Cerritos, CA

Age: 25
HT: 5'3"  WT: 240lbs
Occupation: Caregiver For In Home Supportive Services

HT: 5'8"  WT: 225lbs
Occupation: Security Guard for NBC Universal

The stars aligned when Jonathan and Denise serendipitously met at a family Halloween party. Jonathan was immediately attracted to Denise’s confidence and outgoing personality… but he was too shy to approach her. Denise could tell he was interested so she gave him her number and the rest is history. The couple is looking forward to a traditional and elegant wedding ceremony with plenty of flowers and pastel colors. Denise wants her grandmother to walk her down the aisle.

Denise was always the bigger girl growing up. Her grandma would scold her about her eating habits and tell her that “no men would ever be interested in a fat girl.” She resigned herself to the belief that she would never fall in love, that is until she met Jonathan. Now that she is in love, Denise is making positive strides in loving herself both inside and out. However, Denise has plenty of work to do until she is entirely healthy. Although Denise has always been overweight she feels that now is the first time ever that her weight is severely impacting her life. She has less energy, it’s effecting her moods and it’s effecting what she is and isn’t able to do activity wise. She isn’t able to participate in actives that she used to enjoy. She wants to join themed 5k’s and fun-runs but she can’t run more than one mile. Denise’s self-esteem is also impacted. She feels ashamed of her body. She constantly compares herself to skinnier, fitter women. She feels insecure in the way she looks and in her relationship. She get’s emotional even thinking of how she is continuing to gain weight: a fact she is reminded of every time she puts on clothing that no longer fits. Denise believes that much of her issues with weight are rooted in stress and emotional eating. She feels out of control when it comes to portions, when to eat, what to eat and how to know if she is even full.

Although Jonathan was an active, fit and healthy kid growing up he was always conscious of the threat of diabetes as the disease runs in his family. Jonathan lost his father when was eleven years old due to lung cancer. Then in his late 20’s, Jonathan’s mother was diagnosed with diabetes and dementia. He also lost his grandmother to diabetes. Jonathan considers Denise and his mom his only family. Both Jonathan and Denise have taken on the responsibility of caring for his sick mother, a task that is both emotionally and physically exhausting. Jonathan believes that his weight gain is caused by two factors: an unhealthy, unbalanced work and diet schedule as well as “love weight,” derived from a food centered relationship with Denise. He admits that sometimes the over-consumption is propelled by feelings of stress or frustration. Denise and Jonathan desperately want to start a family after they get married, but Denise’s doctor warns against it as she is currently a high-risk pregnancy. Losing weight in time for their wedding will prove to one another that they have the commitment, discipline and passion to overcome real life challenges. Denise and Jonathan want to take on this weight-loss challenge before taking on marriage and their life together.