Season 15 of the Biggest Loser on NBC has come and gone. Viewers were on the edge of their chairs waiting to see the new and improved bodies of the contestants they had been cheering on all season. Even though we all know that the new and improved bodies are just the exterior representations of the stories of these individuals overcoming seemingly impossible odds and achieving their personal dream come true. This year proved to have some of the most dramatic weight loss stories in the history of the show, and a little controversy for pushing weight loss too far. Without a doubt, lives were dramatically changed.
We all watch each season finale and think that contestants will maintain their weight loss and live happily ever after. But in reality, what remains are 15 new weight-loss journeys starting in real life. Anyone who has ever been a passenger on the weight loss roller coaster knows that maintaining the desired weight can be equally as difficult as losing it in the first place. We were fortunate enough to catch up with Marie Pearl, who formerly worked with us here at Mills Properties in St. Louis, after her life-changing experience on the Biggest Loser and she gave us some great tips and insight. We know she is strong enough inside and out to tackle any challenges that may lie ahead! And my goodness, doesn’t she look AMAZING!?!
Our interview with Marie Pearl…
1. What did you learn at the Ranch that was most impactful?
I learned so much about nutrition and how to use food as fuel for my body which was very eye opening for me. I learned how a plate should look in terms of carbs, proteins, and healthy fats and that each decision I made impacted not only my health, but how I felt on a day-to-day basis. I also learned about pushing past limits I had set for myself, especially in the gym. I had put up a lot of walls to protect myself, but once I was pushed outside my comfort zone I was able to find strength to start taking care of myself.
2. How long at a time were you away from home?
I left for the finals week of casting on June 12th and I returned home from filming the show after I was eliminated on October 11th. So my longest period away from home was for 4 months. It was incredibly tough to be away from my friends and family for such a long time, but I knew that I was doing it for a reason and it would all pay off in the end.
3. Tell us the truth…How was it to work with Jillian Michaels and the rest of the cast?
I may be biased, but this season had one of the best casts I’ve ever seen. Everyone was genuinely supportive and invested in the success of each other, which has not always been the case in past seasons. I loved working in the gym, in the kitchen, really in all activities with my cast mates. We’re a big family and although times can get tough, we’re always there for each other.
Working with Jillian Michaels was everything I thought it would be…and then some. Jillian is so passionate and cares so much about the success of the contestants, but she also has a unique method to her madness. The great thing about it is that it works! I wouldn’t be where I am today without her. Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot of yelling, screaming, and pushing me to my breaking point, but it was all part of her plan to show me my own strength and build the confidence I needed to be successful in this journey. She’s one tough lady, but I was happy to have her on my side!
4. What do you miss most about being at the Ranch?
Probably the thing I miss most is my cast mates. There’s something to be said for having a built in support system with people that are on the same journey and experiencing the same things as you are. I still keep in touch with many of them and I know if I ever need any support they will be there for me. I can’t lie, I also miss the fully stocked kitchen. We did have to prepare our own meals, but having someone else to grocery shop and stock the kitchen sure was nice.
5. Best moment at the ranch? Worst?
My best moment on the ranch was definitely makeover week. After I made the decision to allow Ken to cut my hair, I immediately found a new sense of confidence and felt like my transformation had finally come full circle. I was so excited to show my husband, Tom, all of the amazing changes I had made.
My worst moment on the ranch was probably all of the challenges the White Team was faced with. We had to overcome so many obstacles and I felt it took an emotional toll on me. I didn’t expect for it to be so hard and as an extremely competitive person it was a life lesson to learn how to lose graciously. Luckily I became so much stronger for it, but while it was happening it was extremely difficult.
6. What would people be surprised most about regarding the show/behind the scenes?
I think most people would be surprised to hear how much self-motivation the contestants need on a daily basis. As a fan of the show, I too thought that there were people waking the contestants up, feeding them, forcing them to workout, etc, but that is not the case. Each contestant is responsible for making their own meals and getting in their hours of working out each day. It takes a lot of strength and motivation to get out of bed when you’re exhausted and sore. I was surprised by how strong I truly was. It’s amazing what your mind and body can accomplish when you push yourself.
7. Do you see yourself continuing a lifestyle of healthy eating and working out long-term?
I absolutely see myself continuing this lifestyle forever. I put in a lot of hard work and I have no intention of going back. I did this not only for me, but for my husband and future family. I want to make sure that we have a long, healthy, and happy life ahead of us. Being home after finale, I’ve already started to implement all of the things I learned on the ranch and I’m excited about the new lifestyle I get to live.
8. How did you keep everything a secret for so long?
Surprisingly there are so many contracts and confidentiality agreements that you sign as a contestant…it was pretty easy to keep quiet. 🙂 No, in all seriousness I wanted to shout from the rooftops that I was embarking on this incredible journey, but I knew that I had an obligation to keep parts of my journey a secret for the betterment of the show.
9. What is the easiest life-style change someone could make to get their journey started?
Most people think of the things you have to give-up in terms of creating a healthy lifestyle. I believe that you should start with the little things you can add-in that will make a big impact. By adding in vegetables to at least one meal a day, that will have a direct positive affect on your health. Additionally, by adding in at least 30 minutes of walking or some activity each day or 3-5 times a week, you will also see positive results as you start your journey.
Check out Marie at the beginning of the season:
And here she is wowing the folks on the Today Show!
Congrats Marie! We are honored to call you a Real Life STL Friend!
Brought to you by Mills Apartments