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The Biggest Loser Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

This is a transcript of an interview with eliminated contestant Sarah Nitta on March 9, 2011 about the show The Biggest Loser.

The Biggest Loser

Question:
You've had such success at home. What are your keys to maintaining what you learned on The Biggest Loser?

Sarah Nitta:
My keys for maintaining everything that I've learned is really just to plan out day every single day so that I don't fall behind and I know exactly what I'm going to be doing. And really just keep moving. Make sure I get my workouts in and keep moving in between. Planning my exercise and my diet everyday.

Question:
In what ways do you think the Black Team may be at a disadvantage, or perhaps at an advantage, with it being all women?

Sarah Nitta:
I think that the women on the Black Team are strong women. But they definitely have a disadvantage when it comes to challenges that may involve strengths because they're up against really, really big guys that are strong men and in that sense they could be at a disadvantage. But they are smart and when it comes to a smart challenge they could have an advantage.

he men do have more to lose. It's easier for them to lose. Percentage wise the women are getting smaller but they still have weight to lose. So I think that it looks like they are down to a lot of small girls. And I think it's going to start creating a challenge for them.

Question:
But I noticed that you said that after the finale you and your husband are going to start a new chapter of your life. Does that mean that you're going to try to have a baby again?

Sarah Nitta:
Mine and my husband, both, our goal going into this was to get myself healthy enough not just physically but mentally and emotionally, healthy enough to be able to have a child. I've lost every pregnancy that I've had. And so now our goal is to be able to start a family and now that I'm getting healthy enough when I get to my goal weight, that's our first goal is to be able to try at least to carry a child full term that can be healthy and start that next chapter of our life. Now if I can't at least I've done my part and I've done everything I can and then we can turn to other options. But regardless we're ready to start a family.

Question:
Are you concerned about gaining the weight back and have you talked to the trainers about what to do for a healthy pregnancy but still maintaining fitness?

Sarah Nitta:
I actually have because that is a concern of mine is gaining weight. I think a lot of women are concerned about gaining weight during pregnancy. And there is a healthy amount of weight that you should gain during pregnancy. And with speaking with the trainers they and Dr. Huizenga included, they have great advice that exercise is still such an important part of a pregnancy as well as diet. Now that doesn't mean dieting, cutting your calories like crazy. But being careful of what you're putting into your body and how much you're still using your body is very important. And so I believe that if I can continue to plan my day like I am now that I will still be able to maintain a healthy weight and have a healthy pregnancy.

Question:
What have you've done since you've been at home that keeps you on track with continuing your goal and your weight loss?

Sarah Nitta:
Well actually since I've been home I learned both methods of training on the ranch working with both sides. And I've come home and had to really choose which one worked best for me and what I like the most. And I actually have been training MMA and doing a lot of boxing still and I work out in an MMA gym with a trainer that trains fighters.

And that for me has been fantastic. It's so out of my element. It's nothing I ever would have thought I could do before. But it's a great workout and I do it everyday as well as spinning and group classes. I think those group classes really help motivate people to push to their potential because everyone's around them watching.

Question:
You talk about that you and your husband are going to start a family. Are you worried that after pregnancy kind of falling back into like any old habits?

Sarah Nitta:
Yeah. It's definitely a concern. And I would be lying if I said I wasn't fearful for old habits coming back and temptations because I'm still tempted every single day. And I don't think I would be human if I wasn't. The difference now is that I've learned tools on how to deal with those temptations and emotions. And I think that before my problem was I didn't know how to work with hard things that came and then with the emotional stuff. And so now having those tools I feel like I will be able to be more successful in my life dealing with my weight.

Question:
What do you think is the most important thing that you've learned from being on the show?

Sarah Nitta:
The most important was thing learning how to eat right has been great. Learning how to exercise has been fantastic. But for me the greatest lesson that I learned really was to believe in myself. And to stop fearing everything. Fear was controlling my entire life. And I was afraid of everything. And I think the greatest lesson I learned was that I am capable of doing anything I put my mind to. And if I can believe in myself I can succeed.

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

Sarah Nitta:
Coming home has definitely been a challenge. And the reason is because there are so many distractions at home. And on the ranch there are no cell phones. There's nothing to distract you. Where at home you go back to your regular life and everything that's involved in that. And so I think time management has been a definite struggle for me. I get distracted very easily and I want to be out playing with everyone.

And so keeping my focus has provided a challenge. But I think that it's been a great lesson for me because now as I'm doing it at home I can honestly look at everyone else that is doing it at home or trying to do it at home and say I know what that's like and I know that it's possible. Although it is harder and a greater challenge it's certainly possible.

Question:
Did you feel your elimination was a retaliation for your making a move to the Black Team?

Sarah Nitta:
I don't think it was retaliation because my team absolutely supported me in coming back to the Black Team. And they would not upset with me in any way for that decision and obviously the result of Arthur going home because those were certainly not my intentions. Arthur and I have a great relationship. But I definitely was very, very shocked, very surprised at their decision to send me home. You know I thought that we would all vote to go a different way and it was certainly surprising. And it does show that the original team, the original clique and they stuck together.

Question:
So you are working out with called TapouT in Las Vegas. They also trained Kolie, who won the At Home Prize. And they trained Mark, Bitheggest Loser correspondent in the season and he was the At Home Winner. Do you think there's a little of a trend building up and is that what you're shooting for?

Sarah Nitta:
That's exactly what I'm shooting for. Both of the last few At Home Winners were trained by my trainer, Robert McMullin. And now working with him I'm very confident that he knows how to train winners and what to do to help me to get to that point. And so I'm certainly shooting for that and hoping to give him a third winner.

Question:
Think back to your first contact with your mom when you come home from being eliminated. What questions did she have? What did you have to say to her about your time without her on the ranch?

Sarah Nitta:
When I called my mom as soon as I was eliminated she actually was devastated. I mean she was a wreck. And she still has a hard time with it because when she did what she did for the Black Team for everyone, when she sacrificed herself they promised her that they would take care of me. They promised her that they would keep me there. And she felt very, very betrayed by the Black Team. You know, the next elimination that the Black Team had, they sent me home.

And so she felt like it was a big slap in the face that what she did was that it was in vain and they just kind of mocked that and sent me home is how she felt. So she had a really hard time with that and still does. She's still struggling trying to let that go.

Question:Sarah Nitta:
I thought there had been so much talk. We had decided before that if we lost that we would send Jen home and she only lost 1 pound. I thought that we would definitely be sending Jen home that night. And that just didn't happen. And Marci did get immunity. For someone to lose 5 pounds is very surprising to all of us. She did a great job.

I don't think that she thought about her getting immunity. But I do think that Marci has more of a say. She is the leader of the team. And she had more pull and could have gotten the girls to keep me there and didn't. So I'm not sure what happened there.

Question:
Where do you think it turned, the vote?

Sarah Nitta:
I think honestly looking at the situation and now watching the show, I think that the episode before where I was very wishy-washy and I still care about the Red Team and the Black Team, I'm not a solid guaranteed vote for everyone on the Black Team because I do still care about the people on the Red Team. I think when they saw that that my loyalties were not to either side that they had to keep someone like Jen who would never write their name down and was a guaranteed vote for them. So I think their decision to send me home was from a game play aspect.

Question:
When I talked to Arthur last week he said that although the show didn't show it, Marci had actually caused some drama and pushed the producers to let her talk to the team and try and convince them not to vote off Arthur.Did she try and do anything like that this week and convince them to let her give up immunity or anything like that or did she kind of seem perfectly fine with her immunity?

Sarah Nitta:
You know she knew that she couldn't give up her immunity. She had already tried that before. But she really didn't fight like she had promised my mom she would.

Question:
Why did you choose to go back to the Black Team and do you regret that decision now?

Sarah Nitta:
I don't regret the decision because actually if you catch it just for a little second in that episode where I did choose to go back, the Red Team had told me if I went back to them that they would have to send me home that night. And not because they didn't care about me but because I would have put them in that situation where they had to choose.

And so I knew that I would be going home anyway if I went back to the Red Team. And really my last week on the Black Team was very crucial for me. It was a turning point for me working with Bob and going through some of those workouts and some of those breakthroughs that I had. I feel like that was necessary; had I gone home the week before I think I would have been in a completely different place than I was the week that I actually went home.

Question:
Can you tell me a little bit about that breakthrough? What happened? What do you think that was?

Sarah Nitta:
You know, the entire time I was on the show I was fighting to find this. I guess fighting to get over the fear that I had. The fear that was controlling me and fighting to find this inner strength. And I'm not even sure what happened that week. Going back to the Black Team is definitely a harder thing for me to do. It was more intimidating. Bob pushed me more than anyone.

And so I had to put myself literally out of that comfort zone and I think getting myself to that point, pushing so far past my comfort zone finally helped me discover that I really can do anything and I really do have so much strength that I can tap into that I'm - you know I'm able to do whatever I put my mind to.

Question:
What's been the greatest change in your life since doing the show?

Sarah Nitta:
The mental changes that have come. The confidence and the love that I have for myself is so different than it was before. And that has - that just means so much to me and has made such a difference in my relationships with everyone because now, you know what, I do see strength in myself and my good qualities. And I don't mean that is a bullish way but just in a very loving way. I finally love myself. And that to allow other people to love me and be okay with that.

And I just feel like that has filtered into every aspect of my life. I'm confident to do anything, to try anything. And then just I'm so much - I'm just full of so much love then I was before.

Question:
Has your weight loss influenced your husband, friends, or family?

Sarah Nitta:
Definitely. When I came home my husband had lost 30 pounds. And is looking fantastic. I have so many wonderful friends, family members, supporters that sent messages and emails constantly telling me about their journey and how well they're doing and how they've been inspired. And it feels so good to be able to put that forward because I've been inspired by anyone that has ever tried and so to be able to put that forward is fantastic.

Question:
You've talked at length here about conquering fear. I'm interested in specifics, maybe a specific instance where your new found confidence manifested itself now that you've been home?

Sarah Nitta:
I did go rock climbing. And they showed that. That was something that I always wanted to do but had always been so afraid to do. So really rock climbing. And I've done a lot of outdoors rock climbing now. And had planned some trips for the summer to go canyoneering and repelling and so many things that my family is really into that they really like doing that I just never been a part of or have been able to do.

When I train with my trainer he has me do things like jump up onto this giant tire that I never thought I'd be able to jump that high. And it's just every little, I mean tiny little things like jumping on a tire feels so good and it just is so amazing to feel the changes and see the changes so.

Question:
When you think back to that treadmill challenge where you were considering finishing last, do you kick yourself when you think back to that?

Sarah Nitta:
You know actually I'm grateful for what happened during that challenge. You know America is going to see it how they see it. And it's unfortunate because it doesn't look the best. But for me when I decided to try and come in last I thought that that was the best thing to do. And I'm so glad that in the moment of almost coming in last that by a few other players I realized that it's not okay to give up midway. That it's not okay to throw away my choice because it's too hard. And that's a life lesson that I learned in that moment that I'll forever be grateful for, you know.

And it looked like I was throwing Arthur into the bus and sending him home which was actually not the case at all. I would have loved to be able to save Arthur. But we actually we made our choice before the challenge ever started. I mean that's not something that they show. But we had to make our choice before that and I had no idea what the outcome would be. If I knew I was going home the next week then I'd definitely would have saved Arthur. But I can't I can't go back so. It's always 20/20 hindsight.

Question:
You said that before the elimination there was a conversation about Jen would be the one to go. Can you elaborate on that? And has everyone decided they were going to vote that way? Did Jen know this?

Sarah Nitta:
I don't think that Jen knew that. I think and I'm not really sure what happened with Jen before I ever joined the team. I just know that everyone else was very close and had promised to never send each other home. And Jen was not a part of that. I'm really not sure what had happened with Jen. I just know that that was kind of the plan. And so that's why it was so surprising as I was obviously never clued into a change in that plan until they eliminated me.

Question:
You talked a little bit about your training. What are your workouts like? Are you working out once or twice a day? Can you walk us through an average day for you?

Sarah Nitta:
Every day I work out about three to four hours a day right now because I'm also working and have other things that I'm doing at home. I can't just focus on working out anymore unfortunately. But I still do about three to four hours a day.

A typical day would be getting up and I like to take my dog for a walk, just an extra long walk. And then I will go and meet with my trainer. And when I meet with my trainer Robert we will do crazy circuits where doing a lot of strength training and a lot of cardio. We'll do boxing. And we'll work on with straddling ropes and one of my goals is to be able to do a full on pushup like a boy pushup.

And so we do a lot of pushups and he's strengthening me that way. After working with my trainer I will go home and eat lunch. And after that I will usually go to a swim class or a strengthening class, a Zumba class. And at night I will hop on the treadmill or go for a walk with my husband, go for a little jog with my husband. Just something at night to kind of close my day with a good exercise.

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