James Crutchfield "extremely happy" despite 'The Biggest Loser' exit
By Christopher Rocchio, 01/07/2010
James Crutchfield said he was definitely worried that a knee injury he suffered playing high school football more than 10 years ago would hinder his weight-loss production as a The Biggest Loser contestant.
"It was a huge concern for me. It was a concern for me even trying out for the show -- that's why I had never done it years prior when my wife was trying to get me to do it," he told Reality TV World during a Wednesday conference call.
"But I had see other contestants -- such as [seventh-season finalist Ronald "Ron" Morelli] -- he spent a lot of time in the pool and he came in fourth place. So I kind of used that, it was in the back of my head."
Despite the motivation, the 30-year-old human resources director from Orlando, FL was unable to remain on campus for more than a week and became the first contestant eliminated from The Biggest Loser: Couples during last night's premiere of the NBC reality weight-loss series.
Still, Crutchfield said he spent a lot of his time during that first week in the pool and on the exercise bike and never got discouraged.
"I was extremely happy with my first week weight loss, it's just people were throwing up some really, really big numbers this season," he explained to Reality TV World.
Crutchfield's ouster was bittersweet since it meant his twin brother would remain in the competition.
The only revealed elimination ceremony vote not in favor of Crutchfield's ouster was cast by Miggy Cancel and her daughter Migdalia Sebren, and he said he's unsure why they wanted him to stay on the ranch over his brother.
"Obviously after the elimination, literally when you see me walk out, that's really it. I don't get any interaction with the other contestants any longer," he told Reality TV World.
"It was never really explained to me. I just know during the elimination, just what [Miggy] said, it was a hard decision and they think I needed it more than my brother. I think that's how she put it if I remember it right."
Crutchfield said he's currently lost "over 75 pounds" and explained it was slow-going at first due to his knee injury.
"In the beginning, coming home, I had to focus a lot on weight training and build up certain muscles to help me walk better," he told reporters.
"Thanks to Dr. Huizenga, I was able to know what muscles I needed to work on to strengthen myself to be able to walk, to be able to do cardio at a more vigorous pace."
Now that he's shed some of his unwanted weight, Crutchfield said he's become "more active and more mobile."
"Now it's time to ramp up on the weight loss. But I'm extremely happy with the 75-plus so far," he said. "My goal weight is 250 pounds."
One of the main reasons he said he's been successful at home is because of his wife, whom he called "extremely supportive."
"The ranch is a great place, but I couldn't ask for a better support system at home than what my wife gives me," he said. "She's going through this with me -- she's lost 31 pounds. It's kind of bittersweet to be home, but I couldn't ask for a better support system."
Crutchfield added his wife has been trying to get him on The Biggest Loser "for years, even before she was my wife," until she finally succeeded.
"It was just a spur of the moment thing. She kept trying to get me on it, and I was just like, 'No, the only thing that's going to work for me is gastric bypass.' She was able to change my mind," he explained, adding she even waited in line for him at the auditions because he could "barely stand up."
Crutchfield and his twin brother were subsequently cast for the ninth season, but he said the excitement of learning he'd be on the show was deflated by news given to him by trainer Bob Harper.
"We got a call from Bob saying we made it on the show and then of course right after he said that he says, 'But you have to weigh-in live in front of your family and friends in your city,'" said Crutchfield.
"So you're excited to be on the show, but then you're extremely nervous."
Since all of the ninth-season contestants lost double-digit numbers during their first week on the ranch -- and Patti Anderson posted the highest one week weight-loss amount of any female contestant ever on the show and Michael Ventrella lost more weight in one week than any other contestant in the show's history -- Crutchfield was asked if any of the contestants were concerned about their health.
"There was never any concern for me. What I learned from being on the ranch is you have the best doctors in the world, you have the best dieticians. You are given every test that you can think of," he explained to reporters.
"Dr. Huizenga has been doing this for a very long time and he's had great success. The man knows what he's doing. So if he tells me that I can do this, I believe him 100%."
Crutchfield added that for a lot of the contestants it's a matter of being able to "get passed that mental barrier" that they can actually lose the weight.
"I never had any doubts or worries about them," he said.
While he was only on the ranch for one week, Crutchfield said the information he learned was invaluable.
"The week I was on the ranch, I actually learned a lot," he said. "I realized all I needed was really a jumpstart and to build more confidence that you can go home and do this -- you don't have to go and have surgery or something drastic like."