FLORENCE, Colo. — A Colorado native and his wife are hoping to provide some inspiration for those who want to make a lifestyle change this holiday season.
Ten years ago, Ramon Medeiros was living in Florence, Colorado, weighed 350 pounds, and was finding it hard to do everyday tasks.
“I tried everything out there to lose weight,” he said.
Ramon said his mom and sister made him attend a casting call for the weight loss show, "The Biggest Loser."
Out of 400,000 applicants, Ramon was picked to compete in Season 12 of the show. His wife, Jessica from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was also selected to compete.
“We met each other on the show. We did so many things that were new to us but old to us, because we struggled and got bigger and had to find a way to lose weight,” Ramon said.
During the show, Ramon lost 154 pounds, and Jessica lost 80 pounds.
After the show, Jessica and Ramon got married and continued to get involved in fitness activities, but the weight loss didn’t last.
“For three years after the show, I did awesome, she did awesome. And then we started letting life get in the way,” Ramon said.
Ramon and Jessica gained the weight back, plus an additional 50 pounds each.
“A few years after that, life came into play, and I found myself at 358 pounds at the end of 2019,” Jessica said.
Both Ramon and Jessica said they do not blame the show for the failures, but they weren’t prepared to return to everyday life after "The Biggest Loser" ended.
“We didn’t do our homework to mentally prepare for life, to mentally prepare for doing everyday things,” Ramon said.
Jessica and Ramon are not the only contestants to gain their weight back.
Around the time they participated on the show, researchers from the National Institutes of Health released a study that followed 14 "Biggest Loser" contestant for six years.
The majority of participants gained back the weight.
After gaining their weight back, the Medeiros said they tried numerous diets.
“We even went plant-based for a year with the producer of 'Biggest Loser,'” Jessica said.
But ultimately, the couple decided to get weight loss surgery at Blossom Bariatrics in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“We tried everything and this is was our last resort," Ramon said.
Ramon and Jessica underwent the vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) procedure.
“Having that surgery, which we did undergo in January of 2021, has been the best thing of our lives. In fact this week, we just hit our 10 month post-op and I'm happy to report I'm down 145 pounds and very healthy," Jessica said.
Ramon is also down 120 pounds.
These days, Ramon and Jessica live in Pittsburgh. But they continue to travel back to Florence, Colorado, where Ramon owns a tattoo shop.
The Medeiros said they want anyone who is struggling with weight loss this holiday season to know they are not alone, weight loss is not one-size-fits-all, and it's OK to seek additional help.