There have been a lot of changes in Jerry Lisenby’s life in the past year.
“I was a 300-pound guy who wasn’t going to live much longer,” he said. “Now I’m a 190-pound guy who’s riding across the United States on a bicycle.”
He and his wife, Lynne, passed through Pittsburg on June 26th and shared their story during a stop at Tailwind Cyclists.
Lisenby, who resides in Peoria, Ill., frequently gets interviewed. That’s a consequence of being a contestant in 2007 on the NBC reality series “The Biggest Loser.”
“I’ll be 64 in November, and I was the oldest contestant they’ve ever had,” Lisenby said. “The producer was afraid to have me on the show. He told me that I’d ruin their ratings if I died.”
He was put through rigorous tests before he was allowed on the air. Then he began breaking more records.
“I lost 31 pounds the first week, which is the most anyone has done in one week, then I lost another 10 pounds the second week, and set a record for the most weight loss in two weeks,” Lisenby said. “I did it by eating six small meals a day and exercising 10 hours a day, monitored by a doctor the entire time.”
Although Lisenby was voted off the show, he achieved his weight goal. He had vowed that, if he reached this goal, he would ride across the United States on a bike. They left York Town, Virginia on May 1st, and are hoping to arrive in Astoria, Oregon in mid-August, following the
TransAmerica Bicycle Trail.
“Every day we’ve encountered what we call a ‘trail angel’. We’ve met some of the nicest people in the world, and you get to see a lot of America at four miles an hour,” Lisenby said. They’ve also collected over $4,000 for the Children’s Home. And, if exercise extends life, the couple can expect to be around a long time. “Before, I’d have been lucky to see my grandchildren graduate from kindergarten,” Lisenby said. “Now I expect to see them graduate from college.”
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