This story will make the biggest romantic cynics soften up. Lee Jordan gained over 250 pounds since the last time he saw his beloved ex-girlfriend, Beth Schwein. As he waited at their meet up spot, he expected her to be shocked and horrified by his change, but Beth not only saw the beautiful person within, but also helped Jordan change his life for the better.
“Beth looked at me and all she saw was Lee Jordan. That’s it. There was nothing but love and acceptance,” Jordan tells CNN.
The pair started dating as teens in 1979. They attended the same university and both felt they had found their counterpart. Unfortunately, the couple broke up when Schwein felt Jordan’s partying habits were taking over his life. Distraught, Lee dropped out of college and started working at a clothing store. Beth and Lee stopped speaking in order to move on with their lives. Jordan never stopped loving her and even kept old love letters through the following decades.
Fast forward a few years: Jordan was focused on his work, but that left him sedentary for most of the day. The bigger problem came with his binge eating at night. Recounting his estimated 10,000 calorie diet, regularly eating two large pizzas, a bag of Doritos, two large tubs of dip, two large boxes of cookies, and a half-gallon of ice cream every night.
Over the years Jordan had repeated weight loss attempts but the pounds always came back. Just before meeting Schwein in 2008, Jordan received a two-year life expectancy if he didn’t lose weight, but he just didn’t have the motivation.
Enter Beth Swein, the superwoman of all ex-girlfriends. Beth had been married, had children, and built a career, but she wasn’t fulfilled. A dying Aunt’s wish for her to find happiness, led to Jordan. As a result of a rollerblading accident that left her with a broken back, Swein retrained herself to walk and eventually became a licensed trainer. Her acceptance of Jordan gave him the push he needed to save his life.
The first thing Jordan did was have an adjustable gastric band inserted around his stomach. Next he began walking, just 30-seconds at first but it was a start. He also hired a personal trainer. All-the-while getting positive feedback and encouragement from Schwein.
The couple eventually began a romantic relationship and after Schwein’s divorce, they got engaged and married soon after.
Jordan currently weighs 178 pounds and both are certified ACE trainers. The very active couple now participates in numerous triathlons and road races.
Jordan tells CNN, “Love, acceptance and encouragement (were) the difference-makers for me.” People rarely change on the inside, but it’s never too late to be a healthy influence on your partner, it might just save their life.