As an obese Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department detective, Bob Brenner could only imagine what victims of crimes thought when they stared at a 400-plus pound investigator handling their case.
“Just watching me get out of the car is a treat,” Brenner said. “I was very conscious of that. I think there were times where I got that look, ‘This guy is investigating my case? Who is this big fat guy?’ That part of it was hard.”
And if another deputy near Brenner got in trouble while dealing with a criminal in the area, he knew he wouldn’t be able to help like other Waukesha County deputies.
“I felt a little bit ashamed,” Brenner said. “If something bad happened where one of our deputies were out with a bad guy and they were in a foot pursuit or if they were in a physical altercation with somebody, if I am in the area, I just (questioned) ‘Can I respond, and potentially be that guy to help out?' I just knew intellectually that I couldn’t.”
He was also helping coach his son’s football team at Waukesha North High School. As a former college athlete turned husband, father and detective, Brenner’s weight gain prevented him from demonstrating drills.
“I’ve coached my son Jordan for eight years,” Brenner said. “I would call Jordan over and have him demonstrate the drill that I wanted to do.”
Brenner’s life is rapidly changing, though, after he was selected to appear on the ABC program Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition. Nearly a year into the program, he is ready to help others fight obesity in the Midwest.
Brenner wants to use his story to help others learn how to lose weight and keep off the pounds. He’s reached out to Gov. Scott Walker’s office to see if he can help with statewide health campaigns.
A brother-sister team from North Prairie and another man from Appleton will also appear on this season of Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition this summer.
“If you look at the 15 people that are on the show, nine of them are from the Midwest,” Brenner said. “There is a reason why they have come to the Midwest looking for candidates. I just think it is something I have been blessed with the opportunity and I want to share it with others, especially Wisconsinites.”
The Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition episode with Brenner will feature him at the Waukesha North High School vs. Waukesha South High School football game last fall. The show will also be taping in Waukesha sometime in May for Brenner’s final weigh-in.
“It is over a year of them essentially monitoring you over that time period,” Brenner said. “I just felt like I have spent the last 20 years gaining weight, losing weight, going back and forth. I’ve lost up to 100 pounds on various programs and turned and gained it all back. I just felt like I needed to do something extreme. Part of that is to set my own personal pride aside and just ask for the help and do it on a national TV show.”
Waukesha Patch will run another article after Brenner’s episode airs this summer, where we will look more into the show, Brenner’s total weight loss and just how he took off the pounds.
With his wife, Kelly, and children, Jordan and Kayla, other family members and friends, he’s received support throughout this journey.
“I am blessed to have the best wife and kids a guy can ask for,” Brenner said. “My family has been extremely supportive.”
Want to Appear on Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition?
Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition will be in the Milwaukee area on Saturday for auditions for the 2014 season of the show.
Information on how to apply can be found on the official casting website at www.extrememakeovercasting.com. Casting call attendees should bring a non-returnable photo. Casting Call Applications will be provided.
The casting call will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Planet Fitness, 6529 S, 27th St,, Franklin, WI 53221.