After 12 difficult weeks, we finally reached the end of Biggest Loser “18.” We started with 24, and ended up with 12, which was exactly half the group. Things come up, people get busy, and priorities change, especially with such a difficult thing as starting and sticking to a new, rigorous, exercise and weight loss program.
The statistic always holds, no matter the size of the group (we’ve had up to 66), the difficulty of the program (I’ve tried easing them into it, slamming them into it, and everything in between). Half will finish, half will drop for one reason or another.
So I always like to ask the ones left standing a couple questions: “What makes you different? How did you do this, when others couldn’t? Here are some of their answers.
“I just made up my mind.” “I love new clothing.” “It’s about not ever giving up, even if you tried 100 times before.” “Determination.” “It was the competition with my wife.” “When you told us half the people always quit, I was determined not to be a quitter.”
The group also took post-test like the one they took on the first day: a series of one minute tests: Pushups, Sit-ups, Body Squats, Burpees, and Mountain Climbers (they had already done a 1-mile post-test on their own).
All of them were much stronger in each area, doubling their output in several categories. Most took several minutes off their 1 mile time, and a couple gained more than 7 minutes!
The winner for Week Twelve was Johna Todd, who finished first by losing 2.4 lbs and 1.2% of her body weight. Lesley Mills, Tracy Whitaker, and Sondra Martin tied for second place, and Julie Panetti and Debbie Eveland tied for third place.
Our overall winner for Biggest Loser “18” was Jeremy Whitaker, who lost 30.0 lbs and 17.1% of his body weight during the 12 weeks. This is particularly impressive because he was also the winner last time in Biggest Loser “17”, losing 66.4 lbs, bringing his total weight loss to 96.4 lbs! This is the first time anyone has won two Biggest Losers or two in a row.
Tracy Whitaker, finished second overall, losing 18.2 lbs and 13.6% of her body weight. This was also unique, because it was the first time a husband and wife ever finished in 1st and 2nd place! Sondra Martin was third, losing 30.2 lbs and 12.7% of her body weight.
Now the group needs to think about how to maintain what they’ve fought so hard for. In some cases, they’ll set new fitness and weight loss goals, with a new 12-week cycle. Others may need three or four 12-week cycles before they get where they really want to be.
To help them along, we’ll be starting Biggest Loser “19” right after the holidays on Monday, January 6th. It’s been reported that most Americans gain 5-7 lbs between Thanksgiving and New Years. Hopefully that won’t happen to this group, but if it does, we’ll be ready!