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, toldPeople 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.
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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."
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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.'"