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The Biggest Loser Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

This is an interview with Chism Cornelison on February 29, 2012 about the show The Biggest Loser.

Chism Cornelison

Question:
Can you take us through that weigh-in again and the shock and heartache of missing your goal and the reaction of your biggest loser family including your own father?

Chism Cornelison:
Going into the weigh I was pretty confident in what I had done over the two weeks at home and I knew I had some struggles but I didn't expect to miss my goal and seeing that 11 pounds and missing by the one pound it was divesting. And to see, not only for me, just knowing that my journey there was done and knowing that I know have to face this at home where I had just seen that I didn't do as well as I should have and then having to go back into that place.

Just seeing the reaction of everyone in front of me was - it was a mixed feeling. It's heartbreaking to see how badly I would be missed and how much I was going to miss everybody but at the same time it showed what kind of an impact I had on the people there and how much they really loved me and it just showed me how much I was appreciated and more than I even knew. And so it really was a mixed feeling. I was really nervous because I had to go home but at the same time it's sometimes that crazy things like that have to happen for you to realize what your next step is in a journey like this and I think for me it was a big push and what I knew that I needed to do next.

Question:
How was it though for you to stay focused given all the drama with Conda, Adrian and Daphne. What was your take on all of that stuff?

Chism Cornelison:
You know it was difficult to stay focused during times of drama and everything like that. You know, for me I knew what I was there for. I had the purpose of going there to loose weight and you throw 20 people into a house at the same time there's going to be crazy things that happen and there's going to be disagreements and that's just one thing that you have to push past and I think that it's sort of the cost of getting to be somewhere for three months and focus on nothing but your weight loss. I think the cost of that really is having to mesh with these different personalities and nobody knows if they're going to work together or not.

And so I think that as far as all of that goes I tried to stay out of it as much as I could but, of course, like everyone else you know, I got sucked in at times and I had to really step back and go, okay, where's my focus need to be and it always came back to I've got to focus on losing weight and I need to focus on working out and I know that was a big topic of conversation not just for me but for a lot of people and also Bob trying to say, you know what guys, let's not focus on all the craziness that's going on around you.

Question:
Let me ask you. You were just talking about how difficult it's been going home. What would you say is the most difficult thing about going home after being on the show?

Chism Cornelison:
I think that it's a huge shock to come home because a lot of people who try to loose weight on their own at home and are really successful at it they integrate all of their daily life in with it. They realize I have friends, I have a job, I have work or whatever they need to do, I have school, and going out to the ranch all of that is taken away and you can only focus on weight loss and then coming home you're all of the sudden hit with all of these distractions.

And last time I had to deal with my friends asking me to hang out or having to find a job or anything like that, I didn't care about working out, I didn't care about eating healthy and so it was a lot easier for me to schedule time for that and now it's just a huge part of my life that I have to schedule everything around and it's been really difficult to find that balance and when do I need to say no to things so that I can keep on my journey to become healthy and when do I need to say I've worked out enough for the day, maybe now is the time to get work done that I need to get done. And so those are things that you don't have to deal with when you're out on the ranch that you all of the sudden get thrown into whenever you come back into the real world.

Question:
Thinking back to when you first arrived on the show, how different were your expectations from what the reality actually was?

Chism Cornelison:
It was totally different. Even going through casting and everything for the show I expected it to just be kind of, oh yes, I'm on TV or okay, this is going to be hard but I'm going to loose the weight quickly and it's just going to be all about physical. And really going into it, it was like 20% physical and the rest was like a mental challenge with me and you go in and within a week the physical stuff is really hard, working out is really hard, eating right is really hard but within a week you get used to it enough to where now you have to deal with mental things. You have to deal with, okay, why am I here? Why did I gain this weight and why do I keep wanting to go back to food when bad things happen? Why do I just want to sit around and be lazy?

And so it's difficult to explain really how much of a toll that takes on your emotionally when you're trying to figure out everything and then not to mention being thrown into a house with people who are all going through the same things and all going through emotional times. And so everybody really love each other and we all really want to help each other but everybody's going through their individual thing and so that's something that I never expected was having to deal with my emotions. I wouldn't have called myself a crier before coming on to the show and I think through the time of being there I cried more than I ever had in my entire life. But that's just really what happens to everybody when they go there.

Question:
You had mentioned getting to some time with your girlfriend when you went home and I was just wondering if you could tell me a little bit about how she's taken to your weight loss journey?

Chism Cornelison:
At first whenever I told her that I was going to go on the show she thought it was a really cool thing and she didn't really know what to think about it she was like okay, how are we going to deal with you being gone for a long time and everything but I think just like anybody else she didn't really expect the change that would happen. I knew physically I would be different but coming back home I appreciate a lot of things a lot more and so it's been awesome for mine and her relationships where I come back and it's like everything is a lot better. I'm more energetic so we can go hang out and do things and I'm not depressed so she wants to be around me more.

And not to mention I look a lot better and so she's like, hey, wants to show me off to everybody and she's really enjoyed it and I'm glad that it ended up being a really great thing for her because I know at first she was really struggling with the fact that she had only known me that way and she had only known me as a bigger guy and how much is it going to change me? And I think that she really found that it was a change for the better.

Question:
Have you found that the weight loss has helped you with like breath control or like technically being able to sing better or have you noticed a difference when you're performing?

Chism Cornelison:
Yes, actually. You know, being on stage is something I've liked to do all of my life but it makes me really nervous, it used to make really nervous, to get up there and I'd get really sweaty and I'd run out of energy really quickly and I couldn't jump around but now we've done a couple of things since being home and I've been able to do everything I needed to. By the end of the show I just want to keep going and I'm not sweating as much. You know, I have tons of energy and that really helps with singing too if you're out of breath on stage you can't project your voice as well and so now that I have better control of like my breathing and just cardio in general and being able to jump around and sing at the same time, I mean, it's significantly improved my stage performance and my voice even.

Question:Chism Cornelison:
Yes, it's called My Side of The Story.

Question:
Can you tell me a little story about maybe a highlight or a time when you guys really had an enjoyable time, fun together?

Chism Cornelison:
Oh yes. Something that I don't really talk about much is me and Jeremy where really good friends on the show but also other people that we hung out with all of the younger guys kind of stuck together and so there was one time where it's late at night, like really late at night and Megan come into the house screaming about how there was like some ghost or something on the ranch. And we're like Megan, what are you talking about? You don't know what you're talking about and so it's like me, Jeremy, Conda, Emily, Cassandra, everybody going out there and we'd go off the ranch and stuff and basically me and Jeremy's goal was just to scare Megan anyway we can.

And we're going out there and Jeremy's hiding behind trees and jumping out and scaring her and we're going upstairs in the rooms like turning off the lights and it's dark and we're just trying to scare each other and stuff and I mean like we did that for a while and, yes, it was late at night and we probably should have been sleeping but it was one of those like we just felt like high school kids having a sleepover or something and just going around just being afraid of the dark and just being really stupid but I think that that's kind of like how we were a lot of the time. They show a lot of drama and they show a lot of you know, maybe not so positive stuff that happened but really we all became just like a, I would day, group of teenage friends and we would just hang out and do whatever we wanted to do. I mean it's like a constant sleep over with friends and I don't know if that sounds weird or whatever coming from a 19-year-old guy but I thought it was really fun most of the time.

Question:
Yes you're way too old for that at 19.

Chism Cornelison:
Oh yes.

Question:
Have you continued CrossFitting since you left the range? I'm sure Bob basically told you, you had to?

Chism Cornelison:
Oh yes. Yes, definitely! You know, I got a trainer when I came home and one thing that I told him was like the first thing that I asked him was like do you know CrossFit? And he was like, oh, well I know it but I'm not so sure and basically I made him go learn things about CrossFit so that we can work on them together and Bob doesn't want me doing too much CrossFit because he doesn't want me to build too much muscle at this point, I'm still trying to loose a lot of fat.

And so I'm kind of integrating it in. I'll do it like twice a week or so just to get good at it because after finale I just want to be able to go to a CrossFit gym and blow everyone out of the water. But I find it to be extremely fun and I love the way that people bond over it. That's probably my favorite part about it.

Question:
There's been a lot of twists and turns on this season of the show and we even hear rumors that people are, players, are unhappy on the ranch right now but you were even a victim of a twist. Do you think that the show has gone too far with all of these twists and turns and do you wish it would get back to just a regular old weight loss show?

Chism Cornelison:
I don't know. I think that there's value in both sides. People like to see twists, people like to be shocked and for me the twist of not being able to loose that 5% in that challenge was a big thing in my weight loss journey, having to come home, but I think that everything is done for a reason and I believe that as much as people want to see just a straight weight loss journey I know that sometimes it may not be as entertaining as throwing twists and turns.

So, I can't say that its better one way or the other but I guess we'll just have to see. I don't know what happens the rest of the season or anything and if something dramatic happens that ruins the show or makes me not want to watch it then, of course, I think that would be going too far. But at this point I still watch the show and I still enjoy it for everything that it is.

Question:
Bill complimented you last night saying that you had become a man on the ranch. Do you feel like you've grown up a lot during this journey?

Chism Cornelison:
Oh, significantly. I came into the ranch and I still live with my parents, of course I'm a young guy but I had always kind of felt like I had depended on them a lot and I think that very last thing that you guys saw last night of me saying, you know what, I've got to own up to this myself and I can't have my dad fight all of my battles for me.

I think that was a huge turning point for me and just saying, okay, I can go out and do this on my own and I have the confidence enough to say, you know what, I can take on the world, I can go for whatever I want to go for because I believe if I can loose as much weight as I've lost then anything is really possible now.

Question:
So I checked out the video on The Biggest Loser Web site and how often are you going to be updating and what kind of videos are you going to be doing?

Chism Cornelison:
I have some of those just the video blogs that are going to be coming out online. I think every week after the episode airs I'll have one coming up and that should go on until I think finale is what our plan is right now. I know that so far we didn't do the Where Are They Now or anything because we want people to be able to tune in and see that and really follow along on the journey instead of seeing all the weight loss acclimated a month after the episode has aired and now it's week by week people can see my struggles, people can see my highs and lows and really know, yes, it's a lot harder at home but people can still do it and if I can do it at 19 years old then I think anybody else can do it that really needs to loose weight.

Question:
Are you at liberty to say how much weight you're down as of today?

Chism Cornelison:
As of the first blog I'm down 85 pounds so that's how much I can say right now and then week by week you'll see the weight loss that acclimates from each of the blogs and then just as it goes on. I'm still filming now and I'm still doing it up until I'm at finale. So we'll just have to see how much I loose, I don't know.

Question:
How did it feel to hear your music on TV last night?

Chism Cornelison:
Oh, that was incredible! It was really cool. A little over a year ago we started recording music and a year before that me and my friends started writing songs and playing music together and we never really thought that it would get any bigger than my garage but I guess my garage is big enough to be filmed on national TV and put out there. So it was really cool to see that and see how a lot of people are reacting to it and I know that a significant number of people enjoyed it and I hope that people will still enjoy it through whatever we do next.

Question:
You talked a bit about Bob but can you talk a bit more about training with him? You two seem to definitely develop a bond throughout your time on the ranch so how was that experience?

Chism Cornelison:
It's crazy because I've been watching The Biggest Loser since like Season 2 or 3 and I've always told everyone around me I would be Team Bob all the way! Like from the day I saw the show and I thought he was awesome. So going on to the ranch and being able to be on his team was just amazing for me and I never knew how awesome it really would be. I go in and it was kind of like star struck, a little bit nervous, but within a week or so me and Bob were just joking around. He's helping me like yelling in my face on minute and the next minute he's telling me that I'm like a son to him and it's a really complicated relationship trainer and trainee but there were many times where he would slip out of trainer mode accidently just because he would say that he saw if I was in pain or something he'd be like, oh, I thought I saw my son right there in pain on the ground and I don't want to see that.

And he would have to slip out of trainer mode and be like, hey, are you okay and then the next minute be like yelling in my face to get up and so it was a really cool relationship and no matter what I still keep in touch with him and still will for a long time because he's just an awesome guy and he's helped me so much in my weight loss journey and I really believe that without him it wouldn't have been as easy to do and he definitely smoothes everything out. He's, I would say, at this point, a weight loss genius; 13 seasons of this and he knows exactly what he's doing. I was very lucky to get to train with him.

Question:
From your time at the ranch, what would you say is the most important thing that you've learned or taken away from it?

Chism Cornelison:
I think that the most important thing that I've learned and what other people should learn too is weight loss isn't just about working out, isn't just about diet, it's about looking at yourself and knowing you're good enough and I think that was one thing for me that was really difficult is a lot of things in my life were good. I had an awesome girlfriend already, I have my band, I had a lot of friends but every time I looked in the mirror all I saw was just like my huge self and I was just very disappointed and I didn't like myself.

And I think that it was really important for me. I kind of had a revelation where I went, you know what, I do love myself, I am confident that I can do the things that I want to do and I do want to get myself healthy. I love my body enough to go and put it through pain so that I can get down this weight and live longer and live a happier life. And so I think that that's the most important thing for anyone who's trying to loose weight is to know you're good as a person. You should love yourself just the way you are but you need to get healthier and you need to start losing the weight so that you can live a happier life.

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