through my work with bodymedia, i have been so fortunate to meet some of the key contestants from season 14 of the biggest loser (and even luckier for me, three of them live in chicago!) i asked runner up jeff and his main squeeze francy (they met on the show and are still together!) if they would be up for being featured on my blog … and they agreed! read on for some delicious morsels from these two about how they stay in shape, handle life and make plans for the future together.
WW: Since being on the Biggest Loser, what has been the biggest challenge for you?
Francy: Since being on the show the biggest challenge for me has been changing my relationship with the scale. While on the show, this was a measure of your effort and what you lost for the week made the difference between going home or staying on the ranch. The actual number down to the ounce was literally the most important thing. I have had to put the importance and my preoccupation with that number aside. After all, its more important for my focus to be about living a healthy balanced life. Shifting my attention from that number to just living has been hard. Sometimes we get so preoccupied with that “magical” number that we forget about the overall goal and how far we have actually came.
Jeff: Since being on the show the biggest change for me, aside from losing the weight, would be how I look at pretty much everything. I look at food differently, activities differently, goals, and even life differently. Everything has a purpose and an end result that I’m trying to achieve, and by doing this I can lay out a plan of attack so I don’t get off track in any area of my life. Trust me, it isn’t a perfect system by any means, but it gives me structure and that is something I was lacking before the show.
WW: Describe one positive thing and one challenging thing about your relationship as it relates to healthy life goals, fitness, etc.
Francy: The most positive thing is that we truly understand and respect each other. We have both been in very dark places in our lives and now that we have risen above, we know what it takes to remain in this place. We work very hard for “that” place. We help each other mentally and physically. However, we also are aware that we both were food addicts and that habitual instinct to run to food for comfort does not go away. You merely get better at choosing a different coping mechanism. This is a bit of a problem because than you encounter situations where if one slips than the other is more likely to slip as well. This has been challenging and the way that we have dealt with it is learning to work as a team BUT also independently. An accountability partner is great BUT at the end of the day you are the person that has to be the most accountable for yourself.
Jeff: One positive thing is that we both understand each other, and know where each other have come from and where we still would like to go. Because of this we are able to help one another in the gym, with nutrition, and on our future fitness goals. One negative thing is that we both were, and are still food addicts. When one of us wants to get off track it is very easy for us to influence the other one if were both feeling a moment of weakness. That is why Francelina is in charge of the gym, and I am in charge of nutrition to try and help balance it out so we don’t have to try and do all the decision making and planning on our own.
WW: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Francy: I see myself making a significant difference in someone’s life. I am in the process of getting my excess skin removed and have become very passionate about this part of my journey. My goal is to speak up about it. I have been fortunate enough to have a wonderful surgeon (Dr. Jennifer Capla) who also feels very strongly about bringing awareness to this topic. It is sort of taboo to talk about the excess skin that comes with massive weight loss and sometimes the silence mentally and physically puts people shackles. It unfortunate that with all the other issues and challenges that come with getting healthy, this happens to be one more and one that no one speaks about. People often don’t see a solution so I want people to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Jeff: I see myself replacing one of the trainers on the show…just kidding. In 5 years I see myself and Francy living somewhere in Southern California, or somewhere with great weather and lots of available outdoor activities, starting our own family, and hopefully being involved in fitness or the fitness industry as a career.
WW: What is your primary focus in life right now?
Francy: My primary focus in life right now is to see this third part of my journey. I lost a significant amount of weight prior to the show, lost a bit more during the show, and now I am up to that third and final stage. I am trying to fully do away with that old life. The excess skin is a constant reminder of where I was. I am no longer that person and I am just trying to move forward. I am devoted to fitness and cannot wait to see how much more capable I will be without it. Additionally, Jeff and I work for Biggest Loser RunWalk and it is literally our job to spread motivation and inspiration. This is something that makes us so happy. We had so much support from everyone while we were on the show and now it’s our time to give back!
Jeff: My primary focus in life right now is me, myself, and I. During the show life and things were a whirlwind and I didn’t get much time to step back and soak it in. I am taking this time to evaluate what I want to do with my life, I’m still just a kid, but its time for me to start to make that leap into a company, and a career i want to grow with and really be part of. I am currently in the final stages of becoming a certified personal trainer, so in a perfect world, I would move to San Diego and start my own training facility and help people achieve their fitness goals! So right now just trying to focus on myself, my relationship, and planning for a great future.