Suburban Retirees Are Big Losers

Wheaton couple is oldest ever on weight-loss reality show

Many people resolved this year to lose weight, but this goal requires a daunting long-term commitment to eating well and exercising regularly. If you need some inspiration to stay on track, look no farther than Wheaton, IL.

Jerry and Estella Hayes are both 63 and retired, and they recently moved back to Wheaton from California to be close to their children and grandchildren. But at 369 and 242 pounds respectively, the husband and wife of 41 years had difficulty keeping up with their loved ones.

After trying both diet and exercise, they took a drastic step and auditioned for NBC's "The Biggest Loser."

The couple was accepted as the reality show's oldest contestants to ever compete. The seventh season also features the series' youngest male contestant (388 pounds at 18 years old), heaviest female (379 pounds), and heaviest male (454 pounds).

"It's a different experience to watch the show and be on it," Estella told the Sun-Times. "I didn't realize going in how little muscles I had. I had not done that much, sitting there taking care of my grandkids. I really have to work at building muscle."

But the couple didn't let the hard work stop them from reaching for their goals. Jillian Michaels, one of the show's trainers, believes they will be an inspiration to many viewers.

"If they can do it, anyone can do it," she says.

The seventh season of "The Biggest Loser" premieres Tuesday at 7 p.m. on WMAQ-Channel 5.

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
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