January 04, 2012 06:14 PM by Lisa Princ
Last night on the season premiere of NBC‘s The Biggest Loser, fans watched as Bob Harper and Dolvett Quince welcomed twenty new contestants to the ranch and the gym. But when Bob’s team lost the weigh in, it was Ben Shuh who decided to offer himself up for elimination. In a press conference today, Ben dished on his decision, as well as his short time on the show. Read on for more…
The Biggest Loser kicked off season thirteen last night, and by the end of the two hours, we watched as Ben Shuh, a 34-year-old retail store manager offered himself up for elimination. In a press conference today, Ben stuck by his word last night – that he went home for his family, and he has no regrets. Check out Ben Shuh’s interview below.
Question: After all it takes to get on the ranch, how difficult was it to make the decision to offer yourself for elimination last night?
Ben Shuh: It was very difficult either way, deciding whether to stay or go. You don’t realize that writing someone’s name down for elimination is the hardest part of the show. You work so hard to get there, and it really is a blessing to be there, but it is so hard to write someone’s name down. It was just the best decision for me last night.
Question: Usually when contestants offer themselves up for elimination, they face a lot of criticism from the viewers. How would you address that criticism?
Ben Shuh: You can’t please everybody. I can only do what I felt like was best for my family. As far as taking the opportunity lightly, I did not do that, and I still continue not to do that. Everything I’ve learned I’ve carried home with me, but you know, I don’t think it was quitting so much as it was just the right thing for me and my family. Eventually, everyone goes home, and I understand that there’s a game aspect involved with the show, but everyone that gets on there is blessed with what they’re given. For me, the opportunity to be on there was never about winning the show or winning the money or competing in a competition, it was about going to try and win back my health and my fitness. Everyone goes home eventually, and the things I learned there, I do believe I will be carrying with me for the rest of my life.
Question: How did you learn so much in such a short time on the ranch?
Ben Shuh: It was really shocking, actually. You go from sedentary to full on active and athletic things every single day. I think my body was just kind of shocked into doing that, but you learn everything, from how to exercise, when to exercise, what to eat and how to eat, to fuel your body to do that. So there it’s an all day thing where you’re in this perfect bubble for learning about how to feed and fuel your body and how to exercise it, as well. So even though it was just a week, I did learn enough stuff I had never learned before.
Question: You said you wanted to lose at least 150 lbs. Do you feel you have something to prove now?
Ben Shuh: I have more to prove to myself than to anyone else. I think everyone who struggles with weight struggles with it on a one on one basis, and I do feel it will be something I’ll struggle with the rest of my life. 246 is my goal weight or better. I’d love to do better, but I kind of set my goal at 150 pounds to lose, and that’s definitely what I’ll be shooting for, because I am competitive. Even though it was just a week, I really think I learned enough to carry it home with me and make the finale at that number.
Question: What your excuse for the weight gain to begin with?
Ben Shuh: It was always time. I went through a divorce, and I was a single dad until 2002 when I met my wife. I worked 50-60 hours per week, and I couldn’t afford a babysitter. When you are a single dad, you’re last on the list of priorities. Of course, getting married did not help as I gained four more children, and then my wife and I had another, so time was still an issue. Then the bigger I got, the harder it was for me.
Question: You said that time was your biggest excuse, but how have you managed to find the time now that you are home once again?
Ben Shuh: I think the thing that changed me the most was when we went to see Dr. H and I saw my brother’s heart scan and got the news that he could die from this. As a big person, you always know that you have added health risks, but we never think it could happen to us. When I saw my brother, somebody who I looked up to and wanted to be just like…I see that the decisions he’s made have affected him in a way that could result in a very untimely end…it clicked with me there. The time factor was always my biggest excuse for not dealing with weight and I thought that if the end result is that I could really injure myself or potentially die young…it’s funny how I’ve been able to find the time since coming home to go to the gym and do things. When you know that the problem could lead to a bigger problem or death, it really kind of clicks to you that the excuses are just that.
Question: What was it like to train with Bob Harper?
Ben Shuh: It was definitely an eye opneing experience. I know I said he was an evil man, but that was after first work out. Bob really is great – he is hard on you when you need it, and he knows when to give you advice. I was so blessed, he is a great trainer and I learned so much from him.
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Photo Courtesy of NBC