Graham Elliot makes his living cooking and tasting food on the FOX culinary show MasterChef, but after battling weight problems his entire life, the nearly 400-pound star underwent stomach reduction surgery on Tuesday.
"Weight is something I've battled all my life," Elliot, 36, told People magazine days before having a sleeve gastrectomy, a laparoscopic surgical procedure to shrink the stomach to about 25 percent of its original size. "It's hard to get in and out of a car, tie my shoe or play with my kids," said Elliot, who stands 6' 2" tall.
Elliot was scheduled to attend the MLB All-Star Game Tuesday night in New York to join the winners of a challenge from last week's show, but will instead be recovering from his surgery, People reports.
"This is what I need to do for my family," added the Chicago-based chef and father of three sons, Mylo, 6, Conrad, 2, and 10-month-old Jedediah. "What's going to make me healthy is the most important thing right now so I can enjoy my kids and be around long enough to see them grow up."
As far his fellow MasterChef judges Gordon Ramsay and Joe Bastianich, Elliot said they've been completely supportive of his efforts to shed the pounds. "I get inspiration from both these guys. [On the set] I've got them both talking about how they run marathons. They tell me, 'You've got to lose weight and change your life.'"
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- Graham Elliot