Wheaton Biggest Loser couple shares exercise routines
Jerry and Estella Hayes, former contestants of NBC's "The Biggest Loser," meet Naperville Township Trustee Fred Spitzzeri and Brandi Tovar at Monday's Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon.
Bev Horne | Staff Photographer
Jerry Hayes used to eat ice cream while watching "The Biggest Loser."
In fact, he and his wife Estella, both 66, were eating hot dogs when the Wheaton couple received a phone call in 2009 saying their application had been accepted to be contestants on the NBC weight-loss competition show.
Thanks to that experience, Jerry and Estella on Monday said they'd only nibble on a few bites of cake during their appearance at the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon.
Although they were both sent home by the end of the show's second episode, they maintained a daily exercise and diet routine they detailed to roughly 150 people Monday at the Hilton Lisle/Naperville.
Jerry said he weighed 369 pounds at the season premiere with a host of health problems, making him the oldest contestant in the show's history at the time. He now weighs 199 pounds.
Because of his impressive weight loss after leaving the show, Jerry won the season's $100,000 at-home prize.
"What I'm really proud of is that I lost 151 pounds in Wheaton," he said.
He became a member at the Wheaton Sport Center and often walked downtown. Since then, he no longer needs to treat high blood pressure and gout.
"I'm like a 20-year-old here," he said.
Estella, who originally weighed in at 242, said she knew she had to make a lifestyle change. She took dance, yoga and kickboxing classes and dropped 92 pounds.
The high school sweethearts still exercise six days a week and base their meals on the food pyramid.
"There's no rocket science to this thing," Jerry said.
They also measure and record their weight each week.
"You need to be accountable," Estella said.
They both encouraged the audience to stick with workout routines and to treat food as fuel.
"In my case, it saved my life," Jerry said.
Naperville Township Trustee Fred Spitzzeri said the speech will inspire the audience's New Year's resolutions. The Naperville attorney started exercising on a treadmill in his basement after developing high blood pressure. He lost 30 pounds and three pants sizes as a result.
The self-described hockey fan plans to exercise in the winter with ice skating.
"Your health is your greatest wealth," he said.
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