March 24, 2011 08:30 AM by Lisa Princ
The Biggest Loser on NBC said a tearful goodbye to one of their leaders and motivators in Justin Pope this week. Justin is continuing his healthy lifestyle at home and and even motivates others now. In a post elimination interview Justin shares his thoughts on the show and how it changed his life. Keep reading for more details!
The Biggest Loser said goodbye to Justin Pope this week as a game playing move went completely wrong. Justin, however says there are no hard feelings and he continues his healthy lifestyle at home as well as his “Call out” club. Here is what Justin wanted to share with viewers and fans in a post elimination press interview.
Question: What was different about training with Brett and Cara versus Bob and Jillian?
Justin Pope: The biggest difference that I noticed was the type of training we did. We did a lot of intervals, checking our heart rates and less hours of activity for more calories burned. We did not have as steady of a cardio routine.
Question: Can you tell us more about your “Call Out” shirts and what they mean?
Justin Pope: Basically it’s a shirt for a handful of people that I felt needed a call out to help them learn exercise, diet, and self confidence. They come to a class and we do 5 am workout, an 8 o’clock workout, etc. It’s not just a call out, it’s a help out. It gives them somewhere to turn but I have to admit I am greedy because I use their fire to light my fire, it helps me push harder.
Question: Can you tell us what keeps the “fire in your belly” now as opposed to before you started on The Biggest Loser?
Justin Pope: The biggest difference between before and now is the fact that I am educated now, I know what I need to do to make myself better. I found that person that I lost, I didn’t know where I was. I found something else – I really enjoy helping people and pushing people to get better. It makes me a better person to help others out.
Question: Can you tell us how the balance plays out between game play and honest hard work?
Justin Pope: I don’t think the game play is as big of a deal as a lot of people think it is. There wasn’t a day at the ranch that I did not give everything I had. If you look over from one week to the next, legitimate weight loss is across the board from everyone. I don’t really think it’s a matter of game play…instead you look around and know what the game is giving you. The game play is overplayed to be honest with you.
Question: What is the most important thing you learned on the ranch?
Justin Pope: I think the most important thing I learned is just that I have mental strength for the first time in my life. I am able know to be comfortable to be who I am and comfortable with what I have become. Really being able to spend that time with yourself and have all these things come together and put it together in your mind and have it work. It’s a great experience across the board.
Question: What has been the most difficult thing for you since going home?
Justin Pope: For me the least difficult thing has been the exercise and diet, I got that in check. The most difficult is trying to get back into life with my family. You know, you’ve changed and been away while they have been home and didn’t change. I think they mourn the person I used to be in a sense. They are proud of my accomplishments, but they have to get know me again. I have to start dating my wife again and have to fall in love again. Other people have to accept that you are different when you return home.
Question: What are your thoughts on Kaylee and what happened…do you have any hard feelings?
Justin Pope: No hard feelings what so ever. She wanted to go home, and she told me she was ready and I told her no. It was my proud moment of Kaylee when she looked me in the eye and told me she was ready to go home and she was not the shy girl who couldn’t look me in the eye anymore. We pushed each other, we are friends and we’ll continue to be friends.Things happen for a reason.
Question: When you pleaded with the team to write your name down, was it something you had thought about beforehand?
Justin Pope: No it wasn’t. I had thought about it with Arthur, I felt like Arthur needed to stay. At that time my team expressed to me that they needed me there but when it came to Courtney, I felt like she had to be there – that was her place. I could have said keep me here, but that definitely was the right thing to do. I didn’t think I would ever win the show from the start as I never thought I had enough to lose to win it.
Question: When Kaylee came to you, what did you say to discourage her?
Justin Pope: I took the approach that it’s never been about weight loss for her. I told her from the start, for you, it’s when you can have your voice be heard. It was different this time, she didn’t come to me looking at the floor as we had the conversation…it was her looking into my eyes saying I am ready to go and take the next step in my life. I couldn’t argue with it at that point. I was proud of her.
Question: You were such a great leader and motivator on the show, why do you think you could not motivate yourself prior to the show?
Justin Pope: I’ve been motivated in my life, just not in exercise. I think it all comes back to telling yourself a lie. I didn’t see myself as obese, I knew I was fat but never saw myself as obese. I didn’t really have a focus that my weight was a problem – and I learned to live that lie and that was my life. Intimidation by not knowing what to do about your weight problem is an issue as well. I knew about exercise, but there is so much more. I don’t think anyone ever sat down and spoke plain English to me about it and at some point I said I am going to do this.For the first time in my life I didn’t care who was watching me.
Question: Can you elaborate on telling everyone you are a better person because of each of them?
Justin Pope: Every player there is my friend and they have affected me in every way. It’s too bad that everybody cant see a full weigh in from start to finish because that is when you get everyone’s true feelings. There is just not enough time in show to put all that there but to me that was inspiration time. I have a file in my head where I put these stories about what everyone has accomplished and it’s inspiring.
Question: Were you as shocked as we were that you were eliminated?
Justin Pope: You go from the number one guy in weight loss to the guy whose going to be heading home and it becomes a blur. I was definitely surprised, I thought I knew who was going home. I had keep my head the entire time. I had no question in my mind, I did what needed to be done. I didn’t want to leave, but I missed home, I missed my wife and my family and I was good with going home. None of us can stay there forever and I had a great support system to come to, I am lucky.
Question: Is there a rule you have at home to stay on track?
Justin Pope:I think there may be a day when I need that but right now it hasn’t been tough. It’s funny I tell everyone who is eliminated this is what I am going to weigh at the finale, but I hope you beat me…I have to get that one last push in.
Question: Who do you think is your biggest competition for the at home prize at the finale?
Justin Pope: To be honest, obviously there is Arthur. To me it’s about that I know where I am going and I am not going to push myself any harder or less. I’ve been straight up with everyone, I am going to be 199 lbs and I’ve told them to come beat me and I hope they all beat me to be honest.
Question: What kept you at the ranch, week after week wanting to stay?
Justin Pope: A lot of it is competition, and in the spirit of competition you see changes you’ve made..at first it is kind of slow then they get faster and faster and you get comfortable with who you are what you are. I told my wife I was going to be stingy and told her that she couldn’t write me a letter about bad days, I had to trust that everything was good at home. So with a little prayer and trust that things were good at home. There are always those heartaches that you hide, you don’t always show it.
Question: How did you get so big to begin with?
Justin Pope: I never was a big eater, I just did what I wanted to do and it always ended up in take out and fast food, I was living on the run. Sometimes I’d eat once a day, sometimes four, but when I did eat it was what I wanted, I had no idea of how many calories I was eating, but it was always fast food. Coming home I have made adjustments with the family, as I said I am dating my wife again… she is used to living that lifestyle, and we have now learned how to eat home, pack snacks and we also learned how to eat out. Eating out is also something I teach my call out class. We go out to restaurants and eat and we learn how to order from the menu, or ask them to cook something differently than they normally would. Actually a local rest started sponsoring us…it’s all about education.
Best of luck to Justin Pope, we look forward to seeing you at the finale! Be sure to tune in Tuesday for a brand new episode of The Biggest Loser on NBC!
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Photo Courtesy of NBC
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