Last night seemed like the worst possible scenario for a Biggest Loser elimination. Daniel Wright was sent home for losing the lowest percentage of weight for the week; Shay Sorrells fellow below the yellow line and was eliminated by her fellow contestants. Last season, he was the heaviest contestant to ever be on the show, and this season Shay took over that title. As the two heaviest contestants in history, Shay and Daniel formed the orange team and literally worked their butts off each week to lose on the scale, and to push and motivate one another.
Now, Shay tells us that no matter how many times she fell below, you’re still never prepared to leave the ranch. And Daniel explains in leaving the ranch for the second time he’s now more focused on the emotional barriers in front of him.
They were the likeliest team of two this season. When Daniel asked Shay to join him in forming the orange team, it was instantly a perfect match. Only a few months before was Daniel in Shay’s shoes, even though her 476 pound initial weight was only about 20 pounds more than Daniel’s season 7 initial weight of 454.
While Shay set a record in week nine by reaching a 100 pound weight loss faster than any other female in the show’s history, she conceded that “the ranch is not the reality.” In nine weeks she lost 100 pounds, and at home it’s taken her three times as long to lose 54. It’s extremely difficult at home she admits, balancing her weight loss with two jobs, family and kids. For Shay, it’s all about making the sometimes difficult choices to move forward and continuing to lose the additional hundred-plus pounds in front of her. They go to the park instead of a movie, and she swapped her ice cream habit for frozen yogurt or peanut butter and jelly Lara Bars.
Daniel said it was at finale when he was approached by producers to come back to the ranch to be a part of season eight. They told him filming would start in three days, and he said “absolutely!”. His struggle this time around was different though; this time he was able to run and and he could work harder, but he had to dig deep into the emotional issues that had brought him here in the first place so that he could keep this weight off for life. Daniel says during season seven he was fighting for a chance to stay alive, and in season eight he had to decide how deep he could really go to stay healthy.
As Daniel and Shay move forward with their tremendous weight loss (Shay down to 322 and Daniel down to 224), they each share one other important thing: being role models. Daniel says the experience is both weird and amazing, and calls it “an absolutely incredible feeling” that people have taken their victories and applied them to their own lives. Shay recalls that Daniel was her role model while watching season seven, and that she never thought her story would impact others. But she says they’re showing other 500-pound people that it’s not hopeless or impossible, when it is entirely possible to do this without taking drastic measures.
Shay reminded that half a million people applied for Biggest Loser 8, and 16 were chosen. She says “Don’t wait for next season. What if there is no next season?” That’s why Shay has started the “100 Pound Down Club” on Facebook, and she’s telling everyone “It’s possible, whether it takes nine weeks or nine years!”
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November 11th, 2009