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The Biggest Loser’s First Female Winner: Ali Vincent | Club Industry 2010

Part 1: The Biggest Loser is a must-watch!

I have been on the record for several years with my opinion that The Biggest Loser (TBL) should be a “must watch” for all health and fitness industry professionals.  To me, TBL represents the good, the bad and the ugly of all that goes on in health related industries.  I place so much importance on professional viewership because on a weekly basis MILLIONS of overweight/obese and out of shape individuals watch the show with the starry-eyed hope(s) of…“That could be me if only I could get on the show,” or “I could be successful too if I had Bob or Jillian as my personal trainer.”

The sad reality is that of the 250,000 people who apply for the show each season, only about 22 get chosen to go to The Biggest Loser Ranch and participate.  Do the math, that’s less than one out of every 11,000 applicants hit The Biggest Loser lottery!

So, that is where the health and fitness industry professionals come in; we’re the other (not the next best) alternative to being on the show.  We have to be ready to help the millions who have been (or think they have been) motivated to FINALLY lose weight and get in shape by TBL, as well as react to what is seen and heard on the show.

We all know that weight-status comes down to the relative relationship between input and output.  TBL devotes an extraordinary amount of time to showing the output side of the equation—it makes for good TV!

I could write volumes on the plusses and minuses of the in-your-face, boot camp, marathon-sprint workout routines that we see the contestants go through—from the first moment they arrive on campus.  However, I will save that commentary for another time.

On the input side, I would ask you what YOU think about The Biggest Loser diet; all TBL contestants follow individualized versions of it. But, alas, we know so little about what the contestants really eat throughout the duration of the show. What I do know is that during the average episode of TBL, the time devoted to showing the contestants preparing food and eating food averages less than three minutes. I find that very interesting, in light of the fact that the contestants’ daily calorie burn goal (as measured by their bodybugg®) is in the 6,000-8,000 calorie range.

Memo to show producers:  Offer viewers a more balanced representation of the big picture—a little more on the input side, please.  Demystify how the contestants rack up extraordinary weekly weight losses. Enough said on that topic for now…

So, now that you know that I am a professional/committed TBL fan, imagine my excitement in knowing that Ali Vincent (the first female winner of the Biggest Loser—season #5) was one of the keynote speakers at the 2010 Club Industry-East Show.  My goal in attending her talk was to soak up every word she said, the body language and passion with which her message was delivered, and of course to see what a Biggest Loser looks like, in person, two years after the fact—I have pictures!

Stay tuned, Biggest Loser fans.  Over the next few weeks I will post my review of Ali’s keynote address, her thoughts, and my commentary on her thoughts.  I have broken her talk down into four different categories:

1)    The “old” Ali Vincent:  The life and lifestyle that brought her to the Biggest Loser.

2)    Her “tales” from TBL campus.

3)    The “new” Ali Vincent:  What she’s saying about her life and lifestyle today.

4)    “Ali’isms:” I pulled numerous “sound-bites” out of her talk.  Many of her ‘isms are part of the grand “mantra” she lives by today.  Others are great short sayings that struck ME as inspirational thoughts that could help guide anyone to living a more healthful life and lifestyle.

Stay tuned…

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