“Extreme Weight Loss” contestant Rod Durham, a high school English teacher from the ABC show’s fourth season, was found dead in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, over the weekend. He was 52.
Durham was discovered by housekeepers in his hotel room, where he reportedly died from diabetic shock, according to the AP.
“Heaven just got a lot brighter today when Rod entered the pearly gates,” series trainer Heidi Powell shared on Instagram Monday. “Rod, you will be missed terribly.”
Weighing in at roughly 450 pounds at the start of his “Extreme Weight Loss” journey in 2014, Durham shed over 180 pounds in a year’s time. But despite his physical transformation, Durham revealed that his biggest triumph was telling his father he was gay.
“Coming out to my father at 49 was huge. My father was a military man, and I thought it would cause him pain and disappointment but it really was just me, afraid of rejection,” he told Tallahassee magazine. “Yes, I lost a lot of weight, but this transformation has very little to do with my weight loss. The transformation was in my head and in my heart.”
While Durham continued to document his fit lifestyle on Instagram, posting selfies from Gold’s Gym regularly, his last social media share came on his 52nd birthday.
“I’m 52 today (February 6th) … Behold Bitches (sorry! I’m happy to still be alive!)”
(Photo Source: Instagram)