The Biggest Loser - Winning by Losing - info on TBL contestants??

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12-23-2007, 05:51 AM
Hey ya'll--

I was wondering... I don't know if it's alright to ask this... but we have 2 weeks before the new season of TBL begins.

Anyone have any info/links to the contestants of this season/former seasons in how they dealt with their weight loss/maintenance after finishing on the show?

I heard some gain their weight back :(


12-26-2007, 09:01 AM
I'd be interested too. The only ones I've seen are Suzy and.... oh dang it, what's his name? The guy who won, and then they got married... anyway I saw them in a magazine after they'd had their baby. They both looked like they'd gained weight back but the article was more about their baby & how she dealt with gaining pregnancy weight than the two of them maintaining in general.

12-26-2007, 11:11 AM
I once met a contestant from a prior season. I won't name her, as she signed a confidentiality agreement an inch thick and would get in trouble. But she immediately gained all her weight back and then some.

She said that on the show she did things like sit in a sauna for hours, eating nothing and drinking only diuretics trying to win. The show encouraged that, and knows that most contestants do gain the weight back.

Which is why you rarely see any follow up on them. If you do, they'll be spouting the "company line" ('Of course I've kept my weight off!") to keep from running afoul of the agreement they signed.

They make exercise your full time job while the show is filming, and the contestants do crazy unhealthy things like described above. It would be almost impossible NOT to gain it all back.

It's not about changing your lifestyle so you can be healthy. It's about winning a competition.


12-26-2007, 02:23 PM
It's not about changing your lifestyle so you can be healthy. It's about winning a competition.


How very sad......:(

12-26-2007, 11:27 PM
I'm sure a lot of them do gain some/all of the weight back...but think about all the people that lose weight in the real world, most of them gain it back as well, no matter how they lose it. I saw a study a long while back, and the number of people who lost a large amount of weight and then gained it back was shocking! So, I don't think you can really point at the show and shake your head that they gain it back, that happens with a lot of people who aren't on TV losing the weight as well.

My SIL lost almost 200 lbs. about 8 years ago and has just over the past year put it all back on. I am just amazed how she could keep it off for all those years, living healthy and exercising and eating right, and then just suddenly gain it all back. It happens, sadly enough.

12-26-2007, 11:36 PM
What happened to cause her to gain it back after SO long? Did she have a crisis or a health issue, or what? How did she lose it originally? I'm surprised after that amount of time too.......

12-26-2007, 11:45 PM
I am not close enough to her to ask, but I she is going through a divorce now and I think the marriage was starting to fall apart during that year (maybe a bit more than a year) that she was gaining it back. She is probably an emotional eater and ate her way through it. Right now there is complete split and the divorce should be final very soon, and at Christmas dinner she kept saying "christmas doesn't count" and "I'll take it back off starting first of the year." I didn't see her for about 7 months, then ran into her in the grocery store and didn't even recognize her, she called my name and I was so shocked at how big she was! It makes me very aware of what I am doing and making sure it's permanant lifestyle change now.

She took it off just watching what she ate, and she limited carbs a lot because they give her cravings, and she exercised a lot. her house was always packed with healthy foods, weight equipment, etc. she ran almost daily. She did say yesterday that she hasn't ran in almost a year, and she was eating huge amounts of food and three trips to the dessert table that I saw, so she just quit all the good stuff. I still don't get how you can do that, after knowing the hard work of taking it all off, ya know? Baffles me.

12-27-2007, 12:09 AM
Wow, how sad. I think that is the troubling falls apart in baby steps, one at a time, and before you know it, pffft, it's gone and you're in some black hole again. Great lesson to know that when you feel yourself slipping, get back on plan asap and don't delay. One week turns to 2, 2 to one month, a month to a year, esp. if your game is off or your focus has turned to something else, which hers likely did. But the good thing is, if she did it once, she knows what works for her and as soon as she can focus, she can do it again.

12-27-2007, 12:25 PM
How sad for your SIL!

But I have to say that I've done the same thing... I lost 60 pounds a couple of years ago, it took a whole year to do it. Then my husband went to Kuwait for a year as a contractor, and my life got unbelievably hectic (single parenthood sucks! I can't imagine how women do it for real -- at least I had the money he was making!). It came back super fast.

My point by saying that most TBL contestants gain it back was to say that the show doesn't seem to me to be giving people a healthy way to lose weight. When I've watched it, I just get depressed -- a contestant loses 20 pounds in a week, my 2 pounds just seem so insignificant. Yet without seeing that, my 2 pounds lost in a week would be something to celebrate.

When I hear that people are sitting in saunas for hours on end and drinking diuretics just to see a certain number on the scale, I know that they are setting themselves up for failure.

Bottom line, the minute amount of people who do lose weight and keep it off are not those who do some fad diet, or temporarily deny themselves. They're the ones that change their lifestyle for good.

The question for me has always been, how do I change my lifestyle in a way that I'll stick to?