Jerry Skeabeck talks about his 'The Biggest Loser' elimination
By John Bracchitta, 10/02/2008
According to Jerry Skeabeck, his body was in so much pain during his The Biggest Loser: Families stay that he can't even pinpoint when he suffered the torn hamstring injury that led to his ouster from reality competition.
"I was in so much pain from being so rusty and out of shape I believe it [happened] a few days before [it got so bad the medics looked at it,]" Skeabeck told Reality TV World during a media conference call on Wednesday.
The injury -- which caused swelling in his leg and initial fears that he may be suffering from a blood clot -- prevented the 51-year-old police sergeant from Cleveland from continuing his workout. But Skeabeck told reporters that the injury ended up having more than he had initially thought to do with the weight gain he experienced during his final The Biggest Loser ranch weigh-in.
"Basically when I tore my hamstring, a lot of blood excessed upon the muscle from my hamstring and ran down into my leg, which caused me to retain water weight," he told reporters. "I think [my right leg] was actually swollen up a full three, or [maybe] three and a half inches larger than my left leg. It took quite a while for it to heal and quite a while for it to rehabilitate to the point where I'm running today.
Skeabeck told reporters that after being "the chubby kid" in school, his obesity had gotten worse after a series of wrestling injuries had led to him exercise less over the years.
"I just got out of the gym and didn't do [anything]," he told reporters. "I became sedentary and ate terribly!"
Skeabeck added that while his daughter Coleen Skeabeck, a 23-year-old receptionist from Cleveland,OH, had previously applied to appear on The Biggest Loser, she had convinced him to add his name to her application after hearing of The Biggest Loser: Families.
He added that it was only after being accepted onto the show and arriving at The Biggest Loser ranch that he truly realized that he needed to significantly change his lifestyle or suffer the consequences.
"You know things are no good when you get a doctor who's such an authority such as [The Biggest Loser doctor Dr. Wayne Huizenga] giving you the cold hard facts and then giving you visual data [about yourself]," Skeabeck told Reality TV World. "This is a guy who knows what he's talking about, and [he said] 'You need to wake up. you need to wake up or die.'"
After hearing Dr. Huizenga's dire warnings, Skeabeck has continued to work on his weight since leaving the competition and now weighs 298 lbs. -- a sharp drop from the 380 lbs. he weighed at The Biggest Loser's initial weigh-in.
"I went out [to The Biggest Loser ranch] with four blood pressure medicines. I don't have any blood pressure medicines now," he told reporters before adding that both his sleep apnea and heart arrhythmia had also disappeared since his weight loss.
"I just wake up and look at this good looking guy every day and smile," he said with a laugh.
Skeabeck credited much of his weight loss to Coleen, who continually impressed him with her hard work and determination on the ranch.
"I think every [parent] knows that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink, and I got pretty lucky," Skeabeck told reporters. "Being out there with Coleen and seeing what she did on the challenges and how intense she was with her workout... It [showed] the tenacity I always knew she had."
However it was that admiration for his daughter and desire to remain close to her that made the decision-making process that resulted in sending him home during Tuesday's episode even more difficult for Skeabeck.
"It just breaks your heart when one of your kids is away from you," he told reporters. To go out there and have to leave your kid again in California... you know, we're 'Buckeyes.' We're from Cleveland. We go to work every day and pay the bills and we hear about all the 'Tinseltown stuff.' So to leave my kid there... knowing that she was going to be fending for herself. As a Dad, yeah it was real tough."
He added that while he could not speak to Coleen while she remained on the show, Dr. Huizenga had acted as an intermediary of sorts between the two so they could continually encourage each other.
While Skeabeck wouldn't say who he favored to win the competition, he told reporters that he had never looked at The Biggest Loser as an individual competition. Instead, he said he had only joined the show as a means to change his family's life and had noticed nothing but the same mind set from the other competitors on the show.
"I didn't actually listen to one person who said 'hey this is The Biggest Loser.' I just said to myself 'everyone's a big winner here because we all go through the same problems,'" Skeabeck said. "Some are more [and] some are less and we're all making corrections here in our life."
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