For Sione Fa, there was never a question about why he was at the Biggest Loser. His heart and mind were in it to regain his health and his life from day one. Sione lost 116 pounds on the Biggest Loser ranch (down from his starting weight of 372), and says today he’s lost about 135 pounds total. His weight loss has inspired his family and Tongan community. Sione explains that the Tongan culture is typically overweight. He says that now they’ve watched him, and cousin Filipe Fa, lose weight on national TV and it’s opening their eyes. His own family has come to him for advice, and Sione shares his breakthroughs with them. Recently he attended a luau where brown rice and baked chicken were served, which he says is unheard of at those events. He’s proud that he and Filipe have been able to influence their culture to make healthier choices. He’s even thinking about creating a “Polynesian workout” video!
Sione has also been inspired by his fellow contestants and trainers at the Biggest Loser ranch. He and competitor Tara Costa pushed one another to the edge. They were consistently neck-and-neck in challenges, and each provided motivation for one another to keep pushing. Having worked with both Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels, he’s now changing careers. He’s giving up his landscaping business and about to complete his certification as a personal trainer. “I knew I couldn’t go back to my old life and old career,” he says. From Bob he hopes to incorporate the physical work, strength training and the emotional changes that need to take place to meet and exceed your weight loss goals. From Jillian, he wants to adapt her focus on cardio, strengthening the lungs and heart.
Sione’s departure was abrupt, but he says it was expected and admits that he felt like it was his week. He’d never once been below the yellow line, and with a meager four pound weight loss in week 14, Laura sent him home. She had the only vote in this week’s elimination, power that Sione had hoped to garner himself. He consumed some serious calories in that temptation, and says he’d do it again if it meant a chance to have that single vote.
He’s motives to gain that kind of control over the game may not come as any surprise to loyal viewers. Sione and Ron Morelli were at odds, especially after Sione had voted to send “the godfather” home in week 13. Sione explained that Ron was definitely seen as a father figure in the house. The show played up his “godfather” persona, and Sione said “he really did control a lot of that game.”
For Sione, it’s back to controlling his own destiny in Phoenix, where he lives with his wife and two young children. He’s concentrating on completing his personal training certification, with hopes to build his own clientele, and says he’s definitely a contender for the $100,000 at-home prize.
April 8th, 2009