John Rhode was born and raised in Kennewick Washington. John was one of the strongest athletes to attend Kennewick High School. Life had become very difficult for John after becoming overweight by the third grade. John developed a sense of humor to help him combat negative comments from thoughtless classmates. As a Freshman in high school John stood six feet tall and weighed a whopping 285 pounds. John worked very hard to become physically fit. Devoting hours of his time in the high school weight room, John graduated high school 6`4″ and 240 pounds.
John was diligent in the weight room, but lackadaisical in the classroom. Academically suspended for the first half of the football season his senior year, John never achieved his football goals. After a lot of help from his Head Coach Ed Troxel, John received a scholarship to play football at the Junior College level. John struggled with his failure to live up to the standards that he set for himself. After a brief uneventful season of JC athletics John had met none of his football goals and felt as though he had never reached his athletic potential. Devastated by the feelings of failure and the thought that his best years were behind him, John developed an eating disorder. True physical challenges in life had passed him by and he had failed.
In May of 2011, John was cast to be on NBC`s hit reality TV show “The Biggest Loser Battle of the Ages” and his life changed forever. John arrived at The Biggest Loser Ranch in June of 2011 weighing 445 pounds. At the ranch, John was instructed by personal trainers, nutritionists and doctors regarding healthy living, proper diet, and exercise.
John`s experience at the ranch was an emotional journey to say the least. He battled and confronted the inner demons that caused his eating disorder, his weight gain, and his unachieved athletic goals. During the filming of the show John was very focused and dedicated himself to honoring the sacrifice his wife and two sons were making by allowing him to leave for several months to be a contestant on BL 12. John was the only contestant on season 12 that was never up for “elimination.” John worked tirelessly to become a member of the final four and left the ranch to prepare for the marathon weighing 296 pounds. John ran his first marathon in 5 hours 15 minutes and placing third overall. John became a finalist by weighing in at 267 pounds and earning the right to decide the order of the weigh-in for the grand finale.
John returned home knowing that he would need to continue to lose weight and stay healthy in order to win on the show and in life. At The Biggest Loser Live Finale, which aired on December 13, 2011, John won the show`s grand prize of $250,000 by weighing 225 pounds. During his time with The Biggest Loser, John lost a grand total of 220 pounds (over 49% of his body weight). John won the grand prize by losing more weight than any other contestant. John is also a winner because he “Has won his life back & won more time with his family.” John continues to live his healthy lifestyle, just like his days on the ranch.
Since the Finale, John has shared his story on Live with Kelly, the Today Show, Access Hollywood, the Windy Williams Show, the Dr. Drew Show, New York Live and numerous NBC affiliates across America. He has been featured in TV Guide, People Magazine, In Touch Magazine, US Weekly, OK Magazine as well as several other publications. John has been featured in countless other print and web publications. John is currently sharing his story of health, wellness and weight loss as a public speaker to groups and organizations of all types. John is currently working on his first book. He continues to inspire others by competing in several running events including the LA Marathon in March 2012.
John and his wife Jill, have two boys, Daniel and Dimitri.