Ex-Cats

'I saw that Jared and didn’t recognize him.' ESPN special hard for ex-UK quarterback to watch.

Jared Lorenzen signed a souvenir football for a young fan prior to the Central Kentucky Heart Walk at Keeneland in May 2018. Lorenzen’s weight-loss journey has been documented in a recent ESPN piece that will next air at 5 a.m. Wednesday on ESPN2.
Jared Lorenzen signed a souvenir football for a young fan prior to the Central Kentucky Heart Walk at Keeneland in May 2018. Lorenzen’s weight-loss journey has been documented in a recent ESPN piece that will next air at 5 a.m. Wednesday on ESPN2.

Two days after ESPN E:60’s “The Hefty Lefty” aired, former Kentucky quarterback Jared Lorenzen said he’d been overwhelmed by the positive response from people, but still hasn’t brought himself to watch it all the way through.

In an interview Tuesday morning on Jeffersonville, Ind., radio WXVW’s “Kentucky Roll Call” with T.J. Walker and Nick Roush, Lorenzen said seeing himself as he was when the 10-month shoot started was difficult.

“I’ve seen that side. I saw that Jared and didn’t recognize him,” Lorenzen said. “It’s hard for me to watch how uncomfortable — even during the trailers when they showed me sitting down — I could see how uncomfortable I was and it brought up a lot of just bad, bad times for me. I was going through a lot then personally.”

The show revealed that Lorenzen had topped out at 560 pounds when he stepped on a scale at a doctor’s office more than a year ago. His weight loss over the course of the ESPN shoot and his social media “Jared Lorenzen Project” has been 80 pounds.

“I’m not going to lie to you and say I’ve been on the strictest of diets for 10 months,” Lorenzen acknowledged. “That’s insane to think, but I have totally changed the way I eat, totally changed the way I think about things. I work out a lot more. I’m actually putting on muscle. I’m not doing this as a ‘Biggest Loser’ type competition.”

Last week, Lorenzen posted a jog on his project’s Facebook page. Lorenzen told Roush and Walker the changes he’s making are not just about the number. He’s also been putting his workouts on his Instragram account and offers tips on Facebook, as well.

“I’m not back where I was in college, but I’m not trying to get there, either. There’s no real time line,” he said. “It’s just continue to get better, continue to get healthier, continue to do things the right way instead of waking up and having 12 doughnuts and then eating out the rest of the day.”

Lorenzen has been using his social media campaign to inspire others with his posts and public workouts around the state. His advice is to make a plan and take it day-by-day.

“It really is one-by-one — OK, I’m going to do this today, I’m going to do this tomorrow,” he said. “And if you start planning it out and you start seeing results, it’s amazing what happens.”

Lorenzen said he had a lot of nerves about how the E:60 production would come out and how it would be received.

“I had about every emotion kind of go through me that you can,” Lorenzen said of the anticipation. “Extremely nervous — because you just don’t know how people are going to react. Excited — because, you know it’s finally, everything’s out there.”

But the shoot also gave him one of his fondest moments in front of a camera.

“I got to have my son in a lot of shots. And that dude is not shy. He was loving it,” Lorenzen said. “He was on Cloud Nine when we went to his practice. There’s one where we shot it in the stadium and it had to have been 20 degrees. But we both had our shorts and hoodies on and we’re just tossing. It was really neat to share that with him.”

If you missed the airing of the show, it will return to ESPN2 at 5 a.m. Wednesday and be on ESPNews at 12 a.m. Sunday.

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