By Dani M. Stone
When Allen “Buddy” Shuh’s 7-year-old son innocently asked him at the dinner table if he was fat, the 42-year-old pastor from Wayne, Michigan simply answered “yes.” Weighing in at 403 pounds, Buddy points to lack of exercise and stress-eating as the primary causes for his weight gain that led him to become a contestant, with his brother Ben Shuh, on this season of Biggest Loser.
In high school Buddy was very active, becoming captain of both football and wrestling teams, and was even voted “most athletic” in his senior year. He went on to play football in college but after he graduated, receiving a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, he stopped exercising and eating right and the pounds began to pile on.
In 2005, Buddy and his wife received devastating news. Their unborn daughter was diagnosed with Spina bifida, a condition occurring in the first few months of life where the spine fails to close during development. They also learned she was missing several organs. She was carried to full term but was never able to come home and spent her short life in the pediatric intensive care unit. Buddy and his wife visited their tiny angel every day until she passed away, just shy of six-months old. Buddy admits the stress of working, going to school, commuting to see his daughter at the hospital, and the anguish he felt when she died, compounded his unhealthy eating habits. “With the severity of what was happening, eating one meal correctly or eating one day healthily, seemed very trivial and unimportant to me,” he explained. (more…)