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The Biggest Loser Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

This is a transcript of an interview with trainers Zina Garrison on September 12, 2014 about the show The Biggest Loser.

The Biggest Loser

Question:
What do you think is the most important thing you learned from your time on the show?

Zina Garrison:
The most important thing for me actually as coming from being coming up on being a coach and having everything, me being in control of everything, I really learned in order for me to really get my weight under control, I had to rely on the professionals on the show and so letting go of control.

And also another thing was my portion sizes. After, you know - it's kind of funny. When you're an athlete you're used to eating whatever you want because that you're going to go do an enormous amount of exercise and get rid of it. But when you get older you can't really do that so portion size and portion control has been a big thing that I learned from there.

Question:
When you first learned about Comeback Canyon, what was your reaction to it?

Zina Garrison:
I was extremely excited, as you can probably tell if you saw the show last night. I mean I was excited to Comeback Canyon, and also to see Bob. You know, I never really watched the show that much but I did know Bob was on it. So I was excited about that. And actually, Bob was the one who actually helped me. ???Zina, you got to let go some control in order for us, for them to be able to do their job???.

Question:
As to with that first challenge, everyone got to pick what trainers they wanted. You didn't get to pick a trainer. Which team were you hoping to be on?

Zina Garrison:
Jessie, I mean he's gorgeous. I was trying my best. I mean that's why you probably saw me standing. I mean are you going to call me? But Jessie, I was really trying to get to Jessie. After the first workout I really kind of jelled with him. Also Jen too but Jessie and I kind of had a moment so it was great.

Question:
Have you heard from anybody that you've worked with in tennis about being on The Biggest Loser?

Zina Garrison:
I got a lot of calls. You know, people were telling me once they heard that I was going to be on the show. Some of my friends came up as well when I was at the opening and said Zina congratulations and I wish you luck from the show and all of that. And, so yes.

Question:
Before you came in, you were saying that you were always helping others before helping yourself. Even though you spent a small amount of time with Biggest Loser, have you managed to change that and who were you helping?

Zina Garrison:
Actually right now I'm working with a girl by the name of Taylor Townsend and I also help - I help some other juniors in the Washington D.C. area. I also have my own foundation and the Garrison Tennis Academy here in Houston, Texas. So that's pretty much what I mean. I'm always that one that's trying to help persons help their dreams.

Question:
Have you managed to devote a bit more time to yourself since moving on from Biggest Loser?

Zina Garrison:
Oh, it's really funny because I actually am learning to probably do that for the first time in my life, is kind of take a little more time to make sure that I workout and make sure that I'm not running through a fast food restaurant, trying to get something to eat. Biggest Loser has really helped me to understand that I do need to put myself in front of everything else in order to be able to help someone else. I mean it's kind of like that saying where you say you can't love - you have to love yourself before you can love anyone else. I mean it's the same thing. I have to love myself before I can love helping others.

Question:
When the trainers came in and there was no involving Jillian, was there a little bit of disappointment? Obviously you ended up getting Bob and Bob's a huge tennis fan, so that would have been a great moment for Bob as well. How was that?

Zina Garrison:
Well for me like I said, I didn't really watch the show that much more. I knew that Bob was on the show. And of course I knew that Jillian had been on the show but I was excited. I was just excited to be there. So I was excited for the new trainers as well. I mean it's kind of like all the newbies in at one time.

Question:
If you could talk about the bond you may have formed with cast members before you left. Were you there long enough to do that and what - were there special friends there that you made?

Zina Garrison:
Well the cast member, Jessie and also Jen, they text me on a regular basis and we text back and forth. And Jen and I really like you know, kind of hit it off from - she was really into the fact that I was a strong woman that broke a lot of barriers. And I kind of picked up she knows. This isn't new for her. And I've been telling her that I'm looking forward to seeing what the future brings for her because I think she has such a warm spirit that she can really help a lot of women.

Question:
In terms of other contestants, did you have time to bond with them before you left?

Zina Garrison:
Yes, that one day that I spent at the house I was able, actually able to talk and to bond. You know, we do have calls that we talked on Mondays and so kind of bonding through that, so it's been good.

Question:
That beach volley-ball challenge you were so close to finishing and from watching it last night I'm sure I can speak for everyone else we were really routing for you in that moment. But what was going through your mind when you were almost there at the finish?

Zina Garrison:
I remembered looking over and seeing Jessie and just trying my best to get to him and everything - at that point in my mind I tried every trick that I could possibly do. I mean do it for yourself, do it for your sister. You know, the reason why you're here, do it for the kids. And I looked over and noticed that the hoop I needed to put the ball in was way to the right and I just could not. And I kept hearing everybody say, don't let the ball fall. So for me, at that time was when I took one look and then next thing I knew the doctors were around me.

Question:
I think it was at Comeback Canyon. I think I heard at some point that Bob had said some great things about you that you've been on top of your game. You're focused and you're driven. So what's that like to hear such praise from him?

Zina Garrison:
Yes, it was, you know - Bob is - he really like hit me. He hit me hard and I know that the reason why I'm doing what I'm doing right now is because he tapped me into the fact that, saying ???Zina I need you to let go of control???. Because I am so used to controlling things and being a coach. And when he sad that I was kind of like what? You know, who are you talking to kind of thing?

And then I realized that I did the same thing when I'm asking young players to trust me as the coach. So now he's my coach but I'm not trusting him on what he knows and allowing him to do his job. And once I kind of let that go - and then also I'm a huge germaphobe so when he told me, when they say get down and do burpees or something, like I couldn't worry about touching the floor. I mean so there's a lot. I just kind of had to let go a lot of my fears.

Question:
I saw the update that you're now training people. What is it like being a coach as opposed to playing the game?

Zina Garrison:
Yes so once I retired and actually started coaching, I was the captain for many years and also for the United States. And I was also the Olympic Coach. So I love it. I'll always loved motivating people. If someone has a dream, I mean it's kind of funny because it's something that I've been doing naturally and didn't even realize how much I love it. So now working with Taylor Townsend, one of the top up and coming juniors in the U.S., it's like, it's really cool to see she was like 500 in the world this time last year into like 103, 106, somewhere up in there. And so it's nice to see you put effort into them and they do what they are trying to do.

Question:
Do you have a new favorite exercise that you discovered since being on the ranch and then coming home?

Zina Garrison:
Yes, move. Keep moving. I mean that literally because I had gotten to the point from 40 to 50 when I gained all my weight, I just stopped moving. You know, Bob, Jen, Jessie all of them was like you know, what, just keep moving just keep moving. And really our Garmin that we wear, that we wore on the show and that we have to wear even after the show, it helps. I have it on every day. I notice how much steps, how much exercise and that's kind of keeping me on track. I know it's keeping me on track.

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