"Trying to get me to cry by looking at this ugly picture? There are worse ones..."
That's how Richard Blais reacts to a photo taken 10 years ago, when Blais was almost 60 pounds overweight - and 60 pounds heavier than he is today.
"I just really lost control of myself because I was tasting food all day long and partaking in the social aspect of our industry," Blais, 41, tells HLN.
The acclaimed chef - "Top Chef: All-Stars" winner, the owner of Trail Blais and operator of Atlanta-based restaurants The Spence and Flip Burger Boutique - lost all that weight and kept it off, he says, by overhauling his lifestyle.
"You get off work, it's one in the morning, you go out, talk shop, and you end up eating a whole pizza or (drinking) a whole bottle of wine," he says. "You do that 60 or 70 days in a row, and I put myself in really bad shape."
In a matter of months, Blais ballooned to about 225 pounds.