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The Biggest Loser Interviewby Pattye Grippo    


This is a transcript of an interview with eliminated contestant Jaquin "Q" Allen on February 9, 2011 about the show The Biggest Loser.

How did you became mentally and physically strong enough to continue your journey at home when you were so sure you wouldn't be able to do it?

Jaquin "Q" Allen:
My wife. My wife was the person who assured me that when I got home that things would - that we'd be able to continue this journey. You know, it was real tough for me knowing that I didn't have the full support system that I would have liked to have had at home as far as the way it was, compared to the way it was on the ranch.

But with her words, you know, pushing me on and helping me to continue on and just the overwhelming number of just supporters who came out, you know, such as my trainer Drew at Anytime Fitness in Columbia, South Carolina. He, you know, that extra motivation just made this whole process being at home so much more easier.

How do you think the outcome of the chocolate challenge changed the flow of the game and how shocked were you at Arthur's strategy?

Jaquin "Q" Allen:
It was very shocking because everyone that did eat from my measly 4 to Arthur's 32, we all had the expression on our face and all had the feeling that whoever eats we're going to keep things the same. We want to eat so that we can keep things the same, you know, and that was the plan, you know, that we kind of hinted around when we first even went into the challenge.

And to know that he would make such a decision on that type of a playing field, it was just amazing that he would even do that. And to this day we still don't understand why he would make such a rash decision because I mean he really just literally I mean put a target on his back. Just as Bob and Jillian said, he put the biggest target on his back and to me it was a bonehead idea. It was a real, real negative move on his part.

It seems that Rulon and Justin appointed themselves unofficial captains of your team, kind of getting in people's faces and pushing people. What kind of atmosphere did that create? And was it tough to take or do you think it was a good thing?

Jaquin "Q" Allen:
To me personally, honestly it was a good thing. It was the best thing for me just speaking for myself. It was something that I needed. I knew that - and that goes back to me saying about the support system. That's the kind of support system and that's the kind of corrective criticism that I strive for. You know, call me out on my junk. You know, when I'm slacking off, be man enough or woman enough to call me out on it so I can correct the issue.

You know, if I don't know nothing that means nothing needs to change, how do I know to change it, you know. And to me and to the rest of our teammates, I mean there were a few people who felt that they were a little overbearing, but for me I mean that was something that we all needed. I love those guys to death.

You know, the yellow team are the ones that really helped me to continue to go on, you know, while I was at the ranch. And even now, you know, just knowing that I'm a part of this huge family of The Biggest Loser and knowing that those two guys will continue to be a part of my life going on, it's just an incredible feeling. It's great.

People watching at home see Brett and Cara's group working out and they say, "Don't they do anything but box?" And I'm sure you did. Can you shed a little bit more light on what your training regimen was like with that team?

Jaquin "Q" Allen:
Yes. In addition to the boxing and the kickboxing style training that both of our trainers are known for, we did a lot of stuff. We did a lot of metabolic resistance training. We did circuits and everything like that. We even did a little bit of cardio and everything like that. So, you know, everything that we did, we did to elevate our heart rates and they did what's called - they did all these things with us the way that they did in order for us to develop what's called a slow burn.

And once we developed that slow burn we were able to - we developed a way where we can work out for three to four hours a day and instead of the eight hours a day that most people on the ranch will work out and we would get the exact same burn. You know, we would burn the exact same calories and we would get the exact same level of weight loss and everything like that and that's something that I hold very dear to me because of the simple fact that I know when I go home and I knew when I got home I wouldn't be able to work out eight hours a day because I had work, you know, I had a child, I had a household to maintain and everything like that. So I knew it was virtually impossible for me to work out eight hours a day.

You know, and the training that our trainers, that Brett and Cara gave us, was just enough to make sure that we'd be able to continue on through the process once we got home to do a lot of the same things that we did there.

It seems like it was a little hard trying to get on the path of losing weight and you expressed that you needed. What was going on there and how has it changed being at home?

Jaquin "Q" Allen:
It was a lot of things that were going on with me as far as just personal issues with my family. You know, I was having some family issues. You know, I was missing my son like crazy. He had just moved to New York a few weeks after we went on to the show and that kind of affected me.

It really affected me because, you know, my son is a 3-year-old and these are vital times in his life that I was missing and everything. It's like I knew going in to it that we'd be kind of secluded from our families and stuff like that and everything while we're on the show but I didn't know the extent at the time, you know. And it was something that was kind of hard - it was a hard pill to swallow for me at times.

But the time away, as time further went on on the show for me I kind of started to realize that I'm doing this for him. I'm doing this so I don't have to worry about those financial strains or I don't have to worry about other things once I get this weight off of me because the weight just it burdens you from so many different things and a lot of people really don't take heed to that and they don't really understand how limited you become when you are overweight or when you're obese.

You know, a lot of people don't understand that you're limited on not so many things physically but you're setting limitations for yourself that you never would've even imagined and this opportunity has given me so much to look forward to and that's also the thing that kept me going when I got home. I was just like, you know, "I'm doing this for my son." So every day I can get up with my head held high and I can go to the gym and have a killer workout knowing that when it's all said and done I'm going to look and feel amazing. And I'm going to - and I'm doing all this for my son and I'm doing this for my family and I'm doing this so I don't have to have these other stressors that are causing me to continue to gain weight or to not lose weight the way that I would want to.

A lot of the contestants make major sacrifices to be there on the ranch. Did Sarah and Denise talk about missing the wedding the day that it happened?

Jaquin "Q" Allen:
Yes. They did. They did. It was really tough for them. You know, it was really tough for them especially for Denny. I mean that's her daughter, that's here wedding and that's a vital, you know, I mean that's a pinnacle moment in a person's life. You really don't want to miss your own child's wedding and everything. And it was a lot for her to deal with but as we said the Fitness Ridge team, we were a family.

So we definitely helped her to get through that moment because a lot of us are younger, we're all different ages and stuff like that so we don't know how that experience is but we know enough to know that family - in a time of need that your family needs your help. You know, they need those words of encouragement to let them why they're here.

And that's some of the things that I got from Rulon and Justin, you know, that America kind of sees that being a little bit harsher than what you would expect but it was one of those things that helped me to keep going and that's how that situation kind of played out with Denny. And we helped her get through it and it was a joyous day. You know, we all knew that what was going on back home was tough on her but we were a family and we supported her and we helped her get through it.

How has the dynamic between you and Larialmy changed since you've gone home, living this fit and active and healthy life together?

Jaquin "Q" Allen:
The dynamics with me and my wife, they've actually gotten a lot better. They have gotten incredibly better. You know, one of the things that we dealt with on the ranch was that we really had to come to a better understanding with just the simple fact that we enabled each other in the worst way, you know, in our weight gain. You know, and we even enabled each other the first few weeks that we were on the show because there were times where neither one of us was feeling good or needed an extra push and the other wasn't giving that extra push that we needed.

And we kind of knew that it came to a point that we needed to change that. You know, we came to a point where we needed to focus on ourselves more than we needed to focus to each other and that's something that we both came home with. We came home with the understanding that knowing that even though we're a married couple we have to do this for ourselves.

You know, we've got to keep ourselves motivated and we're going to continue to motivate each other but this is something that we have to make sure that we do for ourself before anything because if I can't make me happy, how can I make you happy? That's the thing that's really been - that's really been something that we've held onto real tight and our relationship has just grown in so many different levels and it's just amazing to know that I went through this entire experience with the person that I want to spend the rest of my life with and that just made it that much better.

You know, I mean she welcomed me with open arms. She didn't shun me when I came home a week following her. She was just like, "I know whatever happened, you know, happened for a reason and I know whatever decision was made, you were okay with it." And I was. And I made sure that I expressed that to my teammates and made sure that I expressed that to her and, you know, there was no love lost. I don't feel like I let her down at all. I mean it was just, you know, it just brought us closer, the entire experience.

You got to spend a month at Biggest Loser resort in Malibu and you were among the very first people to visit their new location. Can you talk about being there?

Jaquin "Q" Allen:
Fitness Ridge was, I can honestly say it was like Disney World for fat people. I mean it was amazing. It was amazing. I mean the amenities were so good. I mean housekeeping. I mean where else can you go - you can go to a hotel and get housekeeping and stuff like that but you're not getting three square meals with excellent calorie counts on them and everything there is good for you. You don't have the amenities of not only nearly every aspect of fitness from cardiovascular to weight training and everything.

You have all those but they also have the luxuries like the spa and stuff like that. Now granted, we weren't able to visit the spa because we had to remain rugged and rough because we're The Biggest Loser cast, so that was something that we didn't have the opportunity of experiencing but the place in general is just amazing.

You know, I would recommend it to anyone. You know, if you have that - if you need that extra push because they will provide the push and they will help you to continue on your journey and it's a great start and it's a great motivational piece as well because you're the same place with a lot of other people who have the same exact drive and the same exact goal as you do and that's fitness and weight loss and better health.

I know that there was a lot of times that you said that you were trying your hardest on the ranch and you were going to continue trying your hardest. Looking back, do you have any regrets of your time on the ranch or things you would've done differently?

Jaquin "Q" Allen:
The only thing that I can honestly say that I would've done differently with my time on the ranch was really just honing in on my reasoning for being there a lot sooner. Like, you know, I wish that I would've went in Week 1 with that drive that everyone else had. You know, I wish I could've just left all my personal business and my personal things that were bothering me, I wish I could've left that stuff at home, you know, I wish I could've left that baggage at home but I brought it onto the ranch and it affected me the first few weeks that I was there.

So I wish that I had the focus that I do now on the matter at hand a lot sooner. I wish that like they say that light switch, I wish that that light switch would've came on a few weeks earlier for me.

Now that you're at home, could tell us a little bit about your current weight loss status and what exactly your workout regimen is right now.

Jaquin "Q" Allen:
Well I'm just over the 100-pound mark and that's incredible for me, you know. I have a little bit of ways to go but I'm going to get there by May. You know, May is right around the corner but the way that I'm driven right now is keeping me going.

As far as my workouts, I'm still doing six days a week, you know, strong. Six days a week at least 2-1/2 to 4 hours a day. And I'm being able to fit in workouts around my work schedule and everything like that. So for the first five days a week during the weekdays, I'm working out at 5 o'clock in the morning. I get up for an early morning workout. I go to work. You know, luckily with my job I'm moving around a lot more so I'm moving around a lot more and it's keeping me busy while I'm on the clock and I'm also getting in my workouts in the evening and it's just great.

I mean it's like that was one of my biggest worries was just not knowing how I would fit working out into my hectic schedule, you know, but when it's something that you want to do and you generally have a passion for it, you will make time for it and that's what I learned. And that's one of the things that keeps me going because even though I'm home now and I don't have the all day, every day timeframe to work out as I would on the ranch, I can still implement a lot of those things here at home.

Do you have a goal weight?

Jaquin "Q" Allen:
Yes. My goal weight is around 240 or 250. My finale weight is around 240. I want to be down to 240.

What do you think is the most important thing you learned while you were on the show?

Jaquin "Q" Allen:
Let's see. That's a good question. The most important thing that I learned while on the show is the level of mental stability and mental strength that you have to have in order to lose weight. You know, Brett once told me that working out and fitness in general and better health is 80% mental. You know, and when you can wrap your mind around that and really hone in on that 80%, the other 20% is just going to come up so better for you. The other 20% is just going to be the icing on the cake. Because if you can mentally tell yourself the importance of going to the gym, you can go to the gym and have a killer workout and you'll feel just as good as you did going into that workout coming out.

You know, and that's the thing that I learned the most, to just get past all of the physical elements and the physical issues that I have and all the excuses that you may make and the excuses that I made for me being the way that I was before I started this show. Like I have a whole new mindset on just being healthier and it's just a great feeling.

We saw the end of the show last night that you were looking forward to going shirtless on the beach this summer. What other kind of goals and aims are you looking forward to being able to do now that you're becoming healthy and fit?

Jaquin "Q" Allen:
I mean just being able to do the simple things that I've taken for granted for so long. You know, being able to play around with my son that's one of my biggest goals and that's something that I am waiting for. You know, he lives in New York now and I can't wait to be able to go and to take him and play around in Central Park and run around and chase him the way that I would love to, you know.

And that's one of the things that I'm looking forward to just being able to be a better and active part of his life. You know, it was times where before we would go to the park and our plan was to be out there for like an hour and a half to two hours and after 30 minutes we've got to go home because Daddy's back hurts or, you know, he's having trouble breathing chasing you around and stuff like that and he's just tired. You know, now I can play with him a lot more, you know, and I want to be able to outrun him. I want to be able to tire him out.

Question:Jaquin "Q" Allen:
With us celebrating Valentine's Day it's really just going to be a time for us to just reflec. We're not going to do the usual thing that we've done in the past years which is going out or whatever to a restaurant and all that other stuff. You know, I'm planning on cooking a nice dinner for her, a really nice, healthy dinner and just letting us enjoy each other's time. That's the plan for Valentine's Day for us.

What do you think has been the number one change you've made since being home that's had the biggest effect on your weight loss?

Jaquin "Q" Allen:
The biggest change that I've made is just focusing on what I need to do to become a better Q. That's been my number one change in myself, you know, and really just not making excuses for anything else, you know, just I mean putting everything else to the side and focusing on me. You know, why am I at this point? What has gotten me here? And that's something that I wish I would've gotten a lot sooner on the ranch.

But I mean just the fact that I was able to leave with that and leave with knowing that this is something that you have to do and this is what it's going to take to get there, that focus has just been my number one priority and it's what's been helping me, you know, thus far. And I think that it's definitely what's going to take me to my goal weight for finale.

What are your eating habits like now?

Jaquin "Q" Allen:
My eating habits now have changed dramatically. I mean it's just amazing how you learn how to cook so many different things and how you learn how to eat so much better. And healthy food does not have to taste nasty. I mean you don't have to give up taste and give up quality for a healthier meal and I'm learning that a lot more.

And one of the biggest things that I had to break myself out of, before I went on the show as just really eating on the go. That's been one of the biggest things that has been my downfall as far as my weight gain it was eating on the go. You know, I'm a comedian and I sing and stuff like that so I'm always traveling, I'm always doing other things but I never had that focus to just, you know, sit and plan out my meals or plan out my day. And that's something else that I've added to my busy and hectic schedule is just adding in how to make my foods and prepare it well.

You know, I've been also eating with The Biggest Loser meal plan with eDiets. That's been something that's helped me out a lot because I've been able to cut out a portion of having to cook and I've been able to save that time and still getting good meals and still being able to focus on my weight loss and that's been one of the things that's helped me out a lot.

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