Archive for category: Diet (Page 2)

Biggest Loser Casting Call locations announced!

21 May
May 21, 2012

Holland Strickland, the casting director in charge of casting for Biggest Loser posted the following on Facebook – including the dates and cities for Biggest Loser open casting calls:

#BL14 CASTING HAS OFFICIALLY BEGUN!!!

CASTING CALL CITIES:

  • JUNE 16: LOS ANGELES CA
  • JUNE 23: ATLANTA GA, CHICAGO IL, MIAMI FL
  • JUNE 30: DETROIT MI, KANSAS CITY MO, PHOENIX AZ
  • JULY 14: PHILADELPHIA PA, RALEIGH NC, SALT LAKE CITY UT
  • JULY 21: CLEVELAND OH, DALLAS TX, SAN DIEGO CA.

We hope to see you at a casting call near you, however, if you cannot attend a casting call then BE SURE to send us a video audition! We watch ALL videos that come in by the deadline! Even if you attend a casting call it’s a good idea to also send an audition video to double your chances! We will be updating our website www.thebiggestlosercasting.com this week with pre-registration, casting call information, how to make a video, deadlines, and all other important information…we will announce when it goes LIVE! Our casting team promises to do our best updating you throughout the casting process on www.thebiggestlosercasting.com, twitter.com/blcastingteam, and Facebook.com/biggestlosercasting!

Please read our prior tweets, FB posts, and website FAQ before asking questions that likely have already been answered. We appreciate your cooperation as we may not able to respond to every single tweet, email, or Facebook post. Most importantly, there will be MANY rumors you will hear by reading other potential candidates posts, tweets, blogs, etc…unless you hear it straight from the BL14 Casting Team then it may not be true. The BL14 Casting Team should be your go-to source of casting information. Throughout the casting process we suggest avoiding driving yourself crazy by listening to all the speculation by other candidates as it may cause unnecessary self-doubt, depression, emotional eating, etc…and as you know we want to promote as much positivity, healthy lifestyles, and an overall fun and exciting casting process for everyone involved! Last but not least, if you are considering auditioning but are on the fence, we say GO FOR IT! EVERY SINGLE CONTESTANT that has ever been on the show was on the fence at one point and never thought we would pick them…now here they are living the new and healthy life they always dreamed of! With that we say…WELCOME TO BL14 EVERYONE! SIT BACK, RELAX, and ENJOY THE ADVENTURE YOU ARE ABOUT TO EMBARK ON!

-The BL14 Casting Team

Grab Michelle Aguilar’s book for free!

21 May
May 21, 2012

Michelle Aguilar, the season six winner of Biggest Loser, wrote a great book, ‘Becoming Fearless: My Ongoing Journey of Learning to Trust God.’ What’s even better? It’s free for Kindle for a limited time! Grab it while you still can!

Click here to go grab it!

And on a side note, I love that she did an ‘I am second’ video. Powerful stuff!

Biggest Loser casting tips (season 14)

09 May
May 9, 2012

Biggest Loser is getting ready to start casting for season 14!  Casting calls will be happening this summer and will be posted soon on the Biggest Loser casting website.  Basically, this post is a collection of tips I’ve written based on my experience making the cast of season three, as well as some links to casting advice I don’t think you should miss:

  • NBC has posted casting information and the application here.  They have all the casting news and information on a special blog just for Biggest Loser casting, which you can find here.
  • Pete Thomas, the season 2 $100,000 winner has some of the best casting call advice out there, which you can find at his website, Winning Man.
  • Holland, a casting director for Biggest Loser sent me a bunch of great advice on how to be casted, you can find it here.  She updated them October, 2009.
  • I’ve been posting these casting tips for the last few seasons and they always seem to end up with thousands of comments; just about every season has contestants that were hanging out on here, reading and giving each other thoughts and advice.  You can find the most recent one here.
  • If you’re dealing with disappointment about not being cast, then check out my post on Biggest Loser casting disappointment.

One of the questions I hear a lot is about money … how do contestants afford to be away from home and work for months at a time? I don’t know what it is now, but when I was a contestant there was a $500 a week stipend for cast members on the ranch. When you received the check you could cash it and spend it, send it home, save it, whatever. All airplane tickets, hotel accommodations, etc., for the contestants and potential cast members are taken care of by NBC, and during the casting process it self there was a $50 per diem to cover food costs.

Another question is timing; typically a season lasts for about 8-9 months. About four of this is spent in filming; if you last all the way until the final three or four, you could be away from home for as much as four months or so. Once the ranch filming wraps and the last few contestants are sent home, however, there is still another four or five months that all the contestants have to continue losing weight until the finale. In addition, potential cast members are flown out to California a couple weeks before filming begins for the final round of casting, medical checkups, psychological evals, etc. NBC brings out more people than what they need and the cast is not finalized until filming literally begins. People have been cut at the last minute and replacements flown in with hardly any time to spare. Nothing is in stone until it’s on camera!

When will you hear from Biggest Loser about your video? There is no way of knowing. I heard back a few weeks after I sent it in, but even after that it’s a big waiting game. If you get a phone number or email from a casting direction, definitely drop them a line/call every couple weeks to find out if you’re still in the running or what’s going on. Schedules and plans change almost every day, so it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. If you don’t hear back within a month I would think your video didn’t make the cut. That doesn’t mean you can’t send in another or visit a casting call – it’s just up to you!

Finally, here’s my video application tips! This is by no means a recipe for success; it’s based on my video application and the conversations I had with casting directors out in LA in between things. I was pretty curious about the whole process so I was pumping them for info even after filming began. I’m such a nerd!

  • They’ve usually decided if they’re interested in you within the first 30-60 seconds of your video, so front load it with your best stuff. Make it interesting! Start off with something funny or exciting!
  • Keep in mind, if you’re going to be cast, your video is going to be watched hundreds of times by producers, executives, casting directors, etc. If it bores you or your friends the second or third time watching it … put some more time into it!
  • Special effects? Don’t bother! We’ve all got video editing software with all sorts of bells and whistles on our home computers, but fancy transitions are not going to sell you to people who do video editing for a living. In fact, it can distract from who you are. I’m a video editing nerd and I didn’t use any special effects other than putting my name and contact info on as a subtitle at the beginning.
  • Don’t bother talking about why you need to lose weight. When I first started filming my audition video I started describing all of my health reasons for losing weight – but when I was watching it back, I realized … they don’t need to hear it! One look at me was all they needed to know I needed to lose weight! Show them why you need to lose it; I said I needed to lose weight for my kids, and then I followed it with a minute or two of the best footage I could find of me with wrestling with my three boys. We probably filmed half an hour of that insanity and I grabbed the cutest, loudest, and funniest few moments for the audition video. Your physical need to lose weight is not nearly as interesting as who or what your losing the weight for.
  • Live loud! Reality TV is over the top, dramatic, and filled with loud personalities. They need to see that on your video! I wanted them to know that even though I was morbidly obese I was up to the challenge of the crazy competitions and workouts – so I threw on a bunch of clips from my different youth group activities; me getting slimed, snowtubing, playing paintball, screaming at events, being on stage, running around … you get the idea. Other contestants did things appropriate to their lives; Tim from Oregon had himself spinning out on his Harley, Tim from Delaware recruited his elementary school class to do things with him, Heather Hanson filmed herself running around in a sports bra all day doing her household chores and errands. The less talking and more action you can have, the better (in my opinion)!
  • If you have footage or photos of yourself thin, include those at some point on the video. If you can show them what your after will be, then do it!

Remember, enjoy the conversation here and know that I will never compromise your anonymity – not to NBC, 3Ball, Casting Directors or anyone. You can post anonymously, or you can leave your names and contact information … just remember that NBC likes to be the one announcing their cast for the show, so if you start identifying yourself publicly as a finalist, you’ll probably find yourself eliminated from the casting process. Be aware that casting directors do check in at my blog to see what people are saying, get a feel for what questions are going on out there, and sometimes to give us updates. Good luck to everyone … and let me know if you make the show! I get a kick out of hearing about the different contestants that have hung out on my blog before making the show! ;)

Low cal burger grillin’

09 Apr
April 9, 2012

We fired up the grill for the first time in 2012 tonight … one of my favorite parts of summer. I love burgers. A lot.

Here’s the problem; a typical fast food burger or restaurant burger can run 800-1200 calories. Crazy land. Doing a regular burger at home, with a great bun, and cheese, can still run around 500-600 calories at a minimum. Add a hundred calories to that if you like mayo on it instead of ketchup. That’s my entire meal calorie count and I’m a two burger kind of guy.

Here’s how I do it …

Switching to turkey can cut the meat calories in half. Using the 97% fat free can result in a patty around 100-200 calories (depending how large it is). I love easy and the Jenny-O frozen 1/3lb patty is only 160 calories. It’s huge, and tastes great.

Pre-sliced cheese ranges 60-120 calories a slice (once again, depending on size). That’s a lot of calories for just a little bit of food. Kraft has a whole line of fat free sliced cheese ranging 25-30 calories a slice. I use one slice, just for flavor.

The bun is also a big deal. A tiny regular bun is around 110-150 calories, but it’s small. A man size bun ranges 180-250 calories. That’s a lot. Weight Watchers has a great, large bun that’s only 130 calories, but looks like one of the ones that has twice as many calories. It’s also whole wheat, and full of dietary fiber. Good stuff.

Going with those three options creates a large burger for 320 calories. If I have it handy, I’ll load it up with vegetables – the calories are almost negligible, makes it huge, and adds a ton of flavor. A little bit of ketchup, mustard (almost calorie free), or fat free mayo, and I’m done. If I budget my calories for the day well, I can have two burgers and then for my side either a salad or steamed veggies. That’s a MASSIVE meal for around 700 calories. For a guy my build, that’s a WIN. I’m stuffed, and for less calories than one traditional burger.

BOOM

06 Apr
April 6, 2012

Not to toot my own horn, ’cause I’m just not that type of guy (riiiiight) … but …

BOOM.

Good Friday just became Awesome Friday.

I hit a big milestone in my current weight loss endeavors (I started in January), sailing past the 50 pounds lost mark this morning (I dropped several pounds, so total loss is at 52 lbs). It felt good.

There have been a couple things different this time around – really in a lot of ways the first time I’ve been doing all this right since I left the show. I have two different groups for accountability (a competition, and a bunch of other Biggest Loser alumni), I’ve been counting calories and eating healthy, and I’ve been exercising regularly for about five hours a week at the local YMCA.

Which adds up to me losing weight at a consistent pace, feeling better, fitting in my ‘thinner’ clothes, and feeling a real change in my endurance levels.

I actually had to start changing up my workouts at the YMCA this past week. I had been just walking aggressively on the treadmill, steadily increasing the pace and the incline to keep pushing myself. However, I’ve started to reach the limits there, so now I’m starting off on the elliptical to get my heart rate up, then switching to the treadmill to finish the hour. Currently I’m up to 15 minutes (next workout I’m going for 20), then over to the treadmill. Eventually I’ll be doing the whole hour on the elliptical, then when that gets to easy I’ll start off jogging and then switch to the elliptical (that’s how I continually upped the intensity back in my Biggest Loser days).

Favorite gym comic

03 Mar
March 3, 2012

Just five more minutes

01 Mar
March 1, 2012

I am about eight weeks into my recent weight loss endeavors. In all honesty, it feels like I’m finally doing it right all the way for the first time since I finished on Biggest Loser. I’m logging my calories, exercising hard, dealing with my mental baggage – the weight is just a symptom and if I don’t deal with the roots it will come back or manifest in another way, and I have all types of accountability. Between being part of a challenge with some other friends, and checking in with Cheryl Forberg (Biggest Loser’s nutritionist for seasons 1-12) and other former Losers in the same boat, I am all over having others involved. Here are some of my observations …

The fifth and six week were once again almost my undoing. For whatever reason, however I’m wired, that just always seems to be the point in time when my body and my mind full on rebel. Change is tough, especially change that involves breaking decades worth of habits and patterns. I didn’t gain week during that time, but I didn’t lose much either. On top of my own natural tendency to break at that point, I had a lot of stressful things going on as well (retreats, conference). In a lot of ways it was a waiting game that I tried to will power my way through. I’ve lived through it enough to know that if I could just power through it, I would eventually get back into the zone. Sure enough, this week I have been like a new man.

Five minutes. Just five more minutes. That is my mantra on the treadmill. The first five minutes are always a killer – everything in me is screaming to stop, to skip it, to let it go for today. If I can just get through that first five minutes, my body accepts the workout and goes hard. That buys me time until about the 30 minute mark. From that point on (I generally shoot for an hour, with my heart rate up around 155-165) I basically lie to myself. Every time I’m ready to quit (every few minutes), I tell myself just five more and then I will. Just focusing on a string of small goals gets me through it every time.

Same with the weight loss. I don’t think about the big number. I think about the next milestone; which for me is every five pounds of loss, and every time I can get my actual weight to a number that ends in five or zero. Since I started at a number than ends in two, this basically means I hit a ‘milestone’ every two-three pounds I lose. These are small goals that seem very doable for me. My next one is one pound away – that’s all that got me into the gym today. This has gotten me to 36 pounds worth of weight loss over the last eight weeks. Part of me misses my Biggest Loser days when I was losing a pound or more a day the first couple months (I lost 81 pounds the first eight weeks), but honestly, I’m pretty good with what I’ve done.

Anyway, I thought I’d give a little update since I was kind of loud about getting back on track in January and then have been quiet about it since!

I’m the other one

27 Jan
January 27, 2012

I’m resistant to admit it, not comfortable with the truth, but it’s hard to argue with reality. Statistics say nine out of ten people with eating disorders are female. I’m the other one.

It’s a strange thing to be a guy with an eating disorder. Everyone talks about it like it’s a girl thing, which almost makes it worse in some ways, because it’s not something guys are ‘supposed’ to have. There’s this layer of humiliation in having a lifelong eating disorder. And a deeper layer of humiliation for being a guy with one.

In high school I was teased incessantly about my weight – by classmates AND teachers. Even then it was a yo-yo experience with my weight never standing still. By the time I hit college my weight was dramatically all over the place. I would binge. Then I would starve myself. In a typical year, my weight was vary sixty pounds or more from semester to semester. I was confronted for anorexia. I would go for days at a time without eating, and then only have a small meal or crackers before going several more days without eating. That continued until I was confronted by some caring friends about it. They took my appetite suppressant pills and chucked them. And then took them again a year later when I confessed that I was falling back into it.

Recently Dr. Cheryl of Biggest Loser fame (the show nutritionist for seasons 1-12) called me and some other former losers out for being bingers when we showed up for the show … and still being bingers today. The crazy thing is, I didn’t really think of myself that way. It’s true, though, literally the first thing I did after the final weigh in for Biggest Loser was to go binge myself sick. And it’s why my weight isn’t a stagnant thing. What I mean is, I have friends who may be over weight, but they tend to stay at the same number. My weight never stands still; I am either flying up the scale, or working my way down. I don’t seem to have a weight that I naturally settle at.

What it does mean is that getting healthy for me isn’t just about counting calories and exercise. There are deeper issues that I’m trying to work through for the first time. It’s an exhausting and painful process, but one that will hopefully deal with the root issues behind my eating disorder and change my relationship with food, body image and health for good. It’s actually part of the reason why my process literally began a couple months before I starting trying to physically lose weight.

 

Weight loss tip: Panera Bread ROCKS

26 Jan
January 26, 2012

So, Panera Bread is my new favorite place to go eat. I’m in full on calorie counting mode, which is normally a HUGE challenge in 99% of restaurants out there. Some of the places that make it the easiest have the calorie counts listed for a handful of healthy/diet friendly dishes, but leave the rest a mystery. Other places you have to ask for the nutritional information and they hunt it out. It’s just a big hassle that a lot of people are too self conscience to do and end up just ordering a salad or grilled chicken.

Back to Panera Bread. Their entire menu board is set up like the photo to the right; with the dish, price, and calorie count for the two sizes in green. For every single dish and meal; sandwiches, soup, salads, breads, etc. It was awesome.

So, diet tip for the day: for a fast food alternative, and a great low cost dining option that is full of healthy options, Panera Bread is the way to go.

Favorite new low calorie foods

11 Jan
January 11, 2012

I’m full on counting calories – my goal is to stay below 2100 calories a day (my Biggest Loser calorie goals). The trick is to manage calories in such a way that I’m not hungry; if I stick with low enough calorie options I can stay full (which helps manage my appetite) and still lose weight. I still have my old favorites, but there are a couple new ones I’m really loving. Fiber One 80 Calories Honey Squares (how’s that for a long cereal name? Sheesh) is awesome. 80 calories for a 3/4 cup serving that also has a ton of dietary fiber (that’s good – it takes longer to digest, which makes appetite management so much easier). Between that and fat free milk (90 calories a cup), I’m having a full breakfast for around 300-350 calories.

I’m also loving Wonder’s Smart White (or wheat) bread. It’s only 50 calories a slice, loaded with dietary fiber and all the other nuitrition normally found only in wheat breads, and it tastes great. There have been 50 calorie a slice bread for a while, but this is different. The other low calorie breads are crazy thin sliced, and smaller all around – when I make a sandwich with them I feel like it’s only half a sandwich. Wonder’s bread is the same size as regular bread, both in diameter and thickness. It’s good stuff. Anytime you can get something significantly lower in calories that still seems just like the high calorie version, that’s a win in my book. Ultimately, it means I can have two ham sandwiches in the 400-500 calorie range. I love that.

What low calorie foods are you finding? I’m hungry for more ideas!