TC, a 31-year-old purchasing manager from Albany, OR, was ousted from the reality weight-loss competition after his White Team -- which was trained by Jillian Michaels -- posted the lowest weight-loss percentage at the season's first weekly elimination weigh-in. As the team member with the lowest weight-loss percentage, he was then automatically eliminated.
During a Thursday conference call with reporters, TC talked about his short-lived experience on The Biggest Loser and what he took away from participating in the season.
Thomas "TC" Pool: Before going on the ranch, I had this idea in mind of wanting to be healthy, and I tried. I actually lobbed off 40 pounds before getting on the ranch, but I still was struggling because I gave up on myself often. I felt like I needed somebody to do it for me, to push me, because I just couldn't do it myself.
And on the ranch, one of the things that Jillian did was make it so that I had to make that decision for myself -- how bad do I want it? Am I going to push through and work hard even though I would usually quit? So coming home, I've just had to focus on that every day, because it's hard at home.
It's hard to do it -- to be in your normal everyday life and workout, but I know from how bad I had to push through wanting to quit on the show and not workout, that I just know how bad I want it now. So I just focus on that every day when it gets tough.
Thinking back to when you first arrived on the show, how different were your expectations from what the reality was?
Thomas "TC" Pool: I went into the show thinking that -- I was scared. I started off the show worried about how I would do. I was lacking self-confidence in where I could go, but I felt like I could do it.
After watching the show so much and wanting it so bad, I felt like I could workout. But I knew going on the show that I did not want Jillian, because I was afraid that she would be extra tough from being off the show.
And then when I saw her, I think I just got -- I got some preconceived notions and went into that first workout even like extra scared and more shocked, so when she did get tough and stuff, I think I almost started shutting down a little bit and took it a little bit hard, because I psyched myself out so to speak.
So, I wasn't prepared mentally for that first workout like I should've been, and as soon as I could wrap my head around it, the workouts got better, as you could tell.
What was your favorite memory from being on the show?
Thomas "TC" Pool: My best memory is the last chance workout where I pushed myself passed the limits, and I've never done that before. Every time I got to a place where it hurt or it was too painful, I would back off. And I didn't do that in that last chance workout.
And that's changed me forever, because it showed me for the first time that I'm willing and able to push my limits, and I just re-focus on that all the time. So, it's something that I will always have for the rest of my life that I will say has changed my life for the better since then.
How did you keep yourself motivated once you got back home?
Thomas "TC" Pool: I went home on an upswing, definitely. I went home feeling really good about myself and really feeling very eager to continue my working out. So that helped a lot.
Now, as you get through the daily grind of working full-time and having a family and continuing to workout every day, that's when you start digging down deep and realizing, "Okay, how bad do you want this?" And, "You know you can do this. Just push through."
So when I first got back, I was gung ho and then as you get through it and you get tired, you end up having to push yourself even more. That's where what I went through on the ranch comes in handy.
Were we seeing the TV Jillian or did you get to experience the softer side of Jillian?
Thomas "TC" Pool: I only got to have that one week with her, so I got to see the real intense Jillian and I got to see it when you're not doing as well as you should and how intense she can get. And also, when you do everything she asks, [I saw] how pleased she is with you at the end.
She's very intense and at the same time, she definitely cares. But I'm sure if I was there longer, I would've seen even more of a less intense Jillian as it went on. But she does what she needs to do to get you to find motivation inside yourself.
Both weeks of the season so far have featured the red line rather than the yellow line which results in a team deliberating and voting off a contestant. How did you feel about the red line and the automatic eliminations versus the vote-off format?
Thomas "TC" Pool: The red line definitely takes game play out of it or takes a lot of that stuff that might break up a team's chemistry. So I like the idea of a red line, but of course I went home with it, so we go, "What if?" -- If it wasn't a red line. But also, that Week 1, everyone there on the ranch had amazing weight-loss.
And so, it's hard to sit there and wish somebody else would've gone home when everybody worked so hard and did well. And I know that I was one of those persons who lost the least. So, it's hard to wish for the different outcome and it's just not worth focusing on. So the red line has some good points and down points, but I think it was mostly good, actually.
Why do you think it's important to maintain good health, say, in your high school years? In your bio, it says you kind of stopped being active after high school.
Thomas "TC" Pool: I started, it was high school when I started becoming less athletic and gaining weight. I can remember my junior year of high school when I quit basketball for the first time and I had been playing since I was in kindergarten. And I did it because I had a low self-image, and I was afraid of how I would look going into basketball tryouts.
And I see that right there was the decline of my self-worth and going from someone who was slightly gaining weight -- but I really wasn't overweight as much as I thought I was. But I fulfilled that, how I thought I was, over the next few years by just continuing to gain weight every year after that.
And the more you go without doing and being active, the harder it is to get active again. And that's why I think kids today need to learn to just keep taking little steps and keep being active, because it makes it so much easier down the road to maintain a healthy lifestyle. As soon as you stop doing sports or stop doing an active lifestyle, it just gets harder and harder the more weight you gain to start up again.
Thomas "TC" Pool: As far as me thinking about leaving the ranch, there was a time during that first workout where I would be hard-pressed to think that nobody goes through, "Can I really do this?" And, "I wish I would quit." Because we had all gotten to where we are probably by [having] that mentality of not following through.
So the thought crosses your mind, but we worked really hard to get on that show, and we went through the process showing how much we wanted to be on it. So, you just dig deep down inside and think about those reasons why you want to be on the show and then push through.
At the time, that's why I thought I wanted Nikki to stay, is because it was tough and we knew how hard it is and we knew she really wanted to be on the show. She didn't just get on it by chance. She worked to be on that show.
So I wanted her to stay because I knew that that's what she wanted when she got on the show. Now, it might've been the best choice for her, I don't know. But as far as at the time, I really wanted her to stay for her, because I didn't want her to have any regrets later.
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