On season 1 of The Biggest Loser, Kelly Minner, 28, was the perfectionistic, optimistic, internally-driven competitor who earned the title, "first runner-up" and lost 79 pounds. Eventually, she lost an additional 23 pounds.
More than any of that, Kelly Minner has become an inspiration and a friend to many people who have found themselves looking for a role model. Because she is as gracious as she is hard-working, she agreed to do an interview for The 391.
1. We all have the motivation to START losing weight--such as the ugly number on the scale or how our weight makes us feel. How did you maintain the motivation to CONTINUE losing 79 pounds on Biggest Loser and then continuing on to 102 pounds?
I continued to lose weight because I knew I needed to. I had all the tools so I had no excuses. It would be like me giving my students all the information they needed for a test and them failing because they didn't learn anything.
2. You've talked in interviews past about the "psychological hump" that you had to get over in order to lose the weight. Can you elaborate?
I think a lot of times we equate our physical looks with being deserving or less deserving of things. I guess I thought I was not deserving of things because I was overweight. I still struggle with believing I am deserving of love no matter what my size. Beauty does not make us deserving, being a good person does and it doesn't matter what you weigh when it comes to being a good person.
3. You have said that one of the hardest adjustments post Biggest Loser was time management. Time management can be an issue for people who need to go to the gym but can't "find the time." What is your advice?
My advice is either do it exercise early in the morning before your days starts and life gets in the way or else find little ways during the day to get in some exercise, whether walking from a further parking space, taking the stair, doing squats. You can always make it work.
4. What kinds of things encouraged you on your weight loss journey? Were there things people said or mantras that you repeated to yourself?
Jillian gave me the mantra, "let it go and believe." I still say it. Somedays I fail at believing it but I always know that tomorrow is fresh with no mistakes in it! I can begin anew.
5. As you so poignantly wrote in an article last year, "Weight loss is such a private thing for any person." And it is. Yet, sometimes it feels public because of cultural expectations or societal pressures to look unrealistically thin. How did you overcome that?--specifically you held your head high and stood on a scale in front of millions of people! Some of us would rather die. How did you do it?
I hated the scale because I let my weight define me. I knew if faced it head on it would be key to losing weight. I will no longer be a number on the scale. It isn't about being thin it is about being healthy. I am healthier than most thin people even though they weigh less because I eat well and exercise. So the scale reflects a higher number, who cares!
6. Any tricks in the kitchen when it comes to issues like portion control, drinking water, feeling full, or fulfilling cravings?
When I am home I avoid the kitchen so I am not temped to just eat to eat. I also do not keep things in the house to tempt me. I hate the grocery store so I am loathe to run out just for a quick fix! I try and stay busy when I am home so I do not think about food.
7. You've talked about "not living by a number [on the scale]." What does that look like for you? Do you ever weigh in? Did you throw your scale out the window?
I have a scale but it is covered in dust. I no longer weigh in, this is real life not the show and I am more than a number. I will not live or die by that anymore.
8. I think there is the unfortunate assumption that former contestants on Biggeser Loser have "arrived"--have totally figured it out--and will never battle negative thoughts or temptations again. After all, they've spent time with Jillian, and WHO messes up after THAT?! What do you encourage yourself with NOW?
I want to live a long healthy life, there is so much I want to do. That is my encouragement.
9. You look amazing. You turn heads. You motivate people everywhere to give weight loss another shot. Do you feel the way you thought you would feel now that the weight is gone?
I felt being thin would mean being happy. Boy was I wrong! Get those thoughts out of your head. Life doesn't care what size dress you wear, everyone has problems. You are happy if you want to be, regardless of size!
10. Anything behind the scenes from Biggest Loser you’d like to share?
Some secrets are better left that way!
Here's to the next 367,
(honest) Fat Girl