LIFE has changed for Longlea’s Gerald and Todd Nester.
In the past, Gerald was exhausted, but too scared to fall asleep in fear that he might die, and Todd’s nights became a daily routine of tears and comfort eating to try and escape the bullying he suffered at school.
Several times Gerald had to come and pick up his son, because Todd had been bashed and even knocked unconscious by fellow students who misunderstood him.
Gerald blamed himself.
Their story, previously lined with sadness, is becoming full of hope and triumph, thanks to the mental and physical challenges they are overcoming in The Biggest Loser house.
“I blamed myself for Todd’s problems and his pain, because he was a shadow of me,” Gerald said.
“I came on the show to help Todd. I didn’t even think of myself, but now I realise that by helping myself, I am helping him.
“The battle has to be a whole family commitment.”
After 20 years of being overweight and trying almost every diet possible, Gerald had “given up”, as had his son.
This was until his daughter, Sophie, dobbed in the pair to The Biggest Loser.
“My daughter has battled a heart condition her whole life and she told me that if I wasn’t going to help myself to live, then she would,” Gerald said.
“She signed us up to audition, but there’s about 4000 people who do that so I didn’t think much of it. At first I was shocked to be selected, but it’s the best thing that could have happened to us.”
Unhealthy eating was at the root of the pair’s weight issues.
But their stomachs have shrunk and tastebuds have changed since being in the house and they say they will use their knowledge about food to help others.
“When we get home, I want to start a blog in Bendigo because once you know what to do, it is possible for anyone to change their life,” Gerald said.
“You can go to a dietician and learn about it, but it’s not until you make the sacrifice, eliminate distractions and fully focus on it that it is possible.
“Being here, you don’t have any other commitments, you have someone teaching you and have no other option but to go to the gym and eat well. There are no excuses here. Now I know that anyone can do it – because it’s about learning that you can still eat a lot, you just have to eat the right things.”
To track the father and son’s progress, watch The Biggest Loser, starting this week on Channel 10.