During her busy day of post Biggest Loser hoopla, Season 7 winner Helen Phillips took the time to talk to NeverSayDiet, addressing web chatter about her being too thin, why she allowed Shanon to go home mid-season and what she's going to do with her fresh quarter-of-a-million dollars. We might have even embarrassed her a little when we mentioned a little tidbit she may have forgotten telling us months ago. Find out what it was...
Since there has been a lot of Biggest Loser chatter today, what do you have to say to people that think you’re too thin? –NeverSayDiet reader
They think I’m too thin? No, no, I’m not too thin. I am so healthy that it’s not even funny. As everybody should know we are carefully monitored by doctors and carefully tested. I saw the doctor and spoke with him. He was just like, “Oh yea, you look wonderful. But, I do want you to gain some muscle.” And so, because I wasn’t body building, I will do that now.
There was also a lot of talk about Shanon being sent home. Why did you ultimately get to stay on the ranch instead of your daughter? –NeverSayDiet reader
Everybody needs to understand that this is Hollywood and producers edit a lot of the film. Half of the film that is taken ends up on the editing room floor. The part of Shanon and I discussing me going was cut and I clearly sat on the bed and said that I was going home. I wanted her to stay, but she absolutely refused. She did not like it on the ranch and has clearly proven that she could do it at home. I would have done everything for my children. Of course, I would have gone home for her. She wanted to go home and she wanted me to stay—she’s a very stubborn girl. I tried to convince her. She would not take me going home at all. She didn’t like the game play, you know. I feel bad because a lot of viewers think that it was my decision and, in fact, it was up to her.
It was only eight months ago that you were 257 pounds, do you sometimes ever feel like you’re still in your old body? –Beth Ladenheim
It’s been almost 9 months and no I do not feel like I’m in my old body. I feel like a new person with a whole new body. I have a whole new life—I have a second chance on my life and I’ve never felt better. Everything that I’ve learned I’ll incorporate into my new lifestyle from now on. What’s really exciting is that I no longer have to work out six to eight hours a day. I’m now on a maintenance program. All I have to do now is work out a couple hours a day and move on with my life, which is incredible.
Were you glad that Tara and Mike were in the final three with you? –NeverSayDiet reader
I adore them both. They are wonderful. They worked so hard and I think they look fantastic. Their weight-loss is incredible. We’re all winners.
You mentioned in a previous interview with us that the hardest part to adapt to while being on the ranch is not being able to have sex. So, is there any flirting or romance on the show that viewers just don’t see because of editing? –NeverSayDiet editors
No, absolutely not. [Laughs] Not that I know of at least.
What was life like after leaving the ranch? How was that first week when you’re at home, without Jillian? –NeverSayDiet reader
The first two weeks, I was running around thinking, I don’t know what to do. I don’t have a gym in my backyard and I don’t have food in fridge. I need to go shopping for these things and I’ve got to find the stores. I needed to find a gym and a trainer. So, the first couple of weeks were kind of chaotic for me until I finally made a plan and found a calendar. I sat down and said this is what I need to do to finish this journey and prioritize everything. I need to prepare my food and take it with me so I don’t go to drive-thrus. It all just fell into place.
What will you do to make sure that you don't fall back into your old habits now that this is all over? –prayzin_him
I’m going to be doing exactly what I’ve been doing in the last eight months. I’m going to incorporate my diet. I’m going to have my family with me, supporting me like they always have. I’m going to continuously work out. Like I said, I don’t have to work out as much. It’s a maintenance thing now—everything in moderation. I’ll be able to eat different things now and try different things. I kind of like that I will be able to let loose in the world. I will never ever go back to where I was before. I am so happy now. I am so healthy now. There’s no way I can turn around and go back to where I was.
Before going on the show, did you ever make any mistakes while trying to lose weight? –Nishitha
I was a yo-yo dieter my whole life, doing crazy, stupid diets, taking diet pills, over-the-counter things—none of that works. What works is proper nutrition and exercise. It’s that simple and that’s it. Those are the mistakes I’ll never go back to again.
What kind of training did you go through to go from struggling to walk at 3.5 mph to running 26 ten-minute miles in a row? –Nikki K
Well, it was long and hard. I kept saying to Jillian. I can’t run. I can’t run. And, what was happening was everyday I’d run five minutes. Then, the next day, I’d run five minutes. Then the next turns into 10, and before you know it, you’re running a marathon. It’s a gradual process that you continuously work on just like weight loss. It’s all a process, and if you continue to work on it the right way, then you learn to balance it all. It all comes together in the end.
What is it that kept you going when your body just felt like it had enough? –NeverSayDiet reader
When my body’s had enough, that’s when I slept. When your body’s telling you that it’s had enough, you need to listen to it. There are many times that I did not work out and I did sleep. That’s why my body listened to me and it gave up the weight. I treated it with respect and it looked back and me and allowed me to lose pounds every week because I was doing the right thing.
Is exercise and fitness now a passion of yours, or is exercise simply something you have to do in order to live the rest of your life the way you want to? –Nikki K
I really love it. Honestly, I was just invited to run the New York marathon in November, which I gladly accepted. My nephew called and asked me if I wanted to run the Disney marathon in January and I said absolutely. The accomplishment that I felt after running that marathon for the challenge was incredible. To be able to give $10,000 to charity was an even better feeling. I knew I had to finish to be able to give [the money] to a charity of my choice. If I had to crawl across that finish line, I was going to do it. Not only did I do it, I did it in under six [hours] and that was it for me. I want to do more of that.
Do you think being in the limelight will help with your weight loss or do you think it’ll hinder it? –NeverSayDiet reader
I think it’s going to help 100 times more because now I’m able to help other people. I’ve been approached by women that have said they’ve followed me on The Biggest Loser, and you know what, I want to help those women. I want everyone to know, middle-aged women and men as well, it’s never too late to start this journey of weight loss. If you want to change your life, it’s possible. You can do it. If I can do it, you can do it too. You just have to believe in yourself. Just start the process.
What’s next for? Better yet, what are you going to with your prize money? –NeverSayDiet editors
I really want to take my husband away to Las Vegas. I really want to take him to the Bellagio. He was such a big supporter for me—my support system all the way through. I just want to do something for him. I want to be with him for a week. And, discuss what we’ll do with the rest of the money while we’re there.
For more on The Biggest Loser, check out NBC.com.