Tag Archives: biggest loser 13

Planet Fitness is Biggest Loser 13 Contestants’ New Home

The first big product placement of tonight’s premier of season 13 of The Biggest Loser is for Planet Fitness. Gone are the days of sweating off the pounds in a 24 Hour Fitness outfitted gym. Contestants and viewers a like better get used to seeing Planet Fitness, a cost effective chain that made headlines in 2006 for terminating a member’s contract for grunting too loudly.

Planet Fitness markets itself as a “Judgement Free Zone”, and offers fitness equipment and personal trainers at its over 400 locations around the U.S. Planet Fitness’ membership cost is a huge selling point. Working out shouldn’t be expensive, and at $10 a month, it’s appealing to those trying to save a little green.

@Mrod31183 tweeted: “Did the deed. Left Lifetime for Planet Fitness, much better deal with not a much overhead. Great facility here in the hills as well.”

Some aren’t convinced, though. While Planet Fitness may be perfectly acceptable if you have Bob or Dolvett pushing you along the way, many aren’t fans of the lack of services.


Lauren Lee Goes from Biggest Loser Fan to Contestant in Season 13

By Dani M. Stone

Lauren Lee is a big fan of Biggest Loser. She and her mother and fellow yellow team contestant, Gail Lee, watch every season and root for the winners. This season, they make up one of three parent/child teams on Biggest Loser 13 and they’ll need to root for each other when they’re not competing against each other. Spoiler alert: That’s this season’s shocking twist.

Lauren, 26, is a highly educated young woman from Poolesville, Maryland. She studied hard for years, receiving a bachelor’s degree in adult fitness from Marshall University, and a master’s degree in exercise science with an emphasis on cardiac rehabilitation. Though she’s proud of her education, she admits her studies kept her from eating right and exercising, which led to a significant weight gain in college. She regrets missing out on typical fun college shenanigans because she was self-conscious about her weight and even turned down dates because she just couldn’t find anything to wear.

Her motivation for trying out for Biggest Loser 13 was to help her mom get in shape, but at 246 pounds she knows she could also benefit from weight loss, healthy lifestyle changes, and all the advice and support the ranch has to offer. She knows if she can get in shape, her mind and body will finally be in sync and it will help her considerably with her occupation as an exercise physiologist.

Lauren knows there will always be temptations like vanilla ice cream (her favorite), or her parent’s homemade macaroni and cheese, but she’s committed to learning how to enjoy unhealthy food in moderation and learn to make healthy choices a part of her everyday lifestyle. Lauren looks forward to she and her mother both losing weight so they can be active as a family. She would also like to run a marathon and learn how to hang-glide. Wonder if mom will join her for THAT adventure?

Gail Lee Wants to Inspire Her Generation to Get Healthy on Biggest Loser 13

By Dani M. Stone

Gail Lee’s epiphany for weight loss didn’t result from a particular incident or reading of a motivational poster. Instead, she had a heart-to-heart talk with her oldest daughter Lindsay, who shared how worried she was about Gail’s health. At 57-years old, 322 pounds, and on medication for diabetes, her family worried she might not be around to enjoy her husband of 32 years, her three children, and only granddaughter. Gail realized her family was right and now is happy to join her other daughter Lauren Lee as the yellow team on Biggest Loser 13.

Growing up in Bowling Green, Maryland with a younger brother, Gail survived polio and went on to have a happy, healthy childhood. By age 12 she was tall, just shy of six-feet tall, and though she wasn’t obese, she still felt self-conscious about her overall size. Gail attended Bowling Green State University with a triple major in special education, learning disabilities, and elementary education. She remained in good shape through college but after marriage and three pregnancies the weight started to slowly creep on. (more…)

Cassandra Sturos Will be a NYC Writer for Hire Following Biggest Loser 13

By Dani M. Stone

Cassandra Sturos, 25, wants to “take New York City by storm.” She recently received her bachelor’s degree in English/writing from Northern Michigan University. She wants to be a writer, maybe a columnist, and she knows New York City is the place to pursue her dreams, but at 239 pounds she lacks the confidence to make her big move. When Cassandra tried out for the Biggest Loser competition she invited her grandmother, Nancy Rajala, to join her. This year they make up the orange team, the only grandparent/grandchild team on Biggest Loser 13.

Cassandra is no stranger to excess weight and the teasing that often comes with it. As the oldest of 10 children growing up in Fowlerville, Michigan, Cassandra remembers someone taunting her about her weight in the second grade. It immediately and forever-after affected her self-esteem. As many people do, she sought comfort in food and continued to gain weight. (more…)

Grandmother to 55, Nancy Rajala is Ready to Turn Her Life Around on Biggest Loser 13

By Dani M. Stone

Nancy Rajala considers the invitation from her granddaughter, Cassandra Sturos, to try out for the Biggest Loser competition to be nothing short of “divine intervention.” At 63, Nancy should be enjoying her retirement and spending time with her 55 grandchildren. Yes, 55. But instead, at 217 pounds, she has high blood pressure and feels depressed because she’s not the lively energetic person she used to be. Nancy and Cassandra are the only grandparent/grandchild team on this season of Biggest Loser 13.

To say Nancy is tough is an understatement. Raised in Farmington, Michigan with three siblings, Nancy was devastated by the loss of her father at just 13-years old. When she turned 14, her mother gave her a bus ticket, $70, and sent her off to get married. The marriage lasted only two years and at 17, she married her second husband and went on to have 13 children. The family had a successful drywall business and for the first time in a long time, Nancy was happy. Tragedy struck again when her husband developed heart failure and lung cancer. She was a widow at age 52. (more…)

400-Pound Father of 10, Ben Shuh, Competes on Biggest Loser 13

By Dani M. Stone

Ben Shuh is the king of fast food, well, at least his father was. As executive vice president of Burger King, Ben’s father kept the family hopping, moving Ben and his four siblings from Ohio, Michigan, Florida and Texas. In high school, Ben was active in sports playing football and competing in wrestling tournaments. He was even a starting defensive tackle for a Texas 5A state qualifying football team, as well as a state-qualifying wrestler. After high school, less exercise and big life changes led to a staggering weight gain, which in turn led to his participation in Biggest Loser 13.

In 2002, Ben’s wife announced she wanted a divorce and left him with sole custody of their four children. Suddenly, any free time he had was needed to be Super Dad. For seven years, Ben juggled work and the kids’ activities, often leaving him tired and depressed. His priority was making sure his children had what they needed, meaning he came last, often to the detriment of his health.

Now happily married again, Ben found love and 10 more reasons to lose weight, get in shape and lead a healthier lifestyle – his growing family. Ben’s wife brought four children to join his brood, they had a child together, and now they have a baby on the way. (more…)

“Mrs. Claus” Christine Pickler Uses Biggest Loser 13 to Keep up With a Large Family

By Dani M. Stone

Christine Pickler, 42, is quick to admit she’s an “emotional eater who uses food for comfort.” As a busy mother to four children and now three adult step-children, Christine knows she can always find an excuse not to exercise or eat the way she should. She recently married a man 20 years her senior and looks forward to creating a life with him. At 240 pounds, she’s excited to be on Biggest Loser 13 this year with her new husband Roy Pickler. They are the only husband and wife team this season.

Growing up in South Bend, Indiana with a large blended family, Christine is comfortable with an extended family and now has one of her own. With seven children between she and her Santa Claus look-a-like husband, she knows she needs to get healthy to juggle her new demanding life. (more…)

Santa Claus Roy Pickler Works to Become a Healthier Role Model on Biggest Loser 13

By Dani M. Stone

Roy Pickler joins his wife Christine Pickler this season on Biggest Loser 13. They make up the red team, which is appropriate because Roy is a self-employed Santa Claus from Middlebury, Indiana. With his authentic white hair and fluffy white beard, his Santa-esque qualities are remarkable. Unfortunately, he also has the “bowl full of jelly” belly to go with it. At 63-years-old and 306 pounds, Roy knows he needs to get healthy, but there is an emotional attachment to his weight. He wonders how he can continue to delight children if he’s a slim Santa.

For 25 years, Roy has been a role model for young children, taking his scout troops on adventures, and spending the Christmas season being the jolly man. Now, with an unhealthy lifestyle and morbid obesity causing high blood pressure, sleep apnea, water retention, hypertension and high cholesterol, Roy hasn’t been feeling quite so jolly these days. (more…)

Allen “Buddy” Shuh Graduates from High School’s Most Athletic to Biggest Loser 13

By Dani M. Stone

When Allen “Buddy” Shuh’s 7-year-old son innocently asked him at the dinner table if he was fat, the 42-year-old pastor from Wayne, Michigan simply answered “yes.” Weighing in at 403 pounds, Buddy points to lack of exercise and stress-eating as the primary causes for his weight gain that led him to become a contestant, with his brother Ben Shuh, on this season of Biggest Loser.

In high school Buddy was very active, becoming captain of both football and wrestling teams, and was even voted “most athletic” in his senior year. He went on to play football in college but after he graduated, receiving a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, he stopped exercising and eating right and the pounds began to pile on.

In 2005, Buddy and his wife received devastating news. Their unborn daughter was diagnosed with Spina bifida, a condition occurring in the first few months of life where the spine fails to close during development. They also learned she was missing several organs. She was carried to full term but was never able to come home and spent her short life in the pediatric intensive care unit. Buddy and his wife visited their tiny angel every day until she passed away, just shy of six-months old. Buddy admits the stress of working, going to school, commuting to see his daughter at the hospital, and the anguish he felt when she died, compounded his unhealthy eating habits. “With the severity of what was happening, eating one meal correctly or eating one day healthily, seemed very trivial and unimportant to me,” he explained. (more…)

Single Mom Daphne Dortch Sets Sights on a Bikini Body after Biggest Loser 13

By Dani M. Stone

Daphne Dortch was going to be a lawyer. After earning a political science and communication degree at Eastern Michigan University, she studied for and received a certificate in paralegal studies at Roosevelt University. She was ready for the last leg of the journey, law school, when she got pregnant with twin daughters. As a single mother, Daphne put her career on hold to raise her children. After a significant weight gain with the twins, an unhealthy eating style and now, plagued with atrial fibrillation, Daphne, 37, enters the ranch at 271 pounds. She joins her brother Adrian Dortch this season on Biggest Loser 13.

Raised in Evanston, Illinois with her younger brother, Daphne was active in elementary and middle school, playing basketball and throwing shot-put for the track team, but says she’s always been heavy and always struggled with her weight. During the pregnancy from her twins, she gained 100 pounds and 5 years later gained even more weight while pregnant with her son. Losing the additional weight seemed impossible. (more…)