Graham Elliot Loses 91 lbs. Since Weight-Loss Surgery

09/12/2013 at 07:45 PM EDT

Graham Elliot Loses 91 lbs. Since Weight-Loss Surgery
Graham Elliot before and after his weight-loss surgery
Scott Kirkland/PictureGroup; Courtesy Graham Elliot
Nearly two months after having weight loss surgery, MasterChef judge Graham Elliot has lost 91 lbs.

"It's going to be a huge party when I hit 299 lbs.," says the Chicago-based chef, who is just six pounds shy of his goal.

"That will be the first time in well over a decade that I've been under 300 [lbs.] I see people on the street who are the size I was only a few months ago, and it's like, 'Man, I wish you could feel what I am feeling right now, it's absolutely life-changing.' "

The father of three, 36, started exercising about a month ago, after getting permission from his doctor.

"I recently ran my first mile and a half non-stop," he says. "I can even sprint and run pretty darn fast to catch a football. I haven't done that since I was a teenager."

"At first, I ran a quarter mile, and every two blocks, I'd be winded and need to catch my breath," he says. "But I kept going. It's meditative and I'm proud at the end of a run."

Elliot now runs every other day and also swims and jumps rope. "My legs still get sore!" he says. "I'm really excited to push myself more and more. I'm planning to run my first 5K around Thanksgiving."

Thanks to his exercise routine and new attitude towards food, Elliot, has dropped 10 pants sizes.

"I'm buying new clothes all the time," he says. "Before I was only able to shop at big and tall stores. Now it's much easier."

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