- St. Paul, MN
- Law clerk
Jesse talks his family's reaction to being on the show.
Check out how Jesse looks today!
Jesse has been overweight his entire life, but has put on 90 pounds in the last two years. Lack of exercise, poor diet choices, and using food to deal with life's problems all contributed to his current weight of 369 pounds and severe sleep apnea. High school was a challenge for Jesse. Despite lettering in football and weightlifting, he was nicknamed "Pumbaa" after the overweight animated warthog in "The Lion King," a nickname that has stuck with him to this day. He attended St. John's University and earned degrees in philosophy and Spanish, and attended law school at the University of Minnesota. He now works as a legal clerk, but he knows his future professional opportunities may be limited by his weight. A defining moment for Jesse was when his father told him that he missed the old Jesse - that's when the 28-year-old realized his weight was affecting his whole life, and he couldn't fix the problem on his own. Jesse looks forward to the day when he goes for a run not because he has to, but because he wants to.