In December 2010, Grubbs made the decision to have gastric bypass surgery at UCSF's Bariatric Surgery Center, a life-changing step he wishes he'd taken years before.
Now at his ideal weight of 180 pounds, he says he has more energy and self-confidence than ever before. "If I hadn't had the surgery, I probably wouldn't be here," he adds.
When did you decide to have bariatric surgery?
My doctor mentioned it to me a couple of times, but I was working so much that I didn't have time. Then I got laid off and decided it was finally time. It took a long time to prepare – about six months. I had to have a psychological profile, lose a certain amount of weight and have a certain BMI, to be sure that I was healthy enough for the surgery. In the end, I was very thankful that I had to go through all of that.
Have you had weight issues all your life?
My weight has always been up and down, depending on what I was doing for work. I've worked as a bartender and cook in restaurant kitchens, so my weight always increased during those times. When I was doing construction, it went down.
As a sous-chef at a popular steakhouse, how do you cope with being surrounded by food all day? How do you resist popping a few french fries into your mouth while you're working?
My strategy is to eat what most people would consider a quarter of a meal, six or seven times a day. Sometimes I do eat a few onion rings, but they're so few and far between that it has no bearing on my weight. And working on a kitchen line that's 130 degrees certainly helps keep the weight off!
I've lost so much weight that I'm now able to wear the clothes I was married in.
Was there a turning point, when you decided you had to have the surgery?
At the time, I was taking a pharmacy of drugs every day. About seven to 10 pills at night and four or five pills in the morning for my health problems, all caused by being overweight. I took different medications for diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid problems.
One night I was watching TV and an infomercial about the diabetes medication I was taking came on. It warned against the dangers of the drug. I knew you weren't supposed to take it for a long period of time, and I had already been taking it for five years. I knew then that it was time I had the surgery and that I had to change my life.