Direct From Jeff:

All of Me

7scaleOk, I’m going to share something with you that should be obvious by now.

I have ALWAYS struggled with my weight. Even as a 5 year old child, I was chubby.

I hated it then and I hate it now.

But THEN I hated ME because of it.

NOW I accept ME but I still hate the weight problem.

As an overweight kid I was the brunt of jokes because I was FAT. Remember the “Fatty, Fatty, two by four-can’t get through the kitchen door” rhyme? I heard it directed at ME from the 1st grade through the 10th grade. It bothered me a LOT. Hurt my feelings more than I cared to admit. I even started making fat jokes about myself when I was growing up just to beat others to the punch!

SOMEWHERE along the way I developed an emotional attachment to food. If I got picked at about being fat at school I would come home and EAT because food became my emotional comfort. I never had a girlfriend in school. NOT because of my weight- but because of poor self esteem. The weight just made it worse.

Today my self esteem is fine. But I still struggle with my weight. It is SO easy for me to gain pounds, and it takes a change of my mindset, eating habits, and an EXCEPTIONALLY DISCIPLINED strenuous workout routine for me to be anywhere close to “Normal”.

Obviously in the last couple of years I haven’t been that disciplined. Because here I am again, heavier than I want to be, trying to find that disciplined mindset to shed the poundage. Of course nobody calls me “Fatty” anymore. After all, we are all adults now. Still, I get the occasional friend or fan who sees me an autograph line and says,

“MAN JEFF!! You’ve been eating GOOD! What happened?”

And I just smile and pat my tummy and answer,

“Yeah, I’ve been standing too close to the stove when Mama’s cooking!” or something like that. I know they don’t mean anything by it so I’m not offended.

But later that night when I lay down their words come back to me and I almost feel like that little chubby teenager again and I feel a twinge of that old painful shame.

And it bothers me. And to tell the truth, it messes with my confidence. It’s been bothering me for quite some

time now. And I’m ready to do something about it.

The difference between now and all the other other times I’ve literally worked my rear end off is: I’m gonna share it with you. And hopefully get a few of you making that decision with me and maybe we can support one another as well.

See, I’m tired of being overweight. And I want to be around for my daughter as long as God will let me. That means I need to be healthier. But I also want to be able to walk out on stage and sing and feel my best for YOU. And I want to be the best ME I can be.

Love,

Jeff

Comments
  1. Holly

    494 days ago

    Simply put …You let me see into your soul and touched my heart ….Thank you

  2. Seprina Shepherd

    493 days ago

    I feel your pain brother… I had it pretty bad as a kid myself, but I got picked on for more reasons than my weight. I also have red hair, is freckle- faced, and wore glasses… Could you imagine? After time I learned to ignore the hurtful things other kids would say to me. You remember the story about the ugly duckling right? Well, I just imagined myself as the ugly duckling that would some day grown into a beautiful swan! lol! Looking back now at the way kids treated other kids that were either over-weight, had freckles, red hair, or wore glasses, or any other beautiful differences that made them unique, reminds me of things my daughter who has just turned 12 (preteen YIKES!!!) is going through. The school she attends has a NO BULLYING Policy thankfully. So, if any kids have any problems with others bullying them in any form or fashion, they will be held accountable for it. I’ve heard about kids and teens that have gotten bullied so bad that the only option they feel that they had was to commit suicide. How awful it must have been for them to feel like that! :( I believe if more schools took action against bullying, it may or may not prevent it from ever happening, but at least if it does there will be consequences for the bully’s actions. Thanks for your inspirations Jeff! Keep on keeping on man! Love your music and you have a beautiful family. God has truly blessed you! <3

  3. Karen Kochell

    493 days ago

    MY DEAR FRIEND JEFF,

    RON AND I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL. SINCE I RETIRED, I FELL AND DIS-LOCATED MY LEFT ELBOW AND I HAD TO HAVE SURGERY ON IT. THIS WAS WHY WE DIDN’T MAKE IT TO NASHVILLE. I KNOW IF WE KEEP IN TOUCH AND ENCOURAGE EACH OTHER, WE CAN LOSE IT TOGETHER.
    RON WILL BE DOING THIS, TOO!!! I NEED TO BE AROUND FOR MY FAMILY AND YOUR FAMILY NEEDS YOU.

    I HAVE ALL OF YOUR CD’S AND I’LL USE THE TREADMILL TO WALK TO YOUR MUSIC AND HAVE A SING ALONG!!! LOVE YOUR MUSIC AND I WILL ENCOURAGE YOU TO BE YOUR BEST!!!

    RON TOLD ME HE LOVES ME WHETHER I’M THIN OR CHUBBIE. I KNOW KELLY AND BRIENNA LOVE YOU TOO!!

    LOVE YOU,
    RON AND KAREN KOCHELL (ILLINOIS NOISE)

  4. Karen Kochell

    493 days ago

    JEFF,

    ONE MORE THING. RON AND I LOVE YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE YOU AND THE LOVE YOU HAVE IN YOUR HEART AND THE SONGS YOU SING. THE WAY YOU TREAT US WHEN WE SEE YOU!! YOU ARE A VERY SPECIAL FRIEND AND WE ARE SO PROUD OF YOU AND YOUR MUSIC!!!!!

    LOVE FROM ILLINOIS,
    RON AND KAREN KOCHELL
    THE ILLINOIS NOISE

  5. Karen Kochell

    493 days ago

    JEFF,OU KNOW

    .I JUST HEARD BRIANNIA’S SONG!! JEFF, IT TOOK MY BREATH AWAY AT THE END OF THE SONG!!! IT WAS SO TOUCHING!! HOW OLD IS SHE NOW? SHE’S SO PRETTY AND SMART!!

    JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I LOVED THAT SONG. I BOUGHT ALL OF THE SONGS. THANK YOU FOR SIGNING THEM!!

    GOD BE WITH YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!!!

    YOUR ILLINOIS FANS,
    RON AND KAREN KOCHELL

  6. Carolyn

    492 days ago

    Let’s go for it!!! I’m doing the WW thing already, with not much success… but at least it’s going in the right direction and not increasing! You help me and I’ll help you, til we get it right!!

  7. KAREN KOCHELL

    491 days ago

    CAROLYN HAS A GREAT IDEA!!! WW WOULD BE GREAT!! LET’S GO FOR IT, JEFF!!!!!!

  8. Jennifer

    479 days ago

    I love the fact that you are real ! You are so open and upright with your music and just life in general . There are few like you . I too am in the boat with you . I hadn’t realized how big my mid section had gotten until I saw my whole self in a dressing room mirror this past weekend . I was mortified and very upset , so I have kicked the soda to the curb . Went grocery shopping for fruits and vegetables , turkey burgers and some other healthy stuff . Going to start walking next week after I buy some good walking shoes . I have been drinking five to six 32 oz glasses if water daily . You’re not alone in this journey . Keep it real and don’t be too hard on yourself ! Love and prayers for you and your family !

  9. glo

    476 days ago

    Hi Jeff,
    I been following you for 10 years and over 100 shows. I loved you when you were slimmer and I love you even more today. I love the person that you are, not the weight. I’ve seen you in the M&G line and when you greet an overweight fan you greet them with all the love from your heart. I’ve never seen you once say hey you’ve been eaten good to a fan. I get upset when I’m at a show and hear fans say how much weight you’ve gained. My comeback is so, I love Jeff and I don’t care how much we weighs. I would love to be as slim as I was when I started following you 10 years ago but I find it so hard to loose the weight. My doctor has me taking so much medicine and steroids (The steroids alone made me gain 20 lbs in 2 months) for a back injury that it’s so hard to excerise like I use to do. Food isn’t the problem for me. I love to eat fruit, vegs, bake boneless skinless chicken, baked or grilled fish, turkey burgers, quinoa and I don’t eat red meat anymore. I drink water by the gallons and I still hate getting on the scales and seeing that I’m no longer less then 140 pounds. I’m willing to to what it takes to loose the weight with you.

  10. Linda Hammans

    433 days ago

    Dear dear Jeff, you and I have walked so many of the same roads. Every time I read something about your life, it brings one of my own memories up, so similar (even prison, yes, prison). I too battled weight as a child, had no self-esteem, made bad choices mostly due to enabling…but, to make a LONG story short, lol…16 yrs ago I came back to God, 11 yrs after that a situation with devine intervention was exposed and I divorced (w/Gods blessing) I then finally started building self-esteem and strength with Gods help…Now for the weight! 3 yrs ago I started using what I had been researching about foods, diets, weight loss programs…I have lost 132lbs! I really want to share this with you because it felt as if it just melted off me…1st, I cut out all soda’s (reg or diet) looked at my food choices better (a little at a time) I ate what I wanted just in much smaller portions…it is called grazing (apple shape bodies do real well with this) I ate 6x’s a day, yes 6x’s a day! double up your fist and that is what your stomach should hold…3 of the times I ate were snacks, healthy snacks…but if I wanted a taste of choc (for example) I would take 4 hershey kisses (8 is serving size) so I only took half and that was 1 of my snacks…Eat more of the natural things, like butter (in small amounts) instead of margarine (which is 1 molecule from being plastic, lol) whole milk instead of low or non fat, no artificial sweetners…Get back to the basics our bodies thrive on, eat more fish and fowl w/veggies and fruits, nuts and grains…all in moderation (key word) I will tell you exercise has to increase and switch up the type of exercise…I am telling you the truth when I say you helped me exercise! lol, I would put in 1 of your CD’s and dance, all alone, I would dance…each time it was a little longer, I was so heavy that regular exercise was so hard…then after the weight started coming off, I started walking, I enjoyed the adrenaline it gave me so I continued…Now I do 30 minutes a day of workout, walk at least 15 min’s a day…I never felt denied food, I never denied myself anything even a piece of cake, I just took a sliver so I could taste it…eventually I did not have the taste for sweets…Oh, and plenty of water! at least 3 liters a day (just under a gallon). I want you to know I found that soon I did not have to even think about my choices, it became second nature…Of course it was with prayer to help me get started and stay focused, I needed Gods help to push me at first, then he was there cheering me on ;) Let me explain why this works, this is what made it sound like sense to me…Our bodies are going to survive, the body does things to counter react things we do to our bodies…when we eat 2 or 3 meals a day, we tank up and our bodies take the excess and store it to fat…because the brain tells it we are going to starve ourselves thru the day (or not distribute the food all day) so it stores it to fat, then when we start grazing our brain releases the fat because it gets use to getting a small amount every 3 hours or so and does not feel like it has to store the food into fat to survive…Did I explain that clearly? lol You can do this Jeff! Your are a beautiful person with such a beautiful gift, your voice ♥ You deserve this! And by the way…THANK YOU for your part in helping me exercise ;) Love ya Jeff!