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Amanda Harmer



Biggest Loser: Episode 1

Well they are off and running- literally. Diets In Review favorites Neill and Amanda, along with the other nine teams, premiered on Biggest Loser this evening. I have to admit that I’ve never watched the show before- so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Now I’m completely hooked- and you should be, too! I programmed my TiVo for a Season Pass to Biggest Loser- that way I don’t miss a thing. Plus, I want to be able to recount the dramatic events each week.

The teams were all psyched to get going, and you can tell that most of them really want to be there. They’ve left their jobs and families for what they hope will be about four months to completely change their lives for the better. In the case of Neill and Amanda, the white team, they had to leave behind their young son for what Amanda said was the longest period of time ever. The tearful goodbye will hopefully be wrapped up four months from now and the little guy will be greeted by his much thinner parents. Neill said they want to be in shape before their kid knows that they’re fat!

All ten teams have their work cut out for them. The weigh in was quite emotional for some- but the white team handled it well. I cannot imagine the gaggle of emotions I would feel standing on those scales with the bare minimum of clothing to show the world that my husband and I are a combined 521 pounds! So kudos to each one of them. Kelly, of the yellow team, had the unbearable pain of weighing in as the heaviest woman, but she’s very determined to not leave it that way. The grey team, the two former football team mates, took home the prize of heaviest team- with a combined weight of 799 pounds!! That’s some serious weight folks. They’re going to have to work so hard to compete.

The final weigh in was probably the most emotional moment of the show and I’ll admit I had to choke a few tears back myself. To work THAT hard all week long and immediately be forced to give up so much- so much stress. No one knew what they’d lost until they hit those scales again. I was absolutely blown away these people were losing upwards of 19 pounds in only a week. Of course, that’s not typical for people like you and me. Especially since they’re all being closely monitored by physicians and trainers. White team barely eeked out of being up for elimination; they’re total weight lost this week was about 5% or 27 total pounds. Previews for next week make it look like they slide past the yellow line for elimination. I do hope they beat it. The green team ended up being eliminated, having the lowest percentage weight lost and the father half of the team was completely uninterested in being there and nearly encouraged the other contestants to send him home. Amanda appeared to be pretty teary over choosing to send home the green team.

One of the most exciting parts of this first episode of Biggest Loser was dividing the trainers. Their first task was to climb to the top of a hill and back- the first teams back got to choose their trainer. Neill and Amanda differed on their preference- with Neill wanting Bob Harper and Amanda wanting the ass-kicking Jillian Michaels; they did get Jillian. She seemed quite impressed with Amanda right away saying Amanda is “fabulous, dedicated, she did not quit, she did not cry and she did not stop.” She seemed as those Neill left a little to be desired- including threatening that he “came this close” to getting a good punch. Sounds like that’s just what he’s looking for when he said “We didn’t sign up for rest and relaxation, we signed up for getting our asses kicked by a trainer.” Well- Jillian’s the one to do just that!

With episode 1 behind us, I’d like to make my predictions. I think the purple team is going to work hard but I don’t see them going all the way. I’m hopeful that the white team will stick it through to the end, and think they’ll definitely get close. Pink and brown teams are going to be strong ones to contend with. And yellow team- I think they’ve got too much divorce baggage and emotion and that will end up tripping them up.

Stay tuned for next week’s update!



Interview with Neill and Amanda Harmer – Biggest Loser Season 5 Contestants

As the countdown to season five of NBC’s Biggest Loser begins, we thought we’d catch up with two of the contestants. Neill and Amanda Harmer make up the white team on the first time Biggest Loser Couples season. The Oklahoma City couple has been married for three years, they have a two-year old son and say they’ve both battled their weight most of their lives.

I was fortunate enough to catch up with Neill and Amanda a few days before the big premiere. And I’m glad that I did. If you haven’t already made a decision on which of the ten teams you’re going to cheer for- I think the Harmers should be a top choice. They are so genuinely down to earth, have a captivating sense of humor and are truly in Biggest Loser to win. You can tell that above being a devoted married couple, they are the best of friends.

Be sure to tune into NBC this coming Tuesday night, January 1 at 7 p.m CST to watch the Harmers and the other couples on Biggest Loser’s premiere. You can follow along right here at Diets in Review for weekly episode updates. We plan on catching up with Neill and Amanda at the season’s finale to chat about the things that were hush-hush during this interview.
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Biggest Loser Fever

I’ve got the fever folks! We are one week away from the premier of Biggest Loser Season 5. This is the season where couples are competing for the first time. We’re pretty excited over here at Diets In Review as we’re going to be visiting with one of the couples, Neill and Amanda Harmer from Oklahoma City. They are the white team and going into this with a great attitude and fun sense of humor.

You’ll be able to see that interview right here in the Diets In Review Diet Column before the Jan. 1 premiere. We wanted to give you a chance to ask the Harmers a question, too. Leave your burning questions in the comment section below.

Bookmark this column throughout the season, as we’ll post weekly updates about Biggest Loser, the Harmers and the progress of all the contestants.