Lisa Rambo: I've got my eye on 'The Biggest Loser' prize
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 01/31/2013
Lisa Rambo was eliminated from The Biggest Loser during Monday night's NBC broadcast of the reality weight-loss competition's fifth fourteenth-season episode.
Lisa, a 37-year-old high school special education assistant from Houlton, WI, was eliminated after her Red Team posted the lowest weight-loss percentage at the season's fifth weekly elimination weigh-in and then cast the majority of their votes to oust her from the ranch.
During a Tuesday conference call with reporters, Lisa talked about her experience on The Biggest Loser.
Thinking back to when you first arrived on the show, how different were your expectations from what the reality was?
Lisa Rambo: I was excited. I was looking forward to being on the show and being at the ranch. Being on the ranch far exceeded any expectation or dream that I may have had. It was the most amazing, incredible experience ever.
What do you think is the most important thing you learned from being on the show?
Lisa Rambo: The most important thing I've learned is that if I put my mind to it, I can do just about anything. I gained a lot of confidence there.
Lisa Rambo: Ugh, I have lots of amazing memories. I think there was a workout that I had with [Dolvett Quince] where he kind of pulled me aside and said I was doing an amazing job and that I had to be confident in my being enough. And I started to believe it at that moment, and yeah, I had lots of really incredible experiences. I have lots of great memories. It's hard to put down the one.
Going into the elimination vote, what was it like realizing you were on the losing team? And did you have any idea you'd be the one going home? Was it predetermined or discussed, or did it come as a big surprise to you?
Lisa Rambo: I think we were all going into that week just really, really confident. The Red Team was strong all week. I don't think we ever imagined ourselves being there again. It was a surprise, going home, but it could've been any of us.
We've all grown so close. It was a hard vote for every single one of us, and any single one of us could've went home at that time. It wasn't pre-discussed because we didn't want to talk about it. We were just really confident.
Your teammates said you had a big support system at home to do well, but the younger contestants didn't have to go home and take care of anyone else like you did on a daily basis since you have children. How much of that reasoning to send you home was truth, that you did think you had the best support system at home out of the three, and how much do you think it was a hindrance having a family to take care of?
Lisa Rambo: I have a family to take care of, but I also have myself to take care of. I know that there's a time for everything and things happen for reasons or they don't. But I went home because I'm strong and they knew that I was strong and could do this. And I have.
I've come home and I have my family, and we've done this together. I've done this with my whole team -- my husband has lost 70 pounds in the process and we're doing this together. We're strong and it's awesome. It's amazing.
Can you give us an update on your current weight-loss since we saw you last on Monday night's post-elimination update?
Lisa Rambo: Since you saw me just a little bit ago, I'm over 80 pounds now. The finale's coming and it's going to be awesome. I'm not finished yet.
When you first got home from the ranch, how was your mindset and confidence different compared to when you first left to compete on the show?
Lisa Rambo: Being on The Biggest Loser really empowered me. I came home stronger and more complete, more whole. I came back ready to win this. When I left the ranch, I looked at my team, and I said, "You better work hard because I'm going to go home and work twice as hard." And I did.
I got home, I got off the plane, and me and my husband went for a three-mile run. The next morning, we woke up and we cleaned out our kitchen -- threw tons of stuff away and restocked it. I have been working hard every day since then.
What is your diet and fitness routine like now? Also, are you trying to be The Biggest Loser "at home" $100,000 winner?
Lisa Rambo: I'm definitely trying to be the "at home" winner. I've got my eye on the prize, but you know, I really already won at home. I have changed my lifestyle. I've had a total complete lifestyle change. My kitchen looks totally different. I have a clean kitchen and I'm teaching my kids how to eat right and how to fall in love with fitness and health.
I'm eating a lot of what we were eating on the ranch, you know, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and lean protein. It's just like the nutrition they taught you in school -- eat your fruits and vegetables and lean proteins and cut out the junk and sugar. That's really what we do, and sticking within the calorie-budget that Dr. Huizenga gave me right around 1,200 calories. And I'm eating that every day.
I'm working out a lot. Right now, I'm in competition mode and I want to win. I'm working out in the morning and I'm working out in the evening and I'm working out at night. I am back at work full-time and I do have my four kids, but I have an amazing husband who's really stepped up during this process.
Who do you think is going to be the last person standing on the ranch? Who do you think will win?
Lisa Rambo: Oh, it's -- you know what? The ranch is full of amazing competitors. I think it's anyone's game.
Could you talk a little bit about your relationship with Dolvett?
Lisa Rambo: Dolvett is an amazing, amazing trainer. Hands down, I've got the best trainer on the ranch. I can't say enough wonderful things about him. He's magic at what he does. He's passionate about people and training them and empowering them to become the person that you need to become. Dolvett has a special place in my heart. It's hard to put into words.
He's truly amazing, amazing at what he does. It's just an honor and a privilege to be trained by somebody who is passionate about what they do. It's fun to watch someone who's passionate about their job and what they do, and I was blessed to be the recipient of that.
Was it frustrating how close you got to winning the challenge?
Lisa Rambo: [Dannielle "Danni" Allen] is a tough one to beat. So to almost beat her, yeah, it feels good! It doesn't feel good to not win, but we had to swim hard. She's a tough, tough competitor. She's a water polo player. She was tough. It was a fun challenge and it was fun to be in the heat of it.
You had a very positive attitude during your time on the show. Was there ever a moment when you felt really down or even considered quitting and leaving the ranch?
Lisa Rambo: I never ever wanted to leave. I would've done anything for another day on the ranch. I didn't have one single negative experience there. I went there knowing that I had a job to do. Before I left, somebody told me, "Don't lean on a shovel and pray for a hole." So I went there to dig.
I knew that it was going to be hard work and I knew that there was going to be painful times and I knew that it wasn't going to be easy, but I knew that I was going to do it to the best of my ability -- all of the time, giving 110% percent every step of the way. And I enjoyed every minute of it.
You said during the show your husband had never seen you under 200 pounds. What was your husband's reaction when you first got home and he saw all the weight you had lost?
Lisa Rambo: He was very supportive. I went home at 209 pounds, so he had seen me there before. But I was smaller than when I left home and he was very proud of me. He knew that I had given my all on the ranch, and the cool part was I got picked up by a husband who had lost 40 pounds when he had picked me up. So he said, "Hey skinny!" And I said, "Hey skinny" right back. So it was fun; It was fun.
How do you find the time and balance to continue your workout and losing weight since you're a wife and mother with a career?
Lisa Rambo: I am blessed by having an amazing husband who stepped up in huge ways and a community and a family that really helped. My mom and my sister and my aunts and close friends have really stepped up to help me take care of my children the way they need to be taken care of.
I remember it was just Day 2 or 3 home from the ranch and I was picking up laundry, and my husband took it out of my hand and he looked at me and he said, "You are still on this new mission. This is not over. You are supposed to still be on the ranch, so we're going to take what we can get as you walk by, but we want you to stay focused and finish this as strong as you started." So I am a lucky lady.
Can you give us a few tips on what you learned about eating healthy on a budget?
Lisa Rambo: Eating healthy on a budget is important. I think you just need to make sure that you plan out your meals, what you're going to buy before you get there. Stick to the outside of the grocery store. Eat your fruits and vegetables, your lean protein, and cut the junk. You don't need it and it kills your budget.
How did you feel when you first learned The Biggest Loser was going to attempt to tackle childhood obesity, and did that hit home for you at all?
Lisa Rambo: Yeah, I was an overweight high schooler. I had always been on the bigger side of life. I remember I was a cheerleader when I was in high school and I remember getting our uniforms and the high school not having a skirt that fit me and my aunt having to make mine. At that time, talking about childhood obesity was a taboo and you just didn't do it.
I believe that you can't take care of or fix something that you're not talking about. So I commend The Biggest Loser for taking on taboo issues so that we can deal with them and empower our high schoolers and our children to take their health and fitness as a priority. I wish people would've talked about it before.
If we can take care of it when our kids are young, we won't have 30-year-olds on The Biggest Loser because we taught them before that.
What takeaways did you bring back to your family that you learned from being on the ranch and seeing the teen participants?
Lisa Rambo: I learned eating right is a choice and you have to make time for it. We make sure that we're only keeping healthy snacks and foods in our house right now. What I learned was really cool.
When I got home, we went to our kitchen and we literally threw everything that wasn't good away -- bags of food. My kids didn't scream or complain, and we had been eating -- they like the walnuts and apricots and apples and cheese sticks. We don't get complaints. Your kids won't freak out if you change your kitchen. They'll actually enjoy it and feel better in the process.
When did you start thinking and believing that you truly were an athlete like your children?
Lisa Rambo: It was in the first week, maybe a couple weeks into being on the ranch. I knew that I had to start seeing myself the way that I wanted to be and stepping up and stepping out.
I really have never played sports in my entire life and I've never worked out ever in my life, but you know what? I'm doing it now, and as soon as you decide you can become -- I became an athlete on that ranch and I'm going to continue developing these skills that I'm learning. It's fun.