It took Justin Pope a while to reconcile himself to being “obese.” He says he knew he was overweight, or even fat, but obese felt like a label that belonged to someone else. A starting weight of 365 pounds on Biggest Loser season 11 made Justin face that fact, as well as some of the things that just weren’t working in his life.
“I’m educated now,” says Justin. “I know what I need to do to make myself better.” He says he found himself during his 12 weeks on the Biggest Loser Ranch, a self he had lost. He also discovered the joy he gets out of helping others.
In our post-elimination interview with Justin, he talks to us about the “Justin Callout Shirts,” something he started to help motivate some friends. They workout together at 5am and 8am, and he introduces them to self-confidence, better dietary habits and a fitness regimen. He also talks to us about the key differences between training with the new trainers, Brett and Cara, versus the tried-and-true regimen of Bob and Jillian.
One of the major success stories of The Biggest Loser season 11, Marci Crozier was actually able to reach her goal weight before being eliminated in week 11. Besides her daughter, many on the ranch saw Marci as a motivator and surrogate mom. However, she did not let her compassion for others sidetrack her from reaching her own goals, and attributes this success in part to her earlier life as a collegiate athlete.
At the ranch, one of the most important lessons that Marci says she learned is the importance of motivation. She says that for her, losing weight was about more than just food and exercise, but also about finding a balance between mind, body and faith. Marci says her faith has also been a big part of helping her find the strength to reach her goals.
It’s one of the most natural desires a woman can have – to start a family. And when Sarah Nitta experienced multiple miscarriages, it forced her to look at the reasons why, with her weight being a primary culprit. Her starting weight on Biggest Loser season 11 was 261 pounds, a lot for her small 5-foot-six-inch frame to carry. “My goal going into this was to get myself healthy enough to have a child,” she said in a post-elimination interview. Focused on getting to her finale weight goal, she said after that her first goal is to “try to carry a healthy pregnancy.”
Like most women, she has concerns about the pregnancy weight gain, but is already educating herself on the best way to go about that, citing the recommended amount of weight a woman can healthily gain for a pregnancy (about 35 pounds). She has spoken with her trainers and Biggest Loser’s Dr. Huizenga and they tell her “exercise is such an important part of pregnancy.” She also hopes to have more success in losing the weight and maintaing her new-found healthy habits after her pregnancy. “If I can’t get pregnant, then I’ve done my part [losing the weight], and we’ll try other options,” she said.
Listen now to our post-elimination interview with Sarah. She opens up about the perceived retaliation by her black team in sending her home and inadvertently being responsible for Arthur’s elimination in week 10. “I was very surprised at the decision” she says. She’s also working out at the Tapout gym in Las Vegas, with the same trainer who prepped Koli Palau and Mark Pinhasovich for the at-home prize wins. “That’s exactly what I’m shooting for,” she says of her decision to train with Robert McMullen.
It’s been a very long time since we’ve seen such a heart wrenching episode of Biggest Loser. We haven’t missed a show since season five began and this will undoubtedly go down as one of the most unforgettable episodes. There were few dry eyes as we watched Arthur Wornum walk in to the gym wearing a red shirt, a symbol that he’d been traded to the other team where he had no alliances; and should he end-up in the elimination room everyone knew he’d be sent home.
“I feel like I’m being dressed for my funeral” said a tearful Arthur as he walked on the scale one last time. Jillian Michaels was crying, “his girls” were crying on the black team, and most of us at home were crying big ‘ole alligator tears. And after last night’s elimination, Bob Harper sent Arthur a text message saying “I’m still in tears.”
However, you can’t cry for Arthur for too long. He’s resilient, and exudes a positivity and optimism that we wish was fully contagious like a virus. You’ll hear his high spirits in our post-elimination interview below. He tells us he has no animosity toward the red team, and knows he was victim to the “us v. them” mentality. He also shares how trainers Bob and Jillian have kept in touch since he left the ranch.
You can credit Bob and Jillian with a lot of Arthur’s success, but in the end it all goes to him. He lost 117 pounds, off of a starting weight of 507 pounds, while at the ranch. Working out six to eight hours a day at home, he’s now within 100 pounds of his goal.
“This isn’t to win the at-home prize, that’s the icing on the cake, this is to win my life back,” says Arthur about his weight loss. “For the first time in a long time, it’s within reach.” So close in fact that he’s confident that the at-home prize of $100,000 could very well be his. Don’t let a starting weight of 507 fool you, last year’s “heaviest contestant ever,” Michael Ventrella, became season 9’s Biggest Loser champ.
Arthur’s not taking the easy road. Part of that eight-hour-a-day workout, which he calls “my daily job,” is walking the five miles to the gym, and five miles home. In an interview with his loudest cheerleader, father and teammate, Jesse Wornum, he told us that Arthur has a tremendous support network at home, including his wife, mother, aunts, uncles and friends.
We have no doubt we’re going to see Arthur take this one all the way. And maybe even a little bit further!
With the elimination of Jaquin “Q” Allen from Biggest Loser this week, the red team is officially out of this game. During week five he was confronted by teammates for not fulling committing to being there, and his wife Larialmy‘s request to send her home bought him one more week. For whatever reason, Q still didn’t meet his teammates’ expectations and with the lift of those silver tray lids, he went back to South Carolina.
Watch our exclusive one-on-one interview with Q, sponsored by MultiGrainCheerios, in which we see this funny’s guy personality, hear a lot about the Biggest Loser Resort experience, and how his on-show training prepared him to workout at home.
After spending one week apart, the longest the couple had ever been separated, Q says his wife was waiting with open arms and “didn’t shun me.”
We spoke with Q following his elimination and he talks about how the couple has grown as a result of their shared Biggest Loser experience. He says things have only gotten better, and they’ve learned to stop being each others enabler. Plus, Q talks about what life was like for the Unknowns at the new Malibu location for Biggest Loser Resort at Fitness Ridge, a place he calls “Disney World for fat people.” Listen now: