Jesse Atkins and Aaron J. Thompkins Get Voted Off 'The Biggest Loser'

Get the behind-the-scenes scoop from the latest kicked-off contestants

Name: Jesse Atkins
Hometown: Brooklyn Park, MN (most recently lived in St. Paul)
Occupation: Former Law Clerk
Favorite cheat food: French fries (but my favorite healthy cheat food is baked lavash bread with jalapenos, parmesan and hummus)
Goal: To weigh 185 pounds.
Starting weight: 369 pounds

What was your big turning point-either during the show or before that made you realize you needed to lose the weight?
The turning point for me was a conversation with my father where he told me that he missed "the old Jesse." That really hit me hard, and it made me realize that my weight had infiltrated virtually every aspect of my life in a negative way, to the point where my own father thought that I had lost some part of what made me "me." That conversation forced me to finally take a look at things and realize that this was not only a change that had to be made, but one that I actually owed to my family, my friends and, most importantly, myself.

What is one thing you wish you had known before going on The Biggest Loser?
I wish I had known that my physical and mental limits that I'd always assumed I had are, in fact, non-existent -- or if they do exist, I have yet to reach them. I've always operated under a "ceiling" that I've created for myself, but since going to the ranch and pushing myself past the limits I thought I had, I now know that, if I have a limit, the sky isn't even high enough to measure it.

Did you watch the show before becoming a contestant? Were you inspired by a particular contestant? Who was it and how did they inspire you?
I watched the show for one season before becoming a contestant, and watching Daris, particularly during the marathon and the preparation leading up to it, truly inspired me. I also saw a lot of similarities between us and our personalities and, eventually... our shirts' color.

If you could have done one thing differently during the show, what would it be?
I wish I would have taken more time to enjoy the journey and appreciate the amazing transformation that I and all of the other contestants were undergoing. I continue to be inspired by the success of my fellow contestants, and I wish that while I was on the ranch I had taken the time to stop and marvel that and to congratulate people more regularly on the brave and utterly impressive things they were doing on a daily basis.

What’s the hardest thing to adapt to while living on the ranch?
For me, it was a little difficult getting used to living with such an array of different people and living in such closed quarters. We all exercised, cooked, ate, relaxed, and slept within shouting distance of each other. However, once I adapted to that, I was able to make some incredible friendships that I know will last a lifetime.

What keeps you motivated when you don’t feel like working out or you want to eat junk food?
Lately, my drive comes from a good, not a bad, place. Whereas, at the beginning of this journey, I had been forced to motivate myself by the unhappy aspects of my life that I wanted to change, I am now motivated by simply reminding myself how much happier I am today than I was several months ago, and how much happier I will be in another several months if I continue my hard work and resist temptation.

What’s your favorite workout?
I look forward to spin class so much now. Aaron and I were just laughing the other day at the notion that, today, we both "look forward to" workouts like the old Aaron and Jesse would have looked forward to a pizza or a night at the bars with friends. But it's just proof that you have to find the workouts that you love, because loving your work-outs is what gets you to the gym even on your "off" days.

What’s the best advice Bob or Jillian gave you?
Bob pulled me aside one day and told me, "Jesse, you are fantastic. Stop being so hard on yourself all the time." That advice has paid enormous dividends for me. I was constantly sabotaging myself with self-doubt and the belittlement of my accomplishments. It's important to celebrate your own little victories, because it makes you want to work all the harder to reach the next one! I'm now proud of so much I've done, and I'm confident that I will achieve all of the other goals I've laid out before myself. And that, like countless other achievements in my journey, is thanks to Bob.

What’s your favorite healthy meal or snack?
My latest kick is a little number I like to call "veggie drawer surprise." I will break into the veggie drawer in my refrigerator and pull out as much variety as I can of whatever vegetables remain. Then I'll slice them up and saute them with just a little bit of olive oil, adding oregano and rosemary to them. It's quick to make, completely uncomplicated, delicious, and it's an easy dish to add lean protein to in the form of chicken breast or egg whites to make an entire meal.

What’s something viewers at home wouldn’t know from watching the show?
One thing I'd love for viewers at home to see is the pre-challenge atmosphere among the contestants. Prior to every challenge, the mood gets quiet as people listen to music to "pump themselves up" and mentally prepare themselves for competition. This was particularly when we were divided into teams and we knew others were relying on us.

 

Name: Aaron J Thompkins
Hometown: Kent, OH
Occupation: Graphic Designer
Favorite cheat food: Chipotle salad with black beans and guacamole
Goal: To weigh 240 pounds.
Starting weight: 468 pounds

What was your big turning point-either during the show or before that made you realize you needed to lose the weight?
Before the show, I woke up one night gasping for air. That is what motivated me to try out, when I had decided earlier not to. Before the show, I always felt fat, but after losing the challenge in Detroit, that was the first time I felt obese.

What is one thing you wish you had known before going on The Biggest Loser?
I wish I would have known how to cook! I was totally lost in the kitchen for majority of my time on the ranch.

Did you watch the show before becoming a contestant? Were you inspired by a particular contestant? Who was it and how did they inspire you?
I've been watching the show since season one. Several people inspired me. O'neal from season nine, and Pete Thomas from season two, as well as Ali Vincent.

If you could have done one thing differently during the show, what would it be?
I would have been more intense in my workouts. Jillian was right about me. I went into the gym with a survivor mindset instead of a fighter's mindset.

What’s the hardest thing to adapt to while living on the ranch?
There was nowhere to retreat to when I wanted to be alone. Whenever things got hectic and drama filled, I just wanted to go and be by myself, but most of the time that was not possible. I was forced to deal with my emotions and feelings. It's exactly what I needed.

What keeps you motivated when you don’t feel like working out or you want to eat junk food?
I no longer have those feelings. I love to workout and push myself. I don't work out as long anymore, so I don't dread the gym. I work out two and a half hours a day. It's more realistic for me and its something that I know I can maintain for the rest of my life. I don't crave any foods, it's a blessing.

What’s your favorite workout?
I do crossfit training everyday religiously. I love it. It's the closest thing that I have to the ranch. It's intense and I'm around people who are just a passionate about fitness as I am. Because it's set up in a class environment, I have the luxury of being able to push others and they push me. My trainers Jeremy and Heather make fitness fun; and ever since that "Sugar Rush" challenge, I'm a believer that fitness can be fun as long as you around the right people.

What’s the best advice Bob or Jillian gave you?
Bob and Jillian sort of saw the same thing in me. They saw incredible potential, but they just wanted me to be "all-in" as Bob used to put it. Jillian got through to me at the end of my stay there. She called me out. She told me that I should just go all out for whatever I want in life, because if I fail, I won't be in any worse of a position, than if I would have never tried to begin with.

What’s your favorite healthy meal or snack?
Almonds. Almonds provide the kind of fat that I need, while also providing protein.

What’s something viewers at home wouldn’t know from watching the show?
How much gameplay went on behind the scenes, I was not aware of how much gameplay was going on.


 
Watch The Biggest Loser on Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC.

Like this? Want more?
preview
Connect with Us
Follow Our Pins

Yummy recipes, DIY projects, home decor, fashion and more curated by iVillage staffers.

Follow Our Tweets

The very dirty truth about fashion internships... DUN DUN @srslytheshow http://t.co/wfewf

On Instagram

Behind-the-scenes pics from iVillage.

Best of the Web