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Biggest Loser Casting Call


Lynette Smith
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I went to the casting call for the Biggest Loser back in March and was apalled: 1000-1500 aspiring contestants and an 8 hours wait (in very chilly weather) to get to spend what couldn't have been more than 5 minutes with 15 other people in a group interview with a casting person. Many in the crowd waiting to get in were ordering pizza or chowing down on 3000+ calorie meals from the local fast food restaurant. As I waited I resolved that I wasn't going to wait for the remote chance of being selected to do something about the weight, and that I'd start working out as hard as I would if I were actually on the show (using my imagination, since I only have what I see in show to go by, and that doesn't give any sense of just how long they work out).

Well I didn't get a call back and, since I was then babysitting a 2 year old and and identical twins for up to 12 hours a day, I didn't have the energy to go to the gym regularly, but I knew that the mother's job with the census was only temporary, so I bided my time. In May I went to the gym and there was a notice for Boot Camp, described as a Biggest Loser style workout (this was the week of the Biggest Loser finale). Wouldn't you know it, I was babysitting.

Babysitting ended on Memorial Day weekend and, after recovering from a rather depressing convention, I finally made it to the gym on June 11. There's another Boot Camp poster, so, since the previous one I had seen mentioned "Biggest Loser" I signed up for class the next day, expecting it to be filled with heavy people. I was wrong! I was the heaviest by a substantial amount. But I went ahead, trying to do everything as best I could and only pausing during activity when my heart rate got above 160. The teacher named me his rock star, which I figured was a weekly designation for someone who tried hard, but there hasn't been any others since.

With encouragement from the 3 trainers who teach Boot Camp on rotating Saturdays and other people from the class I started going to the gym every day, missing only 3 days since June 11, the last being July 2. The weight is slow in coming off, but I've lost some inches, which I know represent more in the long run. Last Thursday when I hit a Boot Camp at a different location I had dropped one more pound, making it an even 10 over the course of the 7 weeks I've been going, so I was pretty excited.

Well the Biggest Loser was going to do another casting call on Saturday and I felt rather ambivalent after last time. Friday morning I dreamt I was on the Ranch and it was being decided who was to train with which trainer. A week before I did a workout with everything thrown in, lasting 6 hours, so for the first time I felt as if I really could do it. I was chatting with the gym manager about my reservations, because if I went and waited in line I'd miss Boot Camp, and was it really worth the bother. He said he was going down there in the morning to take some cards for 1 week trial memberships to give to the prospective contestants and he'd check it out. He told me I had to go to class and had the trainer tell me I couldn't miss class.

Saturday I arrived and he was at the desk and asked if I had gone in. No, and it had felt like a good decision at 5 in the morning. He told me there really wasn't a huge crowd, 200-300. I went and did class and decided to go to the television station where the casting call was.

I got there and there was no line! Well, the notice at the gym said they'd try to see the first 500 in line. A person opened the door and I mentioned that there wasn't a line and she said that the crowd was smaller and only trickling through by this time. So I went in, filled out the application, then as soon as they had a group of 8, we all went in. We waited in an area just outside the sound stage and who was there but Koli, one of the final 4 from the season which had just ended in May. Koli has family here in Utah and was actually in town back in March too, much to the casting person's consternation because he's supposed to be keeping a low profile, but she was relieved to be informed he had only been at a church function with family.

Ahah! My big chance to ask what I've been dieing to know: just how long do they work people out on the ranch? 4 hours. I was relieved, I was afraid it would be more like my extreme 6 hour session or worse. He told us about what it was like and it was very interesting. I considered it well worth the trip just to listen to what he had to say. Then the group was ushered into the sound stage where the group interview would take place. Koli sat in, occasionally giving us a little more insight.

As we started introducing ourselves, I gleefully produced my workout journal detailing all my work since June 11(and sporatically from 2006 on). The casting person grabbed the journal, turning the pages, asking how fast on the treadmill, and was I recording my weight and what I ate. I mentioned that I had come straight from Boot Camp class. I think they were very impressed. She asked about soda pop. I proudly announced that my consumption was down drastically, and that I had gone 2 whole weeks without a Diet Mountain Dew.

"But that's like saying 'I haven't done crack in 2 weeks!' ". She also spoke on how working out 24 hours a day wouldn't do any good if the nutrition was not being dealt with properly, portion sizes and what to eat and how often. It certainly gave me food for thought.

(Okay, no more Dew or other soda pop :horse: , gone the same way as whole milk, potato chips, mayonnaise, french fries, prepared foods, and a lot of other stuff)

She encouraged everyone to submit a video, and that if there were any call backs it would be by 11 that night. Needless to say, I didn't have a call, but I didn't really expect one, I believe that the videos carry more weight. My brother is going to lend me his camera so I can give it a try. I was very surprised after looking online about videos submissions: the suggested length is 15-30 minutes! Well no wonder they carry so much weight!

I know that my journal documenting my efforts may have worked against me instead of for me. They may have decided that I don't need the show, and maybe they'd be right. Who knows?

I'm still a little ambivalent about the affect the remote chance of being selected would have on my progress. I weighed in at the gym tonight and had lost 2.6 pounds since Thursday's weigh in :) . If I was selected I'd want to give myself the best chance possible and if I lost any substantial amount of weight before, it would be that much less that I could lose later. On the other hand, building muscle and endurance would help.

Oh well, I'll cross that bridge, if and when it comes. I don't really expect to be selected, but it would be nice to have all the resources available that the show provides and my budget doesn't allow. As before, I'll continue to work as hard as I imagine I would if I were actually there. It was a much more productive experience, both with Koli and the casting person and I don't consider this time to have been a big waste.

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The video is so the show has enough "before" footage to splice in with the regular footage to help individualize each contestant's progress. The most crucial part of controlling & maintaining healthy weight is the food that goes into your body. Excercise builds & maintains your strength, especially while adjusting to the weight loss. When we weigh less we're able to stay more active. Obesity is so insdious because as we gain weight it takes a lot more effort to move it all around, making it easier to gain more.

"The Biggest Loser" adds a nice monetary carrot to the stick of a major life change which you are making. Keep paying attention to your diet and when you get to a more comfortable weight, join a hiking group and start doing outdoor activities; hiking 5-8 miles in some of Utah's outdoors seems to me like a lot more fun than spending the same 4 hours in the gym, and you'll have the excitement of all the wonderful things to see. Arm machine? Make friends with someone with a tandem canoe or kayak!

If you make it to the show, let us know; I stopped watching because there was something else on that DH watches. I love the success rate with the folks who get bumped and go on to do it on their own, as you are.

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Think of it this way... you are making a lifestyle change, Biggest Loser is a momentary blip on the radar. Have you looked at Spark People? They might be able to help with the nutrition, and it's free to join. I was a member for a while. Lost 15 lbs.

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Think of it this way... you are making a lifestyle change, Biggest Loser is a momentary blip on the radar. Have you looked at Spark People? They might be able to help with the nutrition, and it's free to join. I was a member for a while. Lost 15 lbs.

I'm not familiar with them, but just pulled up their website, which I'll check out a little later today. Today is the big shopping day where I go to the store with the great food bargains. You never know what you'll find, except your choice of bread for a flat rate, so I pick up the whole wheat. I have 10 pounds of turkey chili base in the freezer which I picked up previously. I need to thaw out the first bag and cook up with a batch. I'm thinking of trying lentils in place of the usual variety of bean, because I've heard it has more protein. They also have great deals on produce, so I'm always grabbing salad mix, tomatoes, onions, and other things there. On today's shopping wish list is sweet potatoes. I got some last time and baked them, then ate them without salt or butter - i think they actually tasted better cold. I've also put sweet potatoes in soup in place of regular potatoes. Oh, and carrots - they have 25 pound bags really cheap; I've never got one before because I couldn't consume that many, but I think I'll get some to juice - I want to make my own low salt version of V8.

Holly, I do the rowing machine and visualize myself out on real water. Unfortunately it gets a little chilly around here for kayaking in the winter, though I remember watching footage of eskimos doing it when I was a kid. Two people drowned yesterday kayaking on a very sedate river in the middle of the city after they went down a 1.5' waterfall (I didn't know there were any), which apparently created a strong undertow and they disregarded warnings to get out. Kayaking in the mountains does sound lovely... I think it's great how active you are and want to be just like you when I reach your age! :)

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I put black beans in chili when I make it, we just prefer the taste. I put cinnamon on sweet potatoes. We had leftover sweet potatoes from DH's birthday dinner tonight so I'm making sweet potato biscuits with raisins for breakfast tomorrow ("Heart Healthy" Bisquick & fat-free yogurt).

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I'm thinking of trying lentils in place of the usual variety of bean, because I've heard it has more protein.

First off, Congrats on all of your hard work. Kudos to you my dear!

Secondly, lentils are good for you and you can try all different kinds. There are the greenish french lentils, red lentils, black lentils. The darker the lentil, the firmer they are when cooked. The paler, the mushier they become.

Whenever Chelsea cooks lentils, the whole house smells soooo good! Something about their smell just makes me hungry.

You can make a nice french lentil soup and put it in the fridge to eat for lunches. You can cook them, chill them, and toss them in salads. They are very versatile.

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Good for you! Go Lynette! I'm restarting Weight Watchers today because of you! Thanks!

Hey Siobhan, I joined Weight Watchers back in February and have lost 31 pounds so far. I love it that the meetings are at my job, it makes it much easier and I have a friend in the office and we are doing it together which keeps us both accountable.

Now if I would just start exercising I could lose the weight even faster. Another weigh in tomorrow.

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I went on a solo hike today and shot video. I have no idea how far up the trail I went, because there were no markers, but coming back took 25 minutes without stopping. I ran out of battery power, not to mention the energy to propel myself up the trail, so it seemed like a good point to turn around. I was more impressed with the hike coming down - going up always feels steep, but when I was going back it still looked impressive, much to my amusement. I figured I'd be out in some dispiriting short time, like 5 or 10 minutes. I haven't looked at the footage yet and hoped it turned out.

The best part is when I stepped on the scale after I got up it looked lower, so on the way to the canyon I stopped at the Sugarhouse gym to way myself on the digital scale. Down 1.7 pounds from Sunday. :)

I think this writing everything I eat down is going to pay off, I'm afraid to eat something monstrously bad because someone may check up on me. It's also a big disincentive to not buy bad things in the first place.

I have some corned beef and cabbage with yams cooking in the crock pot. I only had purple cabbage so it looks rather bizarre. I've decided that raw yam tastes similar to jicima (sp?) and might not be a bad snack. I need to make room in the fridge before I can make the chili.

Heidi, I didn't know lentils were so different from variety to variety! I cook them sometimes in the rice steamer if they aren't destined for soup and find they taste good with barbecue sauce on them.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well the application and video went out in mail Thursday. I've no idea if I have any chance at getting on or not, but, unlike the last 2 times, I did the video. I'll probably go nuts wondering if I'll get a call, but I'm not going to sit back and wait. I lost 3.3 more pounds since last Thursday.

If I don't get on this time, I'm hoping maybe I'll drop out of contention as a plausible viable winner by the time the next casting season rolls around by losing weight on my own.

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At the rate you're losing, you're as likely to keep it off on your own as you would if you're selected. The most useful thing about going on the show, IMO, is the diet changes they will have you make.

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They had a cast call this past weekend for the show.. I didn't get to go :angry:

I will say a prayer for you that it all works out.

I need to lose 65lbs so I am with you!

maybe we should start a weight loss group to keep each other motivated.

Time is a lot of my problem.. Mini time, Me time, Work out time don't fit into my schedule

like I wish it could.

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