"MasterChef" star Graham Elliot feels incredible after his stunning 155-pound weight loss following bariatric surgery.
The 6-foot-1 Elliot, who once weighed 400 pounds, decided to get a sleeve gastrectomy (or gastric-sleeve surgery) in July 2013 for the sake of his three young sons. In addition to wanting to be a more physically active and involved dad, Graham told TV Guide the turning point came after a humiliating incident at school.
"I went to my son's kindergarten class to do a little Q&A with the kids and one of the boys took a soccer ball, put it under his shirt, and said, 'I'm Mylo's dad! Look how fat I am!' " Elliot told TV Guide. "I decided right then and there to make a change. I vowed never again to embarrass my children."
Graham underwent a sleeve gastrectomy (or gastric-sleeve surgery) in July 2013. Elliot was surprised how quickly he shed the weight because he thought it would take two to three years to lose 155 pounds.
In gastric sleeve surgery, three-quarters of the stomach is removed to create a small sleeve-shaped stomach, about the size of a banana. Rosie O'Donnell recently lost 53 pounds after getting gastric sleeve.
Elliot, who was once a couch potato, celebrated his weight loss by running his first 10k race in May 2014. The once-sedentary chef trained for the event by running daily, slowly building up to three miles a day.
Graham, 37, said the pride he felt after crossing the finish line (in an impressive time of one hour and 16 minutes) was exhilarating.
Elliot said he no longer binge-eats because he's no longer physically able to consume as much food as he used to. Graham also works out every other day.
Elliott is so excited about his newfound energy that he's training to run the 2014 Chicago Marathon (scheduled for Oct. 12) with fellow "MasterChef" judges Joe Bastianich and Gordon Ramsay.
Graham, who was overweight his entire life, said he was concerned that people might no longer be able to relate to him after he slimmed down, but said being healthy for his family's sake takes priority over anything else.
"[I wondered] Will people still be able to relate to me if I'm not the big, jolly guy?" he said. "Will they kick me off 'MasterChef?' Will people still come to my restaurant? I went through it all, but then I realized that even if I lost everything business-wise, the only thing that matters is my family. I have to be healthy for them."