Bob Harper challenges 'Biggest Loser' champ Erik Chopin to re-lose
By Christopher Rocchio, 11/27/2009
Erik Chopin has received another opportunity to shed his unwanted weight.
Chopin -- who lost a total of 214 lbs. and claimedThe Biggest Loser's Fall 2006 third-season title -- was challenged by trainer Bob Harper during Wednesday's The Biggest Loser: Where Are They Now? special to regain control of his life by next spring's ninth-season finale of the NBC reality weight-loss series.
"I've got a little proposition for you. How about at the end of the Season 9 finale, I invite you to the finale to weigh-in?" asked Harper during the special.
"Put my money where my mouth is, huh?" replied Chopin.
"You're the one who says you like having a goal," said Harper. "There's your dangling carrot right there."
"Okay, it's a deal," answered Chopin, who sealed the deal with a handshake.
"I know what I have to do. I've known what I've had to do since I've come home and it's a matter of getting past my own demons. Getting a handle on that is probably the last thing that's left."
Chopin, a married Long Island deli owner and father of two, had begun The Biggest Loser's third season weighing 407 pounds. After losing 124 pounds during his stay at The Biggest Loser ranch, he lost another 90 pounds after returning home, giving him a total weight loss of 214 pounds and a finale weigh-in weight of 193 pounds -- a 52.58% weight loss percentage.
However it apparently didn't stay off.
"I put some weight on obviously. Most recently I weighted myself a few months ago, I got to 368 -- very close to where I was at the start of The Biggest Loser," said Chopin during Wednesday night's special.
When Harper arrived at his house, Chopin revealed he was felling a "little negative" about coming face-to-face with his former trainer.
"I felt uncomfortable kind of telling him where I was at because I felt that I was going to disappoint him," explained Chopin, however Harper said that couldn't be further from the truth.
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"I understand this. I understand how hard it is -- it's my job. I see people every single day that struggle," said Harper. "It is a struggle and I wanted to come see Erik and say, 'You know what Erik? It's going to be okay.'"
The two talked, and Chopin explained he got "really low" when he returned home from the ranch and realized how hard it would be to keep the weight off in the real world.
"I started to just say f--k it," he told Harper. "But I kept saying tomorrow's the day that this doesn't go on anymore. I kept letting tomorrow get away from me. Right now I have to go back to the strict life because I have to lose weight."
Harper said Chopin needs to "find balance."
"You can't do the extreme. You've done the extreme," he said. "You have to find a day-to-day life."
Chopin's wife compared his to an alcoholic, describing him as a "food addict."
"Erik has to clean up his surroundings," said Harper. "He can't be bringing home these 'treats' for the family because it's only going to sabotage Erik."
Chopin took Harper to a boxing gym where he's been working out, which is where they struck their deal.
"Sometimes I think about my journey on The Biggest Loser. I go on a 407-pound guy, I lose a bunch of weight -- over 200 lbs. -- and the story should end there and I maintain that weight," said Chopin.
"Well, my story's different and I gained weight. The first thought is, 'You gained weight, you failed. Story ends there.' But my story doesn't end there. I'm going to lose this weight."