Ross Mathews won over audiences on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno as the endearing, and, frankly, chubby Ross the Intern – but no more.
Mathews, who has shed more than 50 lbs. since first appearing on Celebrity Fit Club, talks to PEOPLE about putting down the Cheetos, his new image and the possibility of six-pack abs.
Had you always been, uh …
Let’s just say it, a fatty. I was a fatty way before the Tonight Show. I was 230 lbs. at the end of college. I got it down 16 lbs. by making decisions like eating a bag of baked Lays as opposed to a bag of Cheetos. But I didn’t attack the real issue: Why do you have an entire bag of anything, you fatty?
What made you decide to go on Fit Club?
My father had passed away. It made me take inventory of my life, to say, it’s now or never. I had a gym membership for six years before Fit Club and I had gone eight-and-a-half times.
Why a half?
One didn’t count. I think I went and smelled the machine, then left.
What did you learn on the show?
Exercise sucks. It will never not [suck]. The reason it feels good when you’re done, is that you’re done. Also, I learned how to treat food as fuel, as opposed to the thing that accompanied television.
Your look was, in some way, part of your act. Do you agree that people want their funny people larger?
I did think of that. Is the fact that I am pudgy part of my relatability? But then I told myself to shut up and stop thinking about it.
You lost 41 lbs. on the show, and another 10 lbs. in the four months since it ended. What’s your goal today?
Toning up. I lost half a Nicole Richie [in weight]. Now I really want a muscle. Wouldn’t that be nice?
How about a six-pack?
Let’s not go crazy.