Thursday, May 14, 2009

Biggest Loser contestants prove you're never too old to change

It's pretty rare that I get to mix business with pleasure on this blog. But as I watched the finale of The Biggest Loser on Tuesday night, I just knew it was an All Things Aging blog entry in the making.

Of the 22 contestants in this season's competition, five of them were over the age of 45:

More remarkable than the fact that they were selected to compete in the fitness and weight-loss reality TV show, is the fact that two of them walked away as winners.

Jerry Hayes, the oldest Biggest Loser contestant ever, won the at-home competition between players who had been eliminated during the season. On the season opener, he collapsed in the gym under the strain of the workout and was ultimately sent home after only two weeks on the Biggest Loser ranch.

That didn't stop him -- or his wife Estella. They continued their diet and exercise routine which led to an 83-pound weight loss for Estella and a 177-pound, nearly 48%, loss for Jerry. That was more than enough for to clinch the $100,000 at-home prize.

Jerry & Estella before and after:

JE beforeJE after

The night's second winner -- and the new owner of the title "The Biggest Loser" -- was Helen Phillips who lost 54.47% of her body weight (that's 140 pounds, folks!). At 48 years old, she edged out two finalists 30 and 25 years her junior, Mike Morrelli (age 18) and Tara Costa (age 23). Helen's prize, besides her new body, was $250,000.

Helen before and after:

Helen before Helen after

Photos courtesy of

In his book He Still Moves Stones, author Max Lucado tells that a friend of Oliver Wendell Holmes asked him why he had taken up the study of Greek at the age of ninety-four. Holmes replied, "Well, my good sir, it's now or never."

The success of all five of these contestants (Ron lost 192 pounds, while Cathy shed 95 of her own) puts an exclamation point on that statement and proves once again that it's never too late to change.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree, that it is amazing that they were able to lose the weight, and it can be encouraging for all of us in the same boat. However, I have to wonder if they, especially HELEN, lost TOO MUCH weight. She almost looked anorexic. She looks better in the photo above than she did the night of the finals.