Julio Gomez dishes on his 'The Biggest Loser' experience
By Christopher Rocchio, 10/09/2009
Despite promises from several contestants that they wouldn't vote to eliminate him, Julio Gomez doesn't feel betrayal was behind his The Biggest Loser ouster.
"Not in the least bit. You know, they voted from their hearts and they were very sincere. And if you watch [Tuesday] night's episode closely they agonized over those votes," Gomez told reporters during a Wednesday conference call.
"There's no way I can be angry with them. I knew going into that vote that that was going to be one of the harder decisions they were going to make for that season... To this day I have no regrets; I have no remorse and I have not animosity towards anybody who voted to send me home."
The 40-year-old mortgage loan officer from Algonquin, IL became the fourth contestant eliminated from The Biggest Loser's eighth season during Tuesday night's broadcast of the NBC reality competition.
Gomez found himself below the yellow line and up for elimination after he lost only four pounds during the week proceeding the weigh-in on Tuesday night's episode.
"I think maybe it had something to do with the food I was eating; maybe I was retaining some water, I don't know," said Gomez when asked about the small amount of weight he lost.
"But certainly the work ethic that [trainers Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper] instilled in me and with the way the Jillian got in my head that episode really helped me break through mentally. And it's helped me tremendously to get to where I am now."
Since he suspects food might have played a role in the small amount of weight he shed, it's not surprising that Gomez felt the twist that put the kitchen on lock down and had the contestants ordering take-out for a week was not a good one.
"I saw absolutely no benefit to that twist. In retrospect I guess I wish it didn't happen," he told reporters. "But, you know, we had to sooner or later figure out how to do this on our own. And I think in the back of our minds we were all really concerned about that."
Gomez's The Biggest Loser journey got off to a rocky start when he found himself on the chopping block along with Black Team partner Alexandra White -- however she subsequently got the boot instead of him.
Prior to White's elimination, she stressed that she had worked "her ass off" and lost as much weight as Gomez despite weighing nearly a hundred pounds less than him -- and several other contestants agreed, causing Gomez to take some heat for his early workout practices.
"I completely think they didn't understand my workout process," he told reporters. "That was a hard week for me. And, you know, the 13 pounds was a good weight loss in my opinion. What stopped me from losing the big number I don't know but I didn't give up."
Gomez also offered his insight into White's current relationship with fellow eighth-season contestant Antoine Dove.
"I basically saw their budding relationship," said Gomez. "I was good with it I guess at the end of the day because I like both them quite a bit and they're both really, really sweet people."
Gomez added he thought White and Dove were "a good mix right away."
"I found out after the fact that they had gotten together after they were home," he explained. "I just asked her what she thought of it and how she felt. And she was really happy. And I was really, really happy for her. So I think it's a great match. And I think they look great together."
White's elimination left Gomez as the lone member of the Black Team, which he said gave him mixed emotions.
"I often ask myself if it was better or if it was worse. You know, because number one, I didn't have to worry about someone else. And number two, well I didn't have to worry about someone else. So, you know, it was good and bad at the same time," he said.
"I terribly miss Alexandra and I don't know if you go back and if you notice in every shot of me I'm wearing a black sweatband on my right wrist. And I didn't start wearing that until after Alexandra left and that was like my little silent partner that I kept with me. I still to this day almost never leave the house without that black sweatband on my wrist."
Gomez also received some much needed insight into his unhealthy habits from Michaels, and he said that he's forever grateful to her for it.
"I was one of those folks that walked into the gym thinking that I didn't have any issues; that I was just somebody who was a happy guy who just liked to eat, quite frankly, a little bit too much and I got to the weight I did," he explained.
"Jillian wasn't having that reason from me and she just kept digging and digging. And, you know, it really hit home for me. That was a great, great moment for me...She really got me past that hump and I have to thank her heartfully for even getting to that point with me; it's helped me tremendously."
Now that he's back home, Gomez said his wife and two kids have also gotten in on the act of living healthy.
"My wife goes with me to the gym now. My youngest is still a little too young to go. My oldest has actually done really well on her own, just really trimmed down while I was gone even. And she has become a lot more active as well. So, yeah, the whole thing has become a real family thing, which it has to," he explained.
"It's very difficult to do this if you're by yourself and you don't have the support of those closest to you. But luckily I have that. And they have been wonderful with me and very supportive."
Gomez told reporters he has lost an additional 20 pounds since the update shown at the end of Tuesday night's episode was filmed and he still hopes to be at his goal weight of 207 pounds by the season's live finale in December -- which he said is more important that the at-home prize.
"If by chance we came out on top and we won the money that's just a bonus; that's just the icing on the cake," he said.
"I'm going to keep going to the end of this thing like I promised my family, like I promised myself and like the promise that I made on the scale the first time I stood up there -- if I happen to win because of those efforts that's just icing on the cake."