Ok guys, NOW it's time to meet Rod our next #EWL participant! A guy with an amazing smile & laugh..just wait! pic.twitter.com/47BaDvyPAU
— Chris Powell (@RealChrisPowell) September 1, 2014
Let’s meet Rod Durham, the participant featured on tonight’s episode of Extreme Weight Loss … On tonight’s episode of the show, Durham comes out to his father, telling him he’s gay. He’s been afraid for many years, though the rest of his family knew. When Durham tells his father on the show, his father tells him that he loves him as much now as he ever did. It’s truly touching. Read on for the rest of the info on Durham to hear all about his transformation.
1. Durham Is a Beloved Teacher
— Roderick Durham (@RoderickDurham) May 23, 2012
Rod Durham is a teacher at Leon High School in Tallahassee, Florida and he is loved by his students and fellow teachers. One of his fellow teachers, Linda Teague stated:
Rod is just special. It’s hard to describe. He would give you the shirt off his back and wouldn’t even blink.
Anyone who knows the Leon High School teacher has no trouble speaking about his positive personality. “People pleaser,” “gregarious” and “kind-hearted” are a few of the choice words his students, friends and family use to describe him.
Because of the overwhelming support from his school, it only seem fitting that he have a weigh in take place there. On September 26, 2013, a pep rally was thrown for Durham and he was cheered on at the school track. Have a look at footage from the pep rally below:
2. Weight Watchers Didn’t Work for Him
When Durham attempted Weight Watchers in the past, it didn’t work for him. He lost 60 pounds, but gained it all back, stating that:
I knew me. I liked ice cream too much and I liked McDonald’s. I would be frustrated and disgusted with myself, but it wasn’t enough to go try some new way to eat or exercise.
It looks like Extreme Weight Loss was the way to go for him and Durham took on many big challenges for his journey. He went white water rafting, participated in a Color Run, did the “Neon Dash,” and more.
3. His Sister Elise Has Been His Rock
When Durham told his sister Elise about his idea to audition for Extreme Weight Loss, she was ecstatic and fully supported him. The auditions were in her town of Atlanta, and she told him to pack his bags immediately. She told Tallahassee.com:
He called me and told me he had this wild idea. He told me they were having auditions in Atlanta. I said to him to pack up his stuff and come on. I didn’t ask when, or why, but just to pack up his stuff and come … This is what makes it so ironic. About 30 days before the audition, my dad and I called him. We told him how we were worried about his weight, we were concerned and that we loved him.
4. At One Point, Durham Slips
During his transformation, trainer Chris has to “call him out” as he begins to slip in his routine for the program. In fear of Durham going back to his old ways, Chris sits down with him for a talk. Durham wasn’t showing up to appointments and Chris had to find out what was going on. Durham admits that phase 2 was very hard for him and he got off track.
Fortunately, Durham was successful in his transformation with the help of Chris Powell and wife Heidi, along with others like a woman named Patty Ghazvini. Durham wrote:
THIS is the great Patty Ghazvini of Sweat Therapy Fitness, who has been instrumental in me changing my life for the better. Love Miss Patty and all the women and men at SWEAT!
5. Rod Tends to Focus on the Negative
When Rod first auditioned for the show, the producers asked him to recall a time when someone made a comment about his weight and gave them a very recent story about hearing two students talking about him:
One of them asked the other if he had ever taken the drama class. The one boy asked, ‘The one the fat guy teaches?’ The boy went on to say he hadn’t taken the class, but that I was cool as hell.
After hearing this, Durham went to one of his colleagues in upset, but was reminded that the student still called him an awesome teacher. The casting director responded by saying:
Isn’t it funny how you only see the negative and never the positive?
Through his journey on the show, Rod works on staying positive, fighting the negativity, and works on stopping his “it sucks to be me” thoughts.