No One Thought I Would Make It


Little boy hiking in a meadow.

…because of such invasive surgery and my severe weight loss in such a short amount of time, chances were, I wasn’t going to survive the operation.

Most people don’t know that I was a “Biggest Loser” in August of 1957.

My first official weigh in was 8lbs 9ozs., and within two weeks I had lost over 50% of my body weight with no end in sight.

Jay Jacobs Birth Cert.

If you ever watched NBC’S Biggest Loser Season 11 you may have noticed that I had a very large scar on my stomach. Lots of people assumed I had gastric bypass surgery by the looks of the scar, or some other major surgery.

Jay Jacobs and Daughter Weigh In on Biggest Loser

Well I did have major surgery, but it was waaaaaay back in 1957 when the doctors did a Hail Mary attempt to open me up and see what might be causing my rapid weight loss.

In a short two weeks, I went from 8lbs 9ozs. to less than 4lbs.

So open me up they did, and what did they find, well, I had a very bad case of Volvulus.

Layman’s terms… all of my intestines where so twisted up that I couldn’t keep anything down. Hence I was starving myself to death.

So the good news was they found the cause and they untwisted my intestines.

The bad news, this was 1957, and because of such invasive surgery and my severe weight loss in such a short amount of time, chances were, I wasn’t going to survive the operation.

Now you can see why my scar was less than cosmetic, they didn’t think I was going to make it anyway.

But survive I did, all the way up to 435lbs+ and to one day be known to Alison Sweeny on the “Biggest Loser” as “The Comeback Kid” for having nine lives… having been sent home and came back to stay on campus making it to the final four, losing -181lbs.

So why am I’m sharing this story?

Well my buddy Craig Oborn, creator of Connect52 challenged me to get my much more “connected” and transparent with my personal story so that what I might share might help someone else uncover what might be holding them back from sharing the stories they’re still telling themselves about their size, self-image, and personal potential.

This is the first time I’ve ever shared this story in print, and in writing it out, it’s actually become very therapeutic as I have a feeling that somewhere in the recesses of my mind this is a story that my mind and body is still hanging onto that I need to out, to share, observe, and declare that it’s time to once and for all let go of.

You see my current mindset says that it’s ok that even though I am sooooo much smaller and healthier than I was when I weighed 435lbs, I’m still considered obese by BMI standards.

And even though I’m still obese I’m so much healthier than I’ve been in years. I eat so much better, I have tons of energy. I’ve run the NYC Marathon and I’ve done a Tough Mudder. And today was my 63 straight day of running a minimum of a 1 mile a day which I declared I’d do for 365 days straight. In fact today I ran a 5K.

So I’m OK, right, RIGHT!

Well truth be told I am much healthier, but I know I still have much more weight to lose and I can, and I will, but to date, I’ve been in a self-imposed holding pattern.

Something that’s known as an Ok Plateau.

The so-called “OK Plateau” — is the point at which our autopilot of expertise confines us to a sort of comfort zone, where we perform the task in question in an efficient enough way that we cease caring for improvement. We reach this OK Plateau in pursuing just about every goal, from learning to drive to mastering a foreign language to dieting, where after an initial stage of rapid improvement, we find ourselves in that place at once comforting in its good-enoughness and demotivating in its sudden dip in positive reinforcement via palpable betterment.” – Maria Popova

And recently that holding pattern, that “Ok Plateau” has started to slip upwards…

By BMI standards for my 5’10” frame, I should weigh 170lbs. Well, I may be running every day, but little by little I’ve been justifying my “Ok-ness” and I’ve let the scale slowly slip back up from 220lbs in August to 270lbs this morning.

I’ve called it my “winter weight”, as each day I keep telling myself I’ll get my head in the game again tomorrow, but the “Ok Plateau” mindset has really had a hold on me.

So mark this day, what I call a “Weigh In Wednesday”, March 4th 2015 that I once and for all [how many times I’ve declared this in the past, and boy have I done that] that I’m truly ready to move off of the mindset that it’s “Ok” to be less than I can be.

With this post I am once and for all ready to let go of the “weight of my past…”

So begins the first musings of “my story”, the WHOLE story I’m going to share in my next book with the working title of “My Last 100lbs.”

Yes my story will be in “My Last 100lbs”, but what I’m most excited about is that the book is going to be a collection of stories from people who are willing to go back to their earliest memories and do a kind of therapeutic archeology dig into the various physical and emotional milestones that reveal the incidents, declarations, and beliefs they have collected along the “weigh” that put them on a path to living life less than their best.

Things that they have blocked, things that have them stuck, things they’ve argued for have caused them to start, stop, feel shame, only to once again repeat the madness.

For some people it will be a story of massive weight loss, for some, it will be a story of physical triumph, for others. it might be overcoming debilitating eating issues.

Be it 500lb, or 5lbs, “My Last 100lbs” will be a collection of inspiring, motivating, empowering and life-affirming stories of how people from all walks of life, of all ages, dug down deep to awaken within themselves whatever was necessary to leave their past behind, and start living the “life they were missing”, and now they’re living it, and living it well!

I hope what I’ve shared may give you the courage to maybe out your reality, your truth, and discover and discard the “weight of your past” too.

I’d love to hear from you, and I’d really love it if you’d like to share your story in “My Last 100lbs.

If you’re interested, please contact me.

So please stay tuned

For all of you who wanted me to bring back “Weigh In Wednesday”, it’s back as I’ll be sharing the “tale of my scale” on every Wednesday.

Last modified: November 9, 2019

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *