Last night we met Wayne Vandenlangenberg, a man who at his heaviest weighed 674 pounds. He said his doctors warned him of the health concerns and even that his life expectancy was diminishing. Living life in a wheel chair, Wayne wasn’t ready to go down that easy.
He caught an episode of Biggest Loser, and after that he was hooked. Becoming so much more than a fan, he followed the lifestyle at home, changing his diet and exercise habits to reflect what he saw on the show. The changes worked. During a live weigh-in from the Biggest Loser ranch, Wayne stepped on that famous scale weighing 256 pounds. It’s a dramatic 418 pound loss than gives him a greater weight loss than any contestant in the show’s nearly 10-season history.
Listen now as we talk to Wayne about the one contestant who truly inspired him to change his life, and the topic of skin removal surgery.
Wayne says he’s currently not pursuing skin removal surgery. “I consulted with a doctor and he told me I should wait a year.” He also notes that the insurance company won’t cover the procedure because it’s considered cosmetic.
Jerry Skeabeck inspired Wayne greatly, a contestant from season six, and Wayne says he’s the one he most identified with. Wayne recalls watching Jerry on the show while sitting in his wheelchair. “I looked at my wife and said ‘what’s five years going to bring to me, will I still be in this chair?'” Wayne says it’s his dream to meet Jerry some day and give him a big hug.
He did it the tried and true way by starting out with baby steps. First, he eliminated anything white from his diet. Soda cans were poured down the kitchen sink, white bread was replaced with whole grain bread, snack cakes and processed foods were exchanged for fruits, vegetables and low-fat frozen yogurt. Unable to afford a gym membership, he started his workout routine from home. He lifted soup cans from his kitchen pantry for weights, and as the weight started to come off, began walking around his neighborhood.
Wayne was ready to start living again, ready to return to work and ready to get out of the wheel chair. And he did just that, proving that you don’t need The Ranch to make it happen. Wayne proudly did it on his own, at home.
March 31st, 2010