We’re four weeks into season 16 of The Biggest Loser — and it’s getting harder to see someone leave the competition each time.
This week, that person was Emmy Lou Munoz. I spoke with her today during a conference call with reporters, where she talked about what she learned from her time on the ranch, the difference between Dolvett and Bob in the way they train, overcoming “mental blocks” and much more.
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What Did Emmy Learn from This Experience?
Even though Emmy left the ranch after two weeks and then left Comeback Canyon another two weeks after that, she still learned a lot about what she needed to do to become healthier. She went into The Biggest Loser with “a lot of expectations of what I wanted to learn.” But she came away having learned that she has to have a “healthy balance with your food and exercise,” including being “very conscious of what I put in my body and how much I put in my body.”
Thinking back to her life before The Biggest Loser compared to now, she said you “have to come to a point in your life when you’re ready” to take charge again and to make the necessary changes, getting to that point “where you are literally at rock bottom, and you finally say, enough’s enough.”
“You have to find what works for you. … You have to find what works for your body because what works for one person doesn’t always work for another,” she went on to say. Through this process, she needed to see “what works for me,” which is an important concept to bring up because many things in life, including exercise, are not a one-size-fits-all deal.
Training with Dolvett and Bob, and Overcoming Mental Blocks
When she was being driven away from the ranch, she was obviously upset at being eliminated. But when Bob Harper opened her door to reveal she’s still in it, it was the “biggest surprise ever,” Emmy said. “Having Bob Harper open that door and tell me I have a second chance, I was just ecstatic. That was the best feeling ever.”
But starting with a new trainer may bring with it different techniques and approaches to exercise that she might not have received under Dolvett’s training. Emmy acknowledged that the two trainers do have their own methods unique from each other.
Bob was all about CrossFit, “which is super fun and we did a lot of weights. … Bob’s approach just seemed like he’s more drawn to using your own body weight to work out.” Dolvett’s emphasis has been on cardio and running. “Those really got our heart rates up.”
Emmy did not consider herself a runner beforehand. She didn’t do it in high school and thought she couldn’t do it even as an adult. It was a “mental block,” as she put it, that stopped her from thinking she can accomplish things like this. So Dolvett made sure to place some emphasis on running so that she could start to get “over that block of ‘I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t do it.'” It’s all about letting go and knowing she can do it.
What stood out to me when Emmy talked about what she had to overcome was how the physical and the mental obstacles were linked to each other. It was the mental side that was stopping her from pursuing the physical side.
Emmy’s in Charge of Her Life Again
Once she was able to overcome those mental blocks, Emmy was able to take control of her life and the choices she made. Before being on The Biggest Loser, “I thought about food a lot … and it just clicked like a switch one day that I’m just letting myself revolve around food. I felt like I was letting it control my life, when in reality, I’m the one who has control over the food.” She eventually realized she “didn’t need food to fuel my emotions.”
Post-The Biggest Loser, Emmy has found that the easiest thing to adopt in her life now is cooking. She has taken recipes for meals she’s made before and mixed them with what she learned on the show to create healthier versions of what her family is used to eating.
Now that she’s back home, she’s been keeping up with her food and exercise regimen. We saw in the update video at the end of Thursday’s episode that she and her family have participated in a 5K run, and have signed up for many more; she even has plans to do a half marathon by the time the finale comes around. I asked her about this, and she said she’s still preparing and training for the half marathon. Looking ahead to when she’ll finally accomplish that goal, “It excites me,” she said.
That simple statement fits with her outlook on life. And when it comes to how much weight she wants to lose, after having lost 50 pounds, she’s not sure just yet. But “I just want to get somewhere where I feel good about myself.”
The Biggest Loser airs Thursdays at 8pm on NBC.
(Image courtesy of NBC)