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The Biggest Loser Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

This is an interview with David Jones on February 5, 2013 about the show The Biggest Loser.

David Jones

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

David Jones:
At some point we were so concentrated on actually just getting on the show and getting to the ranch that for me I forgot about how horrible the workouts appeared on television. I was just so excited about the process that I forgot how terrible it was actually going to be inside there. So that was my first big surprise.

Question:
What is the most difficult thing about going home after being on the show?

David Jones:
I've described it in the past as getting my wheels underneath me and that is to get everybody in my household on board that my eating style is going to have to be different and everybody is just going to have to make time for me to be away from here and be at the gym or be outside working out or walking or whatever. Asking my family and actually telling my family you're all going to have to make some sacrifices for me to accomplish this goal. So that was the biggest adjustment was not just for me but for my whole family to turn some things around.

Question:
What is next for you?

David Jones:
I have been approached by several different organizations that I hadn't anticipated would reach out and ask me to come and talk to them about my experiences and such as the International Rett Syndrome Foundation and some others. And so it has just opened up some doors for me to be able to tell my story and share what I've done and I'm just really excited about that process. That's one of the big things I'm going to be doing is spending some time doing as much of that as I possibly can.

Question:
When you stood in front of your mirror before in uniform, how did that feel compared to now, the difference in the person?

David Jones:
A sideways glance is the way I always looked at just passing a mirror in uniform. I gave it a second or a second and a half of a glance and just immediately turned away because it just reminded me of what it looked like. And today I'll spend a pretty good amount of time making sure everything is shined up, all the metals look polished, and just pride in the way I look in that uniform.

It's a little deceiving because I have body armor on so I'm actually thinner than that uniform actually portrays. But still all things being equal, I'm just really happy. I mean, I had to get all new pants, all new shirts, new leather gear, new body armor. It cost a couple bucks but it was well worth it obviously. So yes, a lot more time spent in the mirror today than six months ago.

Question:
Tell us about how you're treated on the street now and by your peers?

David Jones:
One of the biggest affirmations I have gotten is not about my appearance but my attitude from my co-workers. And I'm so much more approachable and a lot more of them come to me for advice and instruction than used to because my attitude just wasn't wonderful. And so for me that's the biggest thing is that, the appearance and the pride in what I have accomplished on the ranch and stuff. That almost goes without saying because I have gotten that quite often. But for me the happiest part has been their comments about my attitude.

Question:
Some of your fellow colleagues mentioned that you had a personality change when you came back from the ranch. Why do you think they say that?

David Jones:
You should have seen the guy that was walking around in that uniform, even walking around here at my home before then. I got called Eeyore on more than a few occasions because I didn't want anybody to get inside and ask me those questions I never wanted to answer. And today everything gets approached with a pretty positive attitude especially when I'm on the street and I think that's where I get the biggest comments is my approach to critical situations on service calls when we're in a situation where things could go south if we let them. And I had a reputation of kind of letting that happen.

Today I'm just so much better at that problem solving and those critical issues than I ever have before. And I think for my co-workers especially that's the big change they see.

Question:
How are your injuries coming along? Have they hindered your progress?

David Jones:
I don't think so. Dr. H still doesn't want me to run but I have found different machines to just absolutely get a super great burn. I keep track of my caloric burn rate every day and I'm still able to put in the kind of numbers that I was putting in at the ranch. And so I don't think it has really been that big of a hindrance. The one thing I don't do is run but the rest of it I still all get to do.

Question:
What motivates you the most to continue eating healthy and exercise on a regular basis?

David Jones:
I've got two step grandsons and then right now I have a daughter and a stepdaughter that are both going to have children in April. And I just really want to see myself be here for a long, long, long, long time as a grandfather that those grandkids want to come and see or that I can go visit as I travel around the country and that kind of thing after I retire.

And so that's my biggest motivation and secondarily obviously is whether my daughter Tiffany is living at my house or at her mother's house, we've got to take care of her and we've got to be healthy to do that. It's not fair for Tiffany for us to be less than great at our physical condition to take care of her. So those are my biggest motivations.

Question:
You went in at 307, what's your weight today?

David Jones:
I want to kind of let that be a surprise. I will tell you that I am very close to approaching the 100 pound loss mark. I'm really hoping that I get to say on - I'm going to be on the Today Show next Monday and I'm really hoping that on there I get to say I'm down 100 pounds. So I'll just say that right now I'm really, really, really close.

Question:
Has your asthma improved and have you seen a noticeable moment to moment, day to day improvement in your blood pressure and breathing and all those sort of things?

David Jones:
I still use my inhaler on a daily basis. I haven't had to use my rescue inhaler since like week two at the ranch. I do take an inhaler on a daily basis but that's just to keep everything as it should be. But I haven't had any blood pressure problems or anything. I'm not on any medications aside from that inhaler. I haven't had any trouble at all. It has been great.

Question:
You were on high blood pressure pills prior and using your inhaler more?

David Jones:
Oh yes, anytime I did anything stressful I had to go for that rescue inhaler and that just hasn't had to happen.

Question:
You said you've been asked to speak before some organizations about your journey here. And are you expecting to put in another couple of years at the police department or are you thinking retirement now?

David Jones:
That's the great question. I really had anticipated putting a few more years in and I still have not made a decision on that. It's almost like I haven't decided what I'm going to do when I grow up. It's really kind of up in the air.

We've been doing a lot of praying about it and a lot of talking about it and it's we have given the possibility that right now financially if I wanted to make sure my wife keeps working, have to keep her out the door every day, and then on my pension we could do it. But I sure still like doing police work. I still like my job. So not just yet.

Question:
Have you had the opportunity on the job as a policeman to engage in any foot races, any chases?

David Jones:
No, it sounds terrible to say but I have been kind of spoiling for that and I go to just about every call that comes out going okay, maybe this is the one and just try and see what I can do. Unfortunately nobody has tried to run from me yet.

Question:
Can you talk to me a little bit about what your daily schedule is, where are you fitting in the workouts, what it is exactly that like your caloric intake, what foods you're avoiding, what foods you're making sure to get in? Balancing that with work and everything must be difficult.

David Jones:
It isn't to be real honest. I actually have taken a couple or three weeks off this month just to concentrate on the task at hand because when I did go back to work the job did really get in the way. I told my boss, I said working here is just screwing up my plan here. And really it was basically because I had been - they were missing a supervisor on one of the night squads and so they put me in that spot which was 6:00 pm to 6:00 am. And so you work a couple of days and then you're off a couple of days, then you work three days then you're off three days, that kind of stuff.

So on the days where I would have to get some sleep and only have three or four hours between the next time I would have to go back to work I would only get in a couple of hours of workout. On my days off however I would go into the gym two and three times and get somewhere between 3-1/2 to 4-1/2, maybe even 5 hours of workout in on those days. I'm going to be doing that for the next couple or three weeks here at home getting those four and five hours a day of working out and calorically I'm still staying around the 1400 to 1500 calories.

The foods that I am avoiding are really, it's really easy. The simple carbs are in large part out of my life. I will sometimes have a bowl of oatmeal with some strawberries for breakfast or I might have a piece of whole grain or Ezekiel bread and just one slice and then that's it for simple carbs if at all. That's the last time I'll have those.

Complex carbs I still will do, my fruits, my vegetables. I eat all the greens in the world I want. Bob has told me I can eat eight gallons of broccoli as far as he is concerned, it doesn't matter. That's the biggest change that I'm doing eating here at home as opposed to six months ago when I was here before I went to the ranch was really decreasing the amount of the simple carb.

Question:
What is it like at home that is different now than it was before? Because we've talked about work but what about at home?

David Jones:
Activity level is number one. I just find myself with tons of energy to be able to do a lot of stuff around the house that I just would dread. You know, and even just simply getting out of a chair to get up to go do something. I forgot how easy it's supposed to be. I forgot how pain free it's supposed to be.

It just puts a smile on my face sometimes when I get up out of a chair and I go oh that doesn't hurt at all, that's fantastic. And sometimes that sounds like everybody ought to appreciate that. So really the activity level, just the willingness and the ability just to get out and just keep going, just keep doing. I don't want to sit and watch TV all day which is what my lifestyle was six months ago.

Question:
When you had the blue team were going into the elimination room did you expect to be the one going home?

David Jones:
We had a conversation, I don't think it made the final cut for the show but we had a conversation actually a little earlier, and I mean by a couple of weeks. And Michael had told me, well he kind of reiterated that I think last night on the show that you are a force to be reckoned with and when that brace comes off you're going to be kicking some tail. Because percentage wise I had kept up with those guys. I actually had beat them a few times in weight loss, those guys meaning Jeff and Michael.

I kind of knew the plan was that before we went to individuals that if we ever failed, if we ever lost the weigh-in that I would probably be the guy to go. And I also quite admittedly told them, I said I'm okay with going home. What I have realized is that most of us are going home. 3 of us out of the 15 are going home early and I'm okay with that. If that's one of the things that has to happen I'm good. And I was by then emotionally I was in a lot better place than I had been before.

Question:
I wanted to ask you about that because it seemed like you had sort of an emotional breakthrough in last week's episode. Have you kind of continued to progress with that?

David Jones:
Yes I am speaking with a professional and I meet with that person very regular basis. I have found out a ton of things about myself that I just did not know existed. I found out that there were negative influences in my life that are very close to me that I had never recognized. And I had to change those things and I had to confront them and I had to stand up for myself and say listen, I'm not going to accept that in my life anymore. I'm not going to let these things happen.

Like I said on the show last night at one point I believe, that is very liberating. That just is life changing, it's just a chain or a bond that just gets thrown away and it just feels great.

Question:
It seems like the contestants are really supportive of each other. Would you agree with that?

David Jones:
All around I would say yes. I mean, I don't know if there was anybody on the red or white team that I never didn't get along with. I will say you can't put 15 people from different parts of the country into such a challenging atmosphere and have everybody get along 100% of the time. We did have disagreements, we did have things we bumped heads about and stuff like that. But we all in the end when you look at the whole entirety of the situation, we all really, really got along well.

We as contestants still constantly stay in touch with other either by social media or on the telephone. And while some of us are a lot closer than others. I would say specifically probably me and Lisa and Pam and Cate are extremely close and talk to each other almost daily. Every one of us gets along. We all really got along.

Question:
When you watched last night's episode do you think Bob was being too tough on Gina?

David Jones:
Gina probably becomes stronger every day that somebody is tough with her. Bob is doing exactly what Bob is supposed to do. Gina needs that to happen in her life because she can be such a competitor and so strong but she's got to have just like I do, got to have that motivational force behind you. So no I don't think he was too tough. That's what she needed.

Question:
I was admiring all the changes that you have made on the inside and I wonder if you had to put the scales together do you think you've made more changes on the inside or more changes on the outside?

David Jones:
I'd like to think it's pretty balanced. I said something like that to my wife just a couple of nights ago. I said it just seems like for every five or ten pounds I lose, I have lost about five or ten pounds of emotional baggage too. I think that's my best answer on that. I think it has been pretty balanced.

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