Blogger Leslie Goldman catches up with Ali months after her big win.
Remember back in April when I got to interview Ali Vincent, the first woman to demolish the male competition win Biggest Loser? Well, I know at least 72 of you remember, because y'all left comments. Quickie reminder: Ali is 32 and started the show at 234 pounds. By the end, she was clocking in at 122 pounds (shedding 48% of her body weight). So she lost a Nicole Richie, basically.
Today, she's the spokeswoman for 24 Hour Fitness surely you've seen the commercials?!) and talking with her is still like sharing Sugar Babies with a fuzzy pink unicorn while lying on a cloud. IE Fun. Her energy is infectious, she drinks milk, and she giggles just like Jillian! (Which makes sense since she was her trainer) and she wants you to know, "It's OK to accept your greatness." Go girl!
What are some of your biggest takeaway lessons from Biggest Loser?
"I learned from Jillian that we make a choice every day. What she brought to my life is taking responsibility and owning my greatness. Like, why not me? I remember a few of us sitting on the gym floor and Jillian was asking us, 'Why don't you deserve to lose weight? Why don't you deserve to have better relationships?' It was an eye-opener. I felt like (before), if I voiced what I wanted, it was selfish. It's not. It's OK to accept your greatness. If you're gonna dream, dream big. You don't want a relationship that's OK - you want one that's loving and amazing. Jill put everything into us. 100%. She is a great example of fulfilling your destiny. Also, she'll order dessert and take one bite and then pour the salt shaker over it. She's about living consciously. If you make one choice that's not the best, you'll have another moment to make a better choice. Quit beating yourself up over it."
Besides the Body Bugg (which she loves - Jillian was just eh about it), what other changes have you kept up from the show?
"Everything! I eat within a half-hour of waking up and eat every three to four hours throughout the day. I track my calories - I keep a notebook in my purse and write things down. I have a Calorie King in my purse. I always have snacks so if my day gets away from me and I'm hungry, I'm prepared. I don't NOT eat anything - there are no 'cheat' foods. I just budget it. I found if I tried to cut out anything, it became bigger than it was. My motto is: 'If I can't taste it, I don't waste it.' Like, if I can't taste the cheese in a sandwich, I don't need it. And I load load load up on veggies. I love to eat - I love to bite into a sandwich I can barely get my mouth around. So I load up with sprouts and cucumbers or bell peppers. Really, I live consciously."
About that whole national spokeswoman thingamajig...
"Are you kidding me? I went from Biggest Loser to being a spokesperson for a gym! I love it! It's such an honor. I've always worked out there, but I would have one hour with a trainer and if I was in a fourth rep of something and didn't wanna do it, I'd breathe harder so she'd think I was working hard. But that would be it - no additional cardio - and then I'd go to the spa downstairs for a facial or massage. Now, they came to me and asked if I'd like to do this. I got to do a commercial! I walk into the club and I'm all over the place - it's so funny. It's all about encouraging health and wellness. I go the gym so I can do these 5Ks and I'm doing a triathlon and I love to ride my bike all the time. I think we should be doing more stuff outside. I'm an everyday athlete and just a normal person - the first time I ran a mile, I thought I was going to die. But now, it's so good to be outside, so good to breathe in and go for a run. It's so precious to be able to get up and go. That's something I want to be a part of. 24 Hour Fitness gave me an opportunity to touch more people."
Anything special to say to Weighting Game readers?
"It IS possible - whether it's a weight loss goal or a relationship goal or a career goal. Do something different to move you towards that goal. I could never have done what I did if I thought about losing 100 pounds. I started out doing one minute on a treadmill. Be willing to do something different. Why not? Why don't you deserve to have everything you want? Don't settle. we all deserve it. I'm alive. I feel like I wasted 10 years of my life hiding. I can't help myself now, and I don't even want to. It feels so good to be running outside and listening to the wind blow. it even feels good to be sore because I can FEEL my body. It feels good to honor myself again. Never again will I put myself last."