspect of your journey to lose weight?
JERRY: Itís probably more mental than physical. In our case, it was really mind over body. My mind was telling me, ďYou canít do this. Youíre too old. My body canít take it. My metabolismís slow." If you watch the videos, when I was leaving the ranch I said it was going to take me much longer. I wonít lose as fast because my metabolism is going to be slow, because you lose 10% a year. I meant 10% every decade and saying I was wrong. I was completely wrong. It was the limiting in my mind limiting me and not my body.
Throughout this whole process, Stella and I had not had a joint problem. We havenít been laid up at all by our bodies. I was very slow in walking. It turns out that once I got with a trainer it started becoming obvious to her that I had a balance problem. My right side on my legs, the muscles werenít aligned right and they started working on that and I started getting my balance. And you canít believe how great I got, just walking! I doubled my speed in about a month. And it was really the fact that my mind was saying I canít, and my balance was off, and I keep real fast because Iíll fall over. Once I got the balance corrected Ė my leg Ė I did a lot of exercise, which I didnít understand because I was thinking, "Howís that going to do to help me lose weight?" I know now! Thatís a long explanation but it is mind over body.
THE DEADBOLT: For those out there in their sixties that say they are too old or donít think they can do it, what do you say to them?
JERRY: Oh, no! You can do it! Anybody can do it, youíve just got to start moving. The more you move, like in my case, the faster you go, and you've got to move. There are a lot of people at the sports center weíre at that are in their seventies and eighties. Thereís a lady thatís in her eighties who can run faster than I do right now.
THE DEADBOLT: Wow! That's fantastic.
JERRY: You know, itís just a matter of doing it and keeping it a part of your life. Yeah, you can do this, this is not impossible. Do you do it as fast as we do? No. This was a crazy pace that we were on, but we were time limited. Can you lose 5 to 6 pounds a week? Yes, you can. But normally I donít think you can. 2 to 3 pounds per week? Yeah, you can. Build your body and your muscles at the same time.
THE DEADBOLT: I spoke to you when you were eliminated, so I've been wondering how exactly did you lose 177 pounds? Iím sure it wasnít just yogurt and egg whites?
JERRY: [laughs] No, no it was first of all, always doing my cardio. But it was building muscles in my body to burn fat. I was very weak. I didnít have very many muscles left because of laying around for 25 to 30 years. I needed to get the muscles built up. And Iím not talking about weight-building muscles, Iím talking about muscles to increase your metabolism. Your metabolism then will burn fat as you just rest. And so I had to get in the weight training, which I did. I started three days a week then went to five, but kept changing muscles. Thatís number one. The more important one, believe it or not, is the food with the diet. Making sure that youíre eating the right food - multigrains, very wholesome, low-fat meats like chicken and turkey and pork tenderloin. And read the labels, and so forth.
They put us in a "bod pod" to tell us how many calories to eat. In my case it was 1767, Stellaís was 1270, and it was a minimum number because you have to have enough calories for fuel. If you have less, your body will shut down and not allow the fat to leave, because it goes into starvation mode. So we tried to hit that, and at first I didnít quite understand that. I used to try to hit that within 10 calories a day and we recorded everything we ate. We had a ďbody bugĒ. You wear it on your left arm and it records what you burn and has all kinds of censors and you download it in the computer and you upload everything you eat. And I read the labels and made sure we were getting the right calories.
Thatís, I think, one of the advantages we had over the younger guys. They were exercising harder and longer than we were, but I donít know if they were as religious about tracking their food. Another advantage is that we did it together, a married couple. We've been together for 42 years. And if I didnít go, I was afraid she wouldnít go. That's not to say say she wouldnít go, but I had to go for her and she had to go for me. We went separately, we didnít exercise together, and we didnít make a competition.
THE DEADBOLT: Do you have any plans for the money?
JERRY: Oh, yeah! But not until I won it. It was found money. It was nothing to do with what we were doing here. I never dreamed weíd win money and never went after the money. Until recently, well, okay. The plans is to splurge! This was found money. So what weíre going to do is give some to our church. Weíre going to give some of it to our great state of California, because, well, they're taking it from me, and then Iím probably going to buy Stella a car and then weíre going to have a big family vacation. Iíve already asked the kids to start looking and itís the place they want to go and take our family.
I call this found money. I never counted on it. I never entered this thing for money. This was for a life change. I was heading for a bad end toward disability and everything like that. I never dreamed I could be here. You know how we got involved in this? We went up to open call thinking theyíd never take us. Why would they take us? Weíre too old. I had blood pressure problems. I had diabetes. I had joint problems. I had gout. By the way, my goutís gone, too. I had bone spurs with the bottom of my feet with the plantaritis. Thatís gone and they canít find the diabetes. Of course I've still got it, but they canít find it. And my blood pressure medicine is gone after 42 years.
THE DEADBOLT: Youíre a completely different person.
JERRY: Oh, yeah. Do I feel good? You better believe it. Especially right now because right at the end it got very wearing. But now we got our "life change". Now instead of exercising 3.5 hours a day, Iím going to go down to 90 minutes. We eat more. Dr. Zinger wants me to gain weight to go up! Isnít that kind of weird? Now I have to gain weight! Itís lean muscles. I have to lift heavier weights to get more muscles. I've got armpits! I didnít know what armpits were. It sounds strange, but all this stuff was new to me.
I have to watch when I sit down on a wooden chair now because it hurts my rear end. Itís great! Tell everybody, "Go for it!" Youíre never too old to do this. Letís get the message out.http://www.thedeadbolt.com/news/105698/biggest_loser_jerry_hayes_interview.php