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The Biggest Loser Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

This is a transcript of an interview with eliminated contestant Marci Crozier on March 16, 2011 about the show The Biggest Loser.

The Biggest Loser

Question:
Being in the fitness business you had access to a gym and nutritional knowledge, so what did you learn at the ranch that you didn't already know?

Marci Crozier:
What I learned at the ranch, I already knew that food was a part of the equation and that the exercise was a part of the equation but what I didn't realize and what I learned there was that the motivation factor was the biggest part of the equation. And finding out what really is going to make you want to loose the weight is what's going to make the difference. So, you can have all the knowledge in the world but if you don't apply that knowledge it really doesn't mean anything. So it's all about the motivation factor and getting the job done.

Question:
You seem to be such a leader to all the competitors and they drew their strength from you, but where did you get yours and where was it before you came to The Biggest Loser?

Marci Crozier:
I draw my strength, honestly, from God. You know, I find that there's a balance. It's a mind, body, spirit connection. And, you know, I lost my balance. That's what happened to me before I got to the ranch. It happened to me probably ten years before I got there. So what I was able to do was to take all the aspects of wellness, not just the physical and, you know, the mental part of it but really the spiritual part of it and pull it all back together for myself. And that's what makes that wheel round which makes it easier to be able to roll down the wheel of life. That's the way - the road of life. That's why I lost my balance. I was just a little bit lopsided when I got there.

Question:
So the strength and faith go hand in hand?

Marci Crozier:
Absolutely.

Question:
Did you learn anything on the ranch that you could pass on to other mothers so that they don't end up having to be there with their children? Something that they can do when the kids are younger?

Marci Crozier:
Yeah. I think that something that I had an epiphany when I was there. I guess I knew it but I didn't really put it into words until I was on the ranch. And, you know, as you're raising your kids and, you know, it's so hard. I think where we get off base is that we want to always please them and we want to be their friends.

And, you know, one of the things that my husband and I have always done is we've said, hey, we're their parents. We're the disciplinarians, we are not their friends. And sometimes they're not going to like us or things that we have to say and do but, you know, in the end, and this is when I realize it now that Courtney has - when I say the end, the end of her childhood and then she becomes an adult. Well, when you're not their friends you're their childhood and then you can be their best friends when they become adults.

So, keep that in perspective and don't try to be your kid's friend because when you do you're not doing justice to parenting. And parenting is tough love and it's really holding your kids accountable and making sure that they respect authority and all of those kinds of things that we lose sight of. We get mad at authority when they say something to our kids because so many parents today are overprotective of their children.

And if they really wanted to be independent they will let them - you know, they need to fight their own fight. And even though people think I coddled people, I didn't. I let those girls and my daughter make their own decisions. I just tried to give them advice and empower them to make their own decisions.

Question:
What was the smartest thing you learned about food while you were there?

Marci Crozier:
I think that you have to eat food to loose weight. You have to eat more than you think you have to eat and you have to eat the right foods. So for me the smartest thing that I learned was that I actually - if I ate the right foods I could eat more. Because I like to eat, you know. And what I was doing was I was eating less quantity of the food but not quality food. So if I eat more quality food then I'm going to get more quantity. And I like quantity. So eating the right foods is the key. You know, and eating the foods that you like is key. You know if you eat the foods that you like and you cook them and prepare them properly, you know, in a smart manner, and you eat the right portions food can be your friend.

Question:
How did The Biggest Loser experience changed the way you do your job at the health club?

Marci Crozier:
You know, it's changed tremendously how I do my job at the health club. You know, for me personally I'm more consciences of prioritizing and time management and making sure I take care of myself so that I'm not a workaholic. But to be able to pay it forward because of this experience on my job I've learned that the best thing that I can do is train my people that when we embrace deconditioned people and when we look at them I guess how I want to say this is that its not a diabetic person that walks in the door.

Well, here's what we say. You know, this persons a diabetic, they're a diabetic person. But when somebody walks in and says it's a person with diabetes, you know, in other words, let's look at them as the person and take care of people and not take care of the disease even. You know, just find out what it is that makes this person tick so that we can help them because to me the diabetes is a symptom of something else. So, let's look at the person as a whole person and get to the bottom of it so that we can prescribe the right exercise plan for them, the right nutrition plan for them and find out what motivates them.

Question:
You said during your transformation video that you saw Courtney blossom on the ranch and I'm wondering specifically do you remember a time when you just noticed any specific changes?

Marci Crozier:
Yeah, you know. For Courtney she's always been wise beyond her years. So I've always been in aw of some of the things that come out of her mouth. But I think for me it was a physical transformation and it was really in her eyes. When she was heavy the heavier she was the more squinty her eyes were and you just, and you couldn't really see all the way inside of them. And one day she came up to me she was just so bright-eyed and her eyes were just wide opened.

And I could just see right through her whole being. I could see the beauty on the inside, you know, at that point more than ever. And I think it was a physical transformation and it was truly the clarity in her eyes and just the brightness of them. So, to me, she's always been wise beyond her years so she says a lot. She does believe all the things that she says and she said that even when she was way over weight. So to watch her, you know, blossom, I think it was a physical transformation that I saw, that I noticed, more than anything.

Question:
You got down to your goal when you were on the ranch. What have been the challenges in maintaining that weight now that you're home?

Marci Crozier:
My biggest challenge, honestly, is time management. Especially being on the show and even before the show but especially being on the show people pulling us in every direction because, you know, it's our privilege to be able to have that. It's also our obligation to be able to make sure we remember what a blessing that we had and wanting to pay that forward.

But, time management is tough and it was tough for me before I left and it's even more tough now. So I have a strategic plan for myself every single day. And I have to be careful not to feel guilty, not to feel like I'm being rude to anybody but at some point I have to stop, you know, the madness and I do. And I just say, you know what, this hour and a half is for me.

And I take an hour and a half everyday, six days a week and I work out and I don't let people get in my way and it's helped me to have trainers because they kind of work as the Gestapo. You know, they don't let people bother me while I'm working out and that's what I really appreciate in my trainers more than anything because it's definitely a focus time for me and that just makes me more productive the rest of the day.

Question:
Now that you've reached your goal weight, what are your new fitness and health goals?

Marci Crozier:
What I need to do is to continue to tone my body because when you're on the ranch it's a contest and it's definitely rapid weight loss. And, you know, there's not a lot of strength and conditioning as far as the strength part of conditioning. So, for me I just have been toning. I've been doing a lot of core work and I'm 49 years old so I had to work on tightening my skin and that's what I've been doing. So, I totally want to be fit and healthy. I'm not looking to loose more weight but I definitely want to be strong and fit and healthy when I get to that finale.

Question:
What do you think is the most important thing that you learned from having spent time on the ranch?

Marci Crozier:
You know, I think the most important thing that I've learned is it's actually a combination of things. You know, it came to me actually in one of the challenges and it was the thought about going home and the journey going home and it kind of just became a metaphor for me. But the whole thing is about balance, communication, making sure that you can keep that balance by communicating with people, being able to have a plan. If you have that plan and you communicate that plan it helps you keep your balance.

Understanding that you have the knowledge, knowledge is not the power, the actual power comes from the proper application of that knowledge. But really the most important thing is doing everything in the name of love. And I really, really believe that. That no matter what, even when you make a mistake, if you really do it for the right reasons and when you're communicating, when your holding somebody accountable, if you do it because you care about that person and those kinds of things, so I call that blind faith. When you pull all those aspects together; communication, planning, knowledge, balance and blind faith, you're guaranteed success.

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

Marci Crozier:
The expectation was pretty high. I thought that it was going to be pretty tough and it was exactly what it was. I've watched the show, I was familiar with what I thought it was going to be. When I got there I went into a survival mode because of my expectation and that's how I made it through. I mean, I just went in and focused and said, you know, I know they're not going to kill me. And if I can just keep from throwing up on camera I'm going to make it through this.

So, that's really the survival mode where I expected to be and that's where I was. It was all that I wanted it to be and more as far as the relationships and, you know, Bob and Jillian and just figuring out how much they really did care about us. They cared about the cast and I think that's where they struggle the most is having to watch people that need to be there. I think they were good with me going home but I think when somebody really needed to be there and having to watch them send them away was the hardest part. So that was something that I definitely learned. I didn't expect that. I really thought they were going to be more Hollywood and they are just very genuine people, genuine trainers, that care about their clients.

Question:
It sounds like you were working out about 90 minutes a day. Can you talk a little bit about what you're doing for those 90 minutes?

Marci Crozier:
Yeah. My goal is to work 30 minutes on endurance training so I usually try to run a 5K or something if I can run, you know, three miles and run a couple of miles, walk a couple of miles, that's great. So I like to do endurance for 30 minutes. And then I like to do interval training for 30 minutes so where I'm really pushing myself hard, 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off and really getting my heart rate way up there and then having that recovery mode for 30 seconds. And then I do strength training for 30 minutes. So it's 30 minutes endurance, 30 minutes interval and 30 minutes of strength training.

Question:
How has your relationship with Courtney changed over the course of this?

Marci Crozier:
You know, Courtney and I have always had a great relationship. I mean, she's my daughter and I love her unconditionally, there's no question about that. But, I would be lying if I didn't tell you that there was always a strain probably made her feel so bad at times because of, you know, how tough I was on her when it came to her weight.

And it was never about any vanity or popularity or anything like that. Courtney's always had lots of friends around her and she's, you know, always been a pretty good. The truth is, being in the industry that I'm in and constantly getting beat up by childhood obesity, emails and those kinds of things, and I just felt like such a hypocrite. And I would go home and I would get on her about trying to do the right thing. And that's the only strain we've ever had on our relationship and that's the truth.

You know, I've always been proud of her. She's not one of those kids. She's a better kid than I ever was I can promise you that but she never got in trouble or those kinds of things but it was always about her weight. So knowing that the day that she said to me she was ready and that she was going to get this done I knew that she was going to get it done. And I also knew that she was doing it for the right reasons. You know, she's always been a happy kid and she just wants to take care of her health. And, you know, watching her do I just have so much respect for her. You know, because she came from a darker hole than people realize and more than I even realized because she finally admitted that to me. You know, she goes, I thought I was happy. I've always felt like I was happy but I never knew how happy I could be.

Question:
What should other parents do if they realize that their child is gaining weight?

Marci Crozier:
You know I think that's a very good question because I even tried to step out of the equation and I took her to a dietician. I thought maybe she had a thyroid problem so I took her to the doctor. I did all of those things and, you know, I guess when you set the foundation and you give them all the information and maybe there's a certain age level. I mean, until they're at least 12 years old they probably aren't really getting it anyway.

But if you set that foundation for them and they know that you're there, they know that you love them no matter what, because there was never a question about that. It's never that she's embarrassed me or anything like that because of her weight it was more of just my heart just hurt because I just was worried about her. And I think if parents just keep that in perspective that it is about their child's health and they give them the resources, they've got to step back. Because the truth is, if you give them the confidence that they need, you know, because that's one thing I can is I've watched kids that were overweight sit in the corner and not want to participate in gym. You know, my kid was not that.

You know, when Courtney came to me ever and said somebody called me a name, somebody called me fat, I would say, you know what, you tell them you might be fat but they're ugly inside and you can loose weight. You know, I would tell her to go back and fight for herself and I wasn't going to step up and fight for her when it came to those kinds of things. She had to stand up for herself and she did. So when you give your kids confidence that's all they need. You give them that foundation, give them those resources and eventually, you know, they're going to get it.

You know I can't promise when or where but, you know, I realized at one point that her weight was more of my problem than it was hers. And when I realized that and I stepped back, somebody said that to me. Actually, it was a fluke that I was sitting next to this wonderful women and she was a psychiatrist in a seminar and the guy says, tell the person next to you what the hardest thing in your life is.

And I looked at this lady and I said, the hardest thing in my life is my daughter's weight. And she was 16 years old. And she said really? And she asked me all about Courtney and I said, yeah, and she said, you know what, she said, you've got to let that go because it's your problem. It's not hers. And I did and five years later Courtney told me she got it and just a lot of prayers. A lot of prayers.

Question:
What was the hardest vote that you were actually a part of in the room?

Marci Crozier:
The hardest vote that I was a part of was Sarah's vote. When Sarah had to go home, you know, I mean, that was the week that I was planning on going home if we fell below because I knew it was going to be a full-team vote and once we lost the weigh-in it was going to be somebody on our team who was going to go home.

So, it wasn't going to be a yellow line so I just knew it was going to be me. And so I was good with that and I knew it wasn't going to be Jen because Jay was one of my very best friends on there. I promised Jay and Denny at some point that, you know, when it came to either one of their kids being pitted up against me I was going home for them. There was no question about it and I felt very good to say that because I know those girls have a huge future in front of themselves. And I felt like I'm established and I was well on my way and it was just the right thing to do.

And when I got immunity that week, you know, I was stunned. I didn't know what to say because, I mean, I never would have expected to get immunity and I couldn't believe some of the kids that only lost two pounds or one pound and I couldn't believe that I lost five pounds, to tell you the truth, off of a 14-pound, you know, couple of weeks when we were home for Christmas.

So, when she had to go home I felt terrible. I think that was the worst weigh-in for me because I felt like, you know, I couldn't talk to Denny. I couldn't let her know what really happened and I knew that there would be things running through her head that just weren't true but you're kind of still there and not being able to talk to anybody. And it hurt, it really did. And it hurt to see the pain in Sarah's eyes. It broke my heart.

Question:
In the final week, when you all worked together as the Blue Team and you got to work with the other trainers for the first time, can you tell us a little bit about what that was like working with them and their workouts and how did that compare to how you felt about Bob and Jillian's workouts?

Marci Crozier:
Yeah, you know, Bob and Jillian, you know, for me obviously they have the experience and not only the knowledge but the experience, especially with a weight loss show and they were so compassionate to us and I just felt like a strong, strong relationship with them by the time we started working with Brett and Cara.

You know, Brett has all the knowledge in the world and I have to tell ya, he really impresses me as a trainer because he knows how to orchestrate a group training session and that's what I just really admired him. And I didn't get to know him. I only got to work with him one time and he got right to the heart of things with Courtney and he had brought me over too. So we talked a lot and I just really enjoyed working with Brett.

And the same for Cara. The thing with Cara is that I'm not thrilled about a boxing workout and that's just a personal preference. But it's hard not to love the workout when the person that you're working out with is just so genuine. I mean, Cara is such a caring coddling trainer. She's definitely a different style than any of the other three especially Jillian. You know, I mean, I think they're so different but I actually enjoyed the boxing workout. But the only reason I don't like the boxing workout is because it kind of hurts my neck and my back. You know, I'm 49 years old I just don't like punching a bag. It's just something I'm not thrilled about.

But, working out with her was fun because she's just a really sweet girl. Very, very sweet girl and I enjoyed being around both Brett and Cara. So we had a lot of different personalities and that's the funny thing about, you know, training is that you can take the same exact workout and those trainers can add their personality and make it very, very different. So, I enjoyed working out with Brett and Cara.

Question:
You are on record as saying your time on the ranch gave you the privilege to pay it forward. Besides at work, how are you helping others around you?

Marci Crozier:
Well, I have lots of friends that have been calling me that - all over the country. People that I've known throughout the years and they say, Marci, I need you. You've got to get me started and everything and one of the ways that I've been counseling people is just to let people know that it's really self-responsibility. They don't need me. I mean, I'm going to give them all the tips that they need and I'll help them any way that I can but the truth is, its self-responsibility.

So, that's a message that I want to share, you know. At work you said you know that we're paying it forward with our new nutrition program and so that's great. But I want to go a little bigger than that. I want to share it with the whole industry not just at work at my club but with the whole industry to let people know how I feel like I can pay it forward to let the industry know that it's time to invite deconditioned people in but to embrace deconditioned people, to call out to them, to wrap our arms around them and have them know that they can be comfortable at our club.

Because our clubs are intimidating and we need to get a grip on that. We need to really realize how intimidating they are. We need to gear all of our advertising and all of our messages to deconditioned people and let them know that we are here for them and that they can feel comfortable walking in our doors.

Question:
No one wanted to see you go home and everyone was clearly upset about having to say goodbye to you. How did it feel knowing you had such an impact on everyone on the ranch?

Marci Crozier:
Well, it felt great. Honestly, you know, that's the one thing that you know when you let your kids go, some thing with Courtney, is that I was able to feel good about knowing that they were ready. And for them to say that they're going to miss me and all that but for me to know that they were going to be better off without me.

I really did believe that there were some people there that needed me kind of as a crutch and the truth was that, you know, my leadership style is usually from behind and the truth is I wanted them to be empowered to grow themselves. And to know that I'm not there but to kind of remember some of the things that we talked about along the way.

And I feel like I was able to instill that in some of those kids and I think they got it. I know they got it. So I felt great leaving. When I called my husband, when I walked off that ranch, I called him and I said, honey, you know, I don't want to make you feel bad like our wedding day or the birth of my children, but today is the best day of my life. And it's the beginning of my life, the second part of my life because I know that I made a difference there.

And I know that I impacted those kids and I know that people have told me, and even they did, that, hey, you kind of set the tone in this house because we don't need the drama. We just needed - we had a job to do and I hope that they kept that perspective when I'm gone I just want them to get the job done.

Question:
As a 49-year-old mom, were you surprised at how quickly you were able to get to your goal weight?

Marci Crozier:
Oh totally was amazed by it. And I have to tell you, I told people this through the years in my industry, I've said this to people, you know, if you were fit at one time in your life, if you were very fit at one time in your life, that you can get it back quicker just because you were there at one point and it comes back easier. I was a collegiate athlete. I played volleyball and softball in college. I was very fit for many years of my life and it was the last 15 years, probably 18 years, that I let myself go. That's a long time.

I never thought that it could come back but I have to tell you, I feel like I felt when I was in college. That's how my body feels right now. And to have it come back in 11 episodes there it was amazing to me. I think Dr. H, is a little amazed too but he said I knew that you told me you were fit at one point in our life and, you know, you're back at that spot aren't you? I said, I am. I feel the same way I did when I was 23 years old when I was just leaving college.

Question:
Dr. H. last night said that you needed to go on a different plan. What exactly did he have you do different than the other contestants? Was it with your food?

Marci Crozier:
Yeah, it was. He told me that he was going to change my workout routine first of all and I was burning about 4000 calories a day. And so, you know, now my goal is to be burning about 2800 to 3000 calories a day. But also that I was going to double my calorie intake. Which scared me. You know, it did scare me when he said that but, you know, I have and I doubled my calories and they've been watching. You know, we still do our BodyBugg and I've been able to maintain. So whatever's he's telling me must be working because I know that I haven't lost much weight but, I've lost a few pounds, the truth is I know I've gained muscle.

So, I'm definitely heavier, you know, in the muscle category and I haven't gained any weight. So, that's the good thing. So I think I've taken his recommendation to heart and working out six days a week and I doubled my calories and I'm maintaining exactly where he wants me to be.

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