Hometown: West Orange, N.J.
Jay Jacobs was born in Cleveland, Ohio and raised with a younger sister in Maryland, then left home at 18 for New York City, where he attended Parsons School of Design and met his wife of 31 years. He started putting on weight as a child, but the biggest weight gain came as an adult. Jay calls himself "functionally fat" and says he's tried to lose weight his whole adult life, losing over 100 lbs. several times only to gain it all back. In the fall of 2009, he hit his highest weight of 435 lbs. Now 400 lbs., he tried out for "The Biggest Loser" because it was his daughter Jennifer's dream, but realized he needed the show even more than she did. Now the 53-year-old father of two looks forward to sitting in restaurant booths, skiing, running a marathon and never shopping in a Big & Tall men's store again after he loses the weight. He also hopes to fulfill his lifelong dream of being a motivational speaker and inspiring others to be the best they can be.