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The Biggest Loser Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

This is an interview with Emily Joy on March 14, 2012 about the show The Biggest Loser.

Emily Joy

Question:
You said emphatically that you were going out as a threat. Tell us the importance of that to you. Where did that come from?

Emily Joy:
I definitely was seen as a threat. I was told I was a threat. It didn't make it on cameras, but everybody saw me as a threat. And that's fine with me and I'm glad to go out that way because I'm strong and I'm going to hit it hard and win that at-home prize. So yes, it means a lot to me.

Question:
Your voice was such a beautiful surprise as was your desire to sing. Can you talk about this dream of yours, how long you've had it and where you hope it may take you?

Emily Joy:
I have been dreaming about this and singing since I was in third grade when I saw my first Broadway play, The Phantom of the Opera. I just could not get enough of Broadway musicals and I found out that my voice genre is more of the operatic type. But I just I love singing. It gives me such a cool feeling. It's definitely an ego booster. And I just hope to, I don't know, somehow use it. I love Broadway and I hope I would hope to end up there.

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

Emily Joy:
Growing up doing Olympic weightlifting and some pretty hard core things, I expected it to be really hard. So having that in my head actually helped me. That very first workout I didn't faint, I didn't puke. I mean, it was hard because I was 264 pounds, but I had I had those expectations going into it. So I knew. I knew what was coming.

Question:
What's been the most difficult thing about going home after being on the show?

Emily Joy:
I guess the time management. That was my initial excuse coming in to the show. And it's a real excuse. You really have to deal with your job. I'm working full-time and I have to sprinkle in six hours of hardcore working out. I have to manage my diet. That means prepping my food. So I'm really still dealing with that time management excuse, if you want to still call it an excuse. It's a real thing and I'm sure lots of Americans, everybody deals with that. So I'm going to say time management.

Question:
You were talking about time management. Could you maybe like walk us through a normal workday?

Emily Joy:
I get up around 7:00 and I do an hour of some pretty intense cardio. And then I have a shift at work that I pretty much work about eight hours and I come home and I just have to bust it. I fit five hours in. I try to move around at work and keep that going, but to get the burn I need, I still need to hit that five hours when I'm done with my job.

Question:
Do you find that you're doing exact routines that you were doing at the gym? Are you incorporating new things, working with a trainer?

Emily Joy:
Yes. I am working with a couple of trainers. And I introduced boxing. I know Dolvett first introduced it to me last week on the episode, so I really kind of feel in love with that and so that's the newest thing. And I do a lot of swimming because of my joint. But yes, I am trying to replicate a lot of the same exercises from the ranch. They work so well I can't get away from them.

Question:
I know that the Olympic lifts are really difficult and require a lot of belief in yourself to get that weight over your head. Do you remember a point in your life where you kind of lost that?

Emily Joy:
As I would do the Olympic meets, you do have to believe in yourself and I would. I'd go out there, I'd either win it with a gold medal or get third, but I did have that belief in myself. But it slowly started to dwindle when I moved out of the house. I didn't have my dad as my trainer and I started a career. And I slowly but surely, all of that Olympic weightlifting just drifted away. I didn't work out and I put on all this weight. And the belief in myself was like shattered because I just was so upset that I let that go.

Question:
What's going to become of your weightlifting?

Emily Joy:
I love CrossFit. It's so challenging, even though I know a lot of the background of it, but I just love it and I love how it's catching on. It makes me proud to have that Olympic weightlifting background. So I'm definitely keeping that in my sights as far as certification. Even just helping people out or just continuing it on my own. Yes, it's definitely in my future. I love it.

Question:
I'm curious what your dad has said, if anything, after watching the portrayal of your relationship on the show?

Emily Joy:
He has been nothing but proud. He knows where I'm coming from, he was there all my life. He knew that Olympic weightlifting as a kid was kind of tough for me to get my head around. But he's grown through this process, too, which I think is cool. And he can't be prouder of me and he lets me know that and I love it.

Question:
A few weeks ago we heard that there was a bit of a mutiny on the set of The Biggest Loser, that some of the contestants were threatening to walk out because of anger over an upcoming twist. Can you talk about that?

Emily Joy:
I actually can't, but just stay tuned. It'll be interesting.

Question:
Can you bring us up-to-date on your weight loss and success so far?

Emily Joy:
Yes, I started at 264 and last night's episode left me at 190. I'm actually going to keep my current weight loss a surprise for the finale. I hope that's okay.

Question:
Did you feel like there was more pressure for you since you had been an Olympic athlete?

Emily Joy:
I did feel that. There's an image to uphold. There's a an attitude to uphold and I did feel like there was pressure. I didn't want to let anyone down and that's kind of been my whole life, I don't want to let anybody down. So I wanted to make sure that I was representing weightlifting and just athletes in a good light and I hope I did. I know I did a lot of crying, but this was a whole process of a emotional thing. But yes, I did feel that extra pressure. And it was welcomed. I respect the pressure and I went with it.

Question:
Can you talk a little bit about how you felt when you were weight training Bob?

Emily Joy:
It was a complete blast. I loved it. It put me right back, because I'm a teacher, so it put me right back in my teaching shoes. And I just loved the connection we had. Because he gets frustrated like me and I saw that. I was able to be on the other side of that when he gets if he may get frustrated. And I had such a fun time and it gave me the confidence that I was well-deserved and I just loved it. It couldn't have been any better.

Question:
How did it feel knowing that you were only one pound off being safe?

Emily Joy:
If you noticed there was like literally three minutes of me not speaking. Because I couldn't believe it. My heart just broke. At first I had to figure out that it was actually five pounds. I thought it was a joke in the beginning. But I just knew right then and there that I was going home. There was no amount of fight that I could give. And I fought in deliberation. I just knew when I saw that five pop up and I was one pound away that I was on my way home and my heart just broke. It was a devastating feeling.

Question:
You talked about how not believing in yourself was your excuse this week. So have you worked on that since leaving the show? Has that changed?

Emily Joy:
Oh yes, it's a daily practice for me. And I foster it with like acknowledging and basking in my accomplishments. And someone like me, I have to literally do that. I write them down and I read them. And I just cut myself slack and I just truly, I try to be kind to myself. And that's my biggest thing is people need to be kinder to themselves and I am a number one advocate for that because it'll get you a long way. So yes, I've definitely been working on that.

Question:
You had the opportunity to work with both Dolvett and Bob. I was wondering if you could talk a little bit more about your connection with the trainers and just get into that a little bit?

Emily Joy:
Yes. Bob, obviously we have a huge connection. The main thing was the fact that he just understands how I think. We often say crazy loves crazy and that's exactly what it is. We're both we love what we do as far as being athletes and I had that great connection with him mentally. And then the fact that he's just now getting into Olympic weightlifting. That's amazing. That's my background and the fact that he's getting into that and it just boosted our connection even more and so that was really cool to be with Bob.

And training with Dolvett for a week, it was really good for me. He got me out of my comfort zones and that was the excuse of that week. And he's a really great trainer. And he's a little different from Bob, but I respect them both tremendously. And yes, it was a cool opportunity to get to train with both of them.

Question:
What do you think is maybe the best part about the weight loss in general and maybe something that you can do now that you couldn't do before that you were really excited about?

Emily Joy:
The vanity thing I have to say is shopping is just so much more fun. Just the confidence that I get from being able to go put something on that I wasn't able to do before or put on before, that makes me feel amazing. And it actually substitutes that feeling of wanting food, so that's a really cool thing that I'm realizing that being in a smaller size and looking good is definitely better than any food there is out there.

side from the vanity thing, I just love how much better I can work out. Like I've worked out my whole life, but now being, like this size, it just makes working out more fun because I can do it longer and I feel so much better. So that's an amazing part of this whole thing.

Question:
I noticed on one of the deleted scenes that your first call with your phone prize was Cassandra and she's got the whole New York dream too. Have you had a chance to talk to her at all about maybe reuniting in New York when you both move there?

Emily Joy:
Oh yes, we've talked about that a lot. It's such a neat connection that we both made. The minute we met each other that's what like we talked about was our dream of New York City. Is this really true that we both love it so much and have been kind of putting it on the backburner because of our weight? It was such a neat thing. So for sure, we've been talking about it and she knows for darn sure she's going right after finale. I might be following her a little bit after that.

Question:
The scene with Olivia was a big surprise last night. Can you tell us anything about anything cool that happened that we didn't get to see?

Emily Joy:
I was so blown away by how supportive she is. She's just a lovely person. And making that connection, having her connect me with her vocal coach and the connections that he's potentially able to give me, It was amazing and it blew my socks off, the fact that I have these really awesome connections. It was amazing.

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