"MasterChef" star Graham Elliot feels on the top of the world after losing 155 pounds during the past 10 months. The 6-foot-1 Elliot, who slimmed down from 405 pounds to 250 pounds, decided to get bariatric surgery in July 2013 for his children's sake.
"I got to 400 pounds and realized I don't have to accept this role in life," Graham told the Huffington Post. "Having three boys, a new baby and health issues from blood pressure to sleep apnea, I realized I just wasn't able to do this on my own, so I decided to have the weight loss surgery."
Graham underwent a sleeve gastrectomy (or gastric-sleeve surgery) in July 2013 and has never felt or looked better. Elliot was surprised how quickly he shed the weight, because he thought it would take two to three years to lose 150 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. In 2012, comedian And Rosie O'Donnell lost 54 pounds just eight months after gastric sleeve.
Bariatric surgery has skyrocketed in popularity, as more medical experts embrace the procedure for producing dramatic weight loss and for reversing diabetes and heart disease. There are many emotional disruptions that accompany weight-loss surgery's stunning physical changes, according to Weight Loss Surgery For Dummies, which underscores that losing weight is as much of an emotional transformation as a physical one.
Former Couch Potato Now Training for Chicago Marathon
Elliot, who was once a couch potato, celebrated his weight loss by running his first 5k race in November 2013. 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 34:49) 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 and runs regularly. Elliott is so excited about his newfound energy that he wants to run the 2014 Chicago Marathon with fellow "MasterChef" judges Joe Bastianich and Gordon Ramsay.
"In the past I would get stressed and ask craft services for cookies and candy," he said. "But now I know my stomach is the size of a banana and I need to have food that just gives me energy. So I can either have a moment of sweetness but feel really bad or I can order something delicious and light like sashimi.”
Meanwhile, Graham said the fifth season of "MasterChef" has lots of surprises and excitement in store. "We've had four seasons of success," he said. "We've taken all of the great things that we've learned about 'MasterChef' and gone, hopefully, one step further, bigger, bolder and brighter once again."