“Being in solitary confinement for a little bit, you kind of get to think a lot,” the star, 32, told Entertainment Tonight of his experience behind bars on Wednesday, May 19. “You get to read a lot of books and kind of change your mindset on things. I got the taste of success a little bit when I was able to change my mindset to change my personal appearance, like, with literally a small seed. Like, I read a book, and what I learned from this book, it kind of gave me the motivation to change myself.”
The TLC personality’s relationship with now-ex-wife Anfisa Arkhipchenko was featured on season 4 of the reality series, which aired in 2016. Two years later, the California native was arrested for marijuana possession and sentenced to more than two years in jail. He was released in May 2020.
“I felt, honestly, at the very beginning when I was going through it, I felt hopeless, I felt powerless,” he said on Wednesday. “And I felt like I couldn’t do anything to reflect my outside environment. It wasn’t until going through all of this that I was able to see that I shouldn’t try to control what’s going on out on the outside, but try to change what was within, and that little change sparked everything that has happened now.”
Jorge credits his time in prison with helping him transform into “a better person” for not only himself, but also his family. The reality TV alum revealed via Instagram in April that he and his girlfriend welcomed a daughter. Though he’s put on “a little bit of daddy weight,” he’s still proud of the big changes he’s made.
“I still feel healthy,” he told the outlet. “When I was 185 [pounds], I felt really, really skinny. I don’t feel like I’ve overdone it. I guess it’s kinda just maintaining a healthy diet, really. That’s what it really comes down to. Like, weight loss comes to 95 percent diet, and five percent in the gym.”
Before his release from jail last year, Jorge detailed his wellness regimen, which included plenty of cardio and intermittent fasting. In April 2020, he claimed that the changes he made to his lifestyle — and the attention they came with — was the reason for his split from Anfisa, 25. The pair married in 2017 and Jorge filed for divorce in August 2020.
“The news about my weight loss didn’t sit with her very well. … That’s when she blocked my phone calls and I kind of was starting to lose contact with her,” he told In Touch four months before submitting the paperwork to end his marriage.
Scroll down to see before and after pics of Jorge’s transformation: