Brian Schmitz: Once 374 pounds, Jazz beat writer has lost almost 100 pounds

It's the heart of summer, down time in the NBA, where league media coverage shrinks significantly.

Readers of the Deseret News in Salt Lake City, Utah, are certainly seeing less of Jazz beat writer Jody Genessy.

A lot less, I'm happy to report.

After hitting the scales at nearly 374 pounds in March, Genessy has hit back. He told me Thursday that he weighed 280, having lost 94 pounds _ or one Muggsy Bogues.

His goal was to lose 100 pounds by opening night, when the Jazz face the Trail Blazers in Portland on Oct. 25. It looks as if he'll surpass that milestone, but he has a ways to go to reach his dream weight of 175.

Go, Jody, go.

Genessy, 45, weighed exactly 373.7 pounds when he started his diet March 7. I know this because I read it in his moonlighting blog called "Losing It!" on and saw a photo of him (actually, just Jody's feet) on a scale.

His writing offers a humorous, but brutally honest look at his struggle and its often painful impact on his life and family.

By publicly addressing his demons _ including anxiety and depression _ Jody hopes to inspire others to cherish their health.

"It is cathartic for me and I hope it helps other people as well," Genessy said. "I think it helps to be vulnerable and maybe I needed to build a support team."

Like many people, the 5-foot-7 Genessy has been on the diet rollercoaster. Five years ago, he had pared down from roughly 300 to 230 pounds and competed in an Idaho triathlon. Then, he said, "I just fell off the bandwagon" and packed on 140 pounds.

Trust me, the NBA lifestyle _ with its late, long hours, deadline stress and demanding travel _ can be dangerous to your health. And nobody stays in shape being tethered to a laptop.

The latest turning point for Jody occurred during a road trip covering the Jazz last season.

"I had the experience of what it's like being the fat guy on an airplane," he said. "I could tell the guy sitting next to me wasn't thrilled, my gut spilling over onto him. I was miserable and it turned out it was a parallel to my life.

"I was looking at 374 pounds at 45 years old. I was playing Russian roulette with my health. I got four kids, a wife... something had to change."

Something has. He followed a normal weight-loss routine (smaller meals, drinking water, exercising), but this time, he said, "A light clicked on inside my body. I've changed my habits."

Jody can now wedge his "Kardashian-approved buttocks" in a real rollercoaster with his kids at an amusement park. He can fit a little more comfortably on an airplane (no seat-belt extender) without upsetting the passenger next to him.

His journey also is lifting others.

He receives comments from encouraging readers with their own weight issues. Jody chokes up talking about a Jazz employee who tells him that he has inspired her to become a yoga instructor.

"It's touching people. It's blows my mind _ somebody morbidly obese helping others," he said.

"I feel like Forrest Gump and seeing a bunch of people who have started running with me."

Run, Jody, run.