Welcome to my new CYBEX Fitness Ambassador blog. I am honored and excited to represent the premier fitness equipment brand in the world.
To this day, it astounds me how much my life has changed since participating on The Biggest Loser.
I am extremely grateful for all The Biggest Loser team did to help me get my life on track, in particular Bob and Jillian. Nowhere else can the average “Joe” have access to such amazing trainers and other professional staff, incredible fitness equipment and such a positive "can do" environment. The Biggest Loser is phenomenal—and it works!
I also want to thank all the other contestants on Season 10 who became almost family to me. You're all amazing people and I am so proud of each of you—how hard you worked and how far you came in your own journeys.
When you watch the show you only see a snippet of the time we spend on the Ranch. While the show deals with many challenges, physically and emotionally, and other special happenings, behind the scenes it is a grueling experience. I worked out up to ten hours a day. And, I spent most of that time grinding away on CYBEX equipment. My victory was literally powered by CYBEX so I’m delighted to be working with this phenomenal company. If you really want to lose weight, get on the CYBEX Arc Trainer, something I will talk more about in my next blog.
One reason I decided to write this blog is to give you, the viewer, an insider’s perspective both in terms of my journey during Season 10 and what I think is going on "behind the scenes" in Season 11. Please come back often as I will be regularly sharing new ideas about Season 11—who is up, who is down, and what is likely happening.
I want to start by talking about the new format. Having the group split into two teams is pure genius, as is the mystery trainer element. Half the team gets to work with Bob and Jillian, The Biggest Loser fitness gurus, and the other half gets four weeks of immunity by working out with two unknown trainers. You might think that it’s a no brainer: Bob and Jillian. However, you can’t underestimate the value of four weeks of immunity, especially at the outset.
When you hit the Ranch, it is a massive change. When you are that obese you basically live a sedentary lifestyle. Then, all of a sudden, you're training like a pro athlete. Your body isn’t used to it. And the weight makes it much harder to move and do the exercises. You can’t believe how sore you get. Four weeks of immunity gives you an extremely valuable window to make the transition, get moving and deal with the aches and pains before facing possible elimination.
We shall see if that risk reaps rewards. However, I will tell you that if I had the chance, and the benefit of hindsight—as much as I love Bob and Jillian—I think I would take the leap.
I also want to talk a bit about game play, which became a huge topic of debate during Season 10. Last season, I took a lot of heat for tactics and being strategic.
In my opinion we are already seeing game play factor as a big focus for Season 11—much sooner than during Season 10. Take for example the most recent episode with the balancing egg challenge. Given immunity, the unknown crew conspired together and threw their eggs over to scare the other challengers. It also served to remind the Bob and Jillian contestants that they face elimination all the time—but the others don’t. When I played college football we called that a psyche out, or mind game.
While many have criticized game play—it is imperative to the show. Contestants thrive off being pitted against each other. Without the risk of elimination and the allure of a big prize, the appeal to viewers would be greatly diminished.
However, more importantly the competition is also vital to helping us, as contestants, make the huge changes we need to make to recapture our lives.
I tried to lose weight countless times during my life—and, until The Biggest Loser, I failed. I knew my weight was killing me. I knew I owed it to myself and my family to get healthy. Yet, I failed.
The competition—the fact you could get sent home and not just lose the game, but lose your chance to take advantage of all the show offers and get your life in order—forces you to get off the couch and put down the chips.
From personal experience, when I saw people making additional trips to the gym, it made me think twice about hanging out on the couch. It gave me the motivation to do the work and make the changes necessary because my life depended on it. If I was sitting back at night and someone hit the gym, I followed.
I’m a competitive guy—I’ve played competitive sports my whole life. And, I had an awful lot riding on winning—not only was my life on the line, but this was my big chance to put my family on better footing. Faced with those –there was no way I was going to lose.