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CBN.com Pete was active but had poor eating habits. After getting married, his life became more sedentary and the weight piled on. Pete gained 10 pounds each year. Pam, Pete’s wife, was a fan of NBC’s hit series, The Biggest Loser. After the first season, the producers announced that they were looking for people for the next season. Both Pam and Pete filled out applications and sent in a video in January 2005. Pete got a casting call and made it as a contestant. In November 2005, Pete walked away from The Biggest Loser 2 as a winner even though he didn’t win first prize. Pete was the $100,000 winner for losing the highest percentage of weight (185 pounds in nine months) among the contestants who had been voted off the show.
Pete says he lost not only the weight but the unhealthy lifestyle associated with it. Today he is armed with knowledge about nutrition and exercise and has truly put his past behind him. His body fat percentage is in the single digits, compared to the 51 percent he dragged around in his 400+ pound days. Now Pete and his wife, Pam, run every day for nearly an hour in addition to the 30 minutes, four days a week, resistance training Pete learned on the Biggest Loser ranch. (As a successful real estate investor, the Thomases purchase and rehabilitate home for sale and rental as well as assist people in foreclosure to retain their homes. This type of work enabled Pete to leave home for three months to participate in the weight loss competition.)
FOOD WAS HIS FRIEND
During The Biggest Loser application process, Pete had to answer questions about the reason for his obesity. In his reflections, Pete realized that he used food for comfort. As a child, Pete never learned about exercise and nutrition. His mother suffered from a serious mental illness so several times Pete was left alone with his younger sister and forced to find food wherever he could. Pete missed major portions of elementary school because he was in and out of foster homes. Still, he managed to graduate high school with honors in Detroit where he was a member of the National Honor Society and Who’s Who Among American High School Students.
Pete and Pam met while attending the University of Michigan and married in 1991. With the busy-ness of building a successful marriage and career, Pete gradually quit his exercise program and his poor eating habits began to catch up with him. During his first 14 years of marriage, Pete gained 10 pounds per year despite following a number of fad diets. “Being on The Biggest Loser really saved my life,” says Pete. The knowledge he gained from the trainer revolutionized the way he eats and exercises. Now after being voted off the show, he has successfully kept the weight off. Pete spreads his new life message of “modification, not starvation” to community groups and at his church where he is a committed member and leader. In addition to his real estate business, Pete travels around the country as a motivational speaker sharing his knowledge about weight loss, exercise and how he learned to overcome obstacles.
TIPS ON WEIGHT LOSS
One thing Pete recommends is to never, ever skip breakfast. “You need to get your metabolism running as soon as possible after waking up and fuel it regularly throughout the day,” says Pete. Plan ahead. “If you know you’re going to a party, save a few calories for that special dessert or unknown item,” he says. “But don’t skip lunch completely – that could lead to bingeing.” Watch out for trigger foods. “Refined carbohydrates like cookies tend to trigger the desire to eat more. And more,” says Pete. Know how many calories you need to sustain life at rest and exercise daily. Pete and Pam both came to know the Lord in 1991 during college. Pete says their pastor has supported them over the years and Pete was able to deal with many emotional issues that resulted from his childhood. During the series, Pete learned how to deal with the physical part of his body.
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