Runner’s Plate: Interview with NBC’s Biggest Loser Jennifer Jacobs
Posted Sep 13 2011 10:47am
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Jennifer Jacobs, a contestant on NBC’s Biggest Loser season 11. Jennifer not only lost an unbelievable 114 lbs in her 8 months on the show, she also, more importantly, learned the value of leading a healthy lifestyle. Returning home is one of the biggest challenges the contestants face every season, but Jennifer has taken it head on and sets up new goals for herself that keep her on track. Jennifer’s strength, determination, and “don’t stop moving” mindset got her far on the show and have certainly played a large role in her success in not only keeping the weight off, but also continuing to lose after the show.
Early in her journey on the ranch Jennifer became known as strong runner. Even though it seemed unattainable, Jennifer always dreamed of running the ING NYC Marathon. Her dream is about to come true this November, as she is training for the one and only NYC marathon and will run it with her brother, father, and Erik Chopin, Biggest Loser’s season 3 winner, while supporting the American Cancer Society’s Team Determination.
My Interview with Jennifer Jacobs:
Q1- Sarah: While on The Biggest Loser, you had the opportunity to learn about healthful eating from a large team of well-trained dietitians. What are the top three eating strategies you learned to manage your weight?
Jennifer: While on the ranch I learned the importance of eating a balanced diet and portion control to give me the necessary fuel throughout the day. That said, the incorporation of a food journal to keep track of what and when I eat every day helped me to track both my calories as well as to begin planning my meals so that I could always enjoy something different and always feel satisfied.
Q2- Sarah: I imagine you had to make a lot of adjustments to your life since returning home from the Biggest Loser Ranch. Since you’ve returned home, what are the biggest challenges you’ve faced when it comes to exercising and eating right? How have you overcome these challenges?
Jennifer: I found that one of the most challenging aspects of returning home was finding ways to continually stay motivated now that I’m not up against a scale every week. I find that in continuing to challenge my personal best by training for various events and races, it drives me to push myself and achieve these higher set goals I set for myself after the show.
Q3- Sarah: Fitting in exercise and eating right takes planning, especially for those of us who work full time and have many other personal commitments outside of the office. Do you plan your meals and workouts ahead of time? Do you have any strategies to keep yourself on track when life gets hectic?
Jennifer: When it comes to my workout and meal scheduling these days I tend to keep a stable regiment. I am currently training for the NYC Marathon, which keeps me on a strict workout schedule. I find it’s important to keep my workouts scheduled because not only does it add stability to my crazy life post Biggest Loser it also keeps my body from losing all the strength and endurance I gained from the show. I can’t say I keep a strict schedule for my meals but I do believe it’s important to keep my fridge stocked with healthy foods whether it is for a snack or a meal. My life is crazy these days (trust me, not complaining) but between all of my different pursuits I try to plan out my days (workouts included) to help keep me focused and on track to achieving all things I set out to achieve.
Q5- Sarah: You’re training for the ING NYC Marathon, not a small goal to set for yourself post show! How has the training experience gone for you so far? Any tips you can provide our readers to staying motivated and on track while training for a marathon?
Jennifer: This will be my first marathon, and I have to say while the training regime is intense, it is going quite well. I find that as the marathon approaches, not only does the training get more and more intense, but I am also learning it’s just as much a mental race as it is physical. That thought, however, makes me want to stay strong and master each workout even more just to be able to say I’ve been able to accomplish this life long dream of mine! As far as tips go, I find that focus, planning, and dedication are key to preparing as well as respecting the 26.2 miles (it’s no joke)!
Q6- Sarah: What are your favorite pre and post workout snacks or meals?
Jennifer: Right before a workout I enjoy something light; usually I’ll have GG Crispbreads with organic peanut butter and banana slices. It’s a small snack that gives me the energy and fuel I need right before a workout or training run. Afterword, I usually go for some lean protein and roasted vegetables or a yummy Fage yogurt smoothie!
Good luck to Jennifer and Team Biggest Loser team on November 6th!
Do you watch Biggest Loser? Did you learn any exercise or eating tips from the show? What challenges do you face when keeping on track with eating right and working out? What keeps you motivated to maintain or achieve a healthy weight?
(Sarah is a 2nd year grad student pursuing her MS in Nutrition Communication at Tufts University Friedman School in Boston. She is also completing the requirements to become a registered dietitian and will begin her dietetic internship in 2012. Sarah is also a certified spin instructor and an avid runner and regularly participates in road races from 5k to a 1/2 marathons. Follow her on Twitter @SpinnerSarah and at her personal blog Food and Fitness Friend .)