Jerry Hayes talks about his time on 'The Biggest Loser: Couples'
By John Bracchitta, 01/14/2009
Gerald "Jerry" Hayes, a 63-year-old retired engineer from Wheaton, IL, didn't have any trouble making his way through his first workout on The Biggest Loser: Couples. However, the aftermath of his workout took a quick -- and memorable -- turn for the worse.
"I started feeling dizzy about five minutes before I fainted... it was pretty quick," Hayes told Reality TV World in a media conference call the day after his The Biggest Loserelimination aired on Tuesday night's broadcast. "Things started moving around. I was looking up at the windows of the gym and they started shifting on me."
However, although he was briefly hospitalized -- which he said only kept him away from The Biggest Loser ranch for five or six hours -- after he passed out at the competition's initial workout, Hayes said the possibility of leaving the show was never discussed as an option.
"[I fainted] because I was low on potassium and water, and the suggestion [was to] make sure you had enough water and take my potassium pills and if I got faint again [to] lay down on the floor because my blood pressure dropped and that's what did it. So if I lay down on the floor than my heart and my head would be at the same level," Hayes told Reality TV World.
Hayes also said that both he or Estella Hayes, his 63-year-old wife, had initially been unhappy about the first-week twist that had sent nine contestants home to work out on their own.
"We were upset, I'll tell you that much," Hayes told Reality TV World. "But once we understood we were gonna earn our partner back -- we thought that they were going home permanently -- then we kinda understood. Once they started explaining to us that it was to [inspire] everybody else at home, the audience that works out at home, then we calmed down."
He added that while he and his wife had each wanted to go home so that the other could remain on the ranch, they had come to a decision rather quickly.
"I wanted her to stay and I wanted to go home, and she wanted me to stay. But it was not really a debate, it only took about... 10 minutes," he told Reality TV World.
When it came to his own elimination one week later, Jerry did not blame his one-pound weight loss on any side effects from his hospital visit. Instead, he told reporters that his body's adjustment to his Week 1 weight loss combined with blisters on his foot may have led to his sub-par weight loss in Week 2.
"I had a foot problem, because the first week I lost 25 lbs. and that's when I was being limited by exercise, but I was walking a lot." he told reporters. "I was walking outside and I was trying to make it up there, but by walking I ended up with these blisters on my foot, and it made me do the bike more."
"But I think I just lost so much weight the first week, that I couldn't recover from it [during the second week]," he added.
Jerry said that he had even had a dream that he and Daniel Wright, a 19-year-old student from Willow Spring, NC, would fall below the yellow line at Week 2's weigh-in. He also said that while he certainly hadn't wanted to be eliminated from the competition so early, he was fine with the other contestants' decision to sent him home and let Daniel stay at the ranch.
"I love Daniel, I wanted him there. I actually talked to 'the other contestants and said they had to [vote for me]," Jerry told reporters. "I had my wife at home, I have my kids who are all very supportive. Daniel is very young, he has his whole life ahead of him. They came to the right conclusion."
"Daniel is a very special person," he said, before adding that the pair have kept in touch. "[Daniel's] gonna be a Baptist minister, and he's just a kind and nice man."
In addition to Daniel, Jerry said he's also kept in contact with Shanon Thomas, a 29-year-old massage therapist from Centerline, MI, and Joelle Gwynn, a 41-year-old non-profit founder from Southfield, MI.
Now that he's home, Jerry said that his weight-loss regimen consists of three-and-a-half hour workouts at a local gym which he visits six days a week and maintaining his metabolism with a daily minimum intake of calories.
He now weighs 96 lbs. less than when he arrived at The Biggest Loserranch and has encountered numerous health benefits along the way.
"I was a diabetic, I'm not a diabetic anymore. It's just gone," he told reporters. "My blood pressure is well under control and my cholesterol, I think I'm lower than an 18-year-old. It's unbelievable."
He also added that his improved health had effected how he and Estella now spend time with their grandchildren.
"I'll tell ya, I'm much more focused, I'm more outgoing," he told reporters. "I wanna be around with my grandkids, but it's not just [watching] one TV show to another, it's doing stuff together and really focusing on changing our lives."
And what did he think of trainer Bob Harper's already famous tongue-lashing of Joelle?
Jerry said that Joelle may have irked the trainer by not following her "homework" programs at the gym.
"So it just led up to [what you saw]. But what you saw, I couldn't believe it and I was there too. He just got frustrated," Jerry told reporters. "I guess he never does that. It was a unique situation."
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