David Jones: Something else drastically changed besides my appearance after 'The Biggest Loser'
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/08/2013
David Jones was eliminated from The Biggest Loser during Monday night's NBC broadcast of the reality weight-loss competition's sixth fourteenth-season episode.
David, a 51-year-old police officer from Kiefer, OK, was ousted after his Blue Team posted the lowest weight-loss percentage at the season's sixth weekly elimination weigh-in -- which featured only one person's weight-loss counting on behalf of that player's entire team -- and then individually cast the majority of their votes to send him home from the ranch.
During a Tuesday conference call with reporters, David talked about his The Biggest Loser experience and mental and physical transformation. Below is the first half of David's interview. Check back with Reality TV World on Monday for the concluding portion.
Now thinking back to when you first arrived at the ranch, how different were your expectations from what the reality was?
David Jones: You know, at some point we were so concentrated on actually just getting on the show and getting to the ranch that for me I completely -- I forgot about how horrible the workouts appeared on television. I was just so excited about the process that I forgot how terrible it was actually going to be inside there. So that was my first big surprise.
What is the most difficult thing about going home after being on the show?
David Jones: I've described it in the past as getting my wheels underneath me -- and that is to get everybody in my household onboard, that my eating style is going to have to be different, and everybody is just going to have to make time for me to be away from here and be at the gym or be outside working out or walking or whatever, and, you know, asking my family and actually telling my family you're all going to have to make some sacrifices for me to accomplish this goal. So that was the biggest adjustment not just for me but for my whole family to turn some things around.
What is next for you?
David Jones: My big plans at this point are to -- how is the best way to put this? I have been approached by several different organizations that I hadn't anticipated would reach out and ask me to come and talk to them about my experiences and such as the International Rett Syndrome Foundation and some others.
And so, it has just opened up some doors for me to be able to tell my story and share what I've done, and I'm just really excited about that process. That's one of the big things I'm going to be doing, is spending some time doing as much of that as I possibly can.
When you stood in front of your mirror before in uniform, how did that feel compared to now, the difference in the person?
David Jones: A sideways glance is the way I always looked at [myself] -- just passing a mirror in uniform. I gave it a second or a second-and-a-half of a glance and just immediately turned away, because it just reminded me of what I looked like.
And today, I'll spend a pretty good amount of time making sure everything is shined up, all the metals look polished, and I look as good as -- just pride, just pride in the way I look in that uniform.
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And it's a little deceiving because I have body armor on, so I'm actually thinner than that uniform actually portrays. But still all things being equal, I'm just really happy. I mean, I had to get all new pants, all new shirts, new leather gear, new body armor. It cost a couple bucks but it was well worth it obviously. So yes, a lot more time spent in the mirror today than six months ago.
Tell us about how you're treated on the street now and by your peers. That has to be significantly different, David.
David Jones: Yes, one of the biggest affirmations I have gotten is not about my appearance but my attitude from my co-workers. And they just -- I'm so much more approachable and a lot more of them come to me for advice and instruction than they used to because my attitude just wasn't wonderful.
And so for me, that's the biggest thing, just that the appearance and, you know, the pride in what I have accomplished on the ranch and stuff. That almost goes without saying because I have gotten that quite often. But for me the happiest part has been their comments about my attitude.
Some of your fellow colleagues mentioned that you had a personality change when you came back from the ranch. Why do you think they say that?
David Jones: You should have seen the guy that was walking around in that uniform, even walking around here at my home before then. I got called Eeyore on more than a few occasions because I just -- I didn't want anybody to get inside and ask me those questions I never wanted to answer.
And today I'm just -- everything gets approached with a pretty positive attitude, especially when I'm on the street. And I think that's where I get the biggest comments, is my approach to critical situations on service calls when we're in a situation where things could go south if we let them. And I had a reputation of kind of letting that happen.
And today I'm just so much better at that problem solving and those critical issues than I ever have before. And I think for my co-workers especially that's the big change they see.
How are your injuries coming along? Have they hindered your progress?
David Jones: I don't think so. [The Biggest Loser Dr. Huizenga] still doesn't want me to run, but I have found different machines to just absolutely get a super great burn. I keep track of my caloric burn rate every day and I'm still able to put in the kind of numbers that I was putting in at the ranch. And so, I don't think it has really been that big of a hindrance. I just don't -- the one thing I don't do is run, but the rest of it I still all get to do.
What motivates you the most to continue eating healthy and exercising on a regular basis?
David Jones: You know, I've got two step grandsons and then right now I have a daughter and a stepdaughter that are both going to have children in April. And I just really want to see myself be here for a long, long, long, long time as a grandfather that those grandkids want to come and see or that I can go visit as I travel around the country and that kind of thing after I retire.
And so that's my biggest motivation and secondarily, obviously, is whether my daughter [Tiffany] is living at my house or at her mother's house, we've got to take care of her and we've got to be healthy to do that. It's not fair for [Tiffany] for us to be less than great at our physical condition to take care of her. So those are my biggest motivations.
David Jones: You know, I want to kind of let that be a surprise. I will tell you that I am very close to approaching the 100 pound loss mark. I'm hoping -- I'm really hoping that I get to say on -- I'm going to be on the Today show next Monday and I'm really hoping that on there I get to say I'm down 100 pounds. So I'll just say that right now I'm really, really, really close.
Has your asthma improved and, I mean, have you seen a noticeable moment to moment, day to day improvement in your blood pressure and breathing and all those sort of things?
David Jones: You know, I still use my inhaler on a daily basis. I don't use my -- I haven't had to use my rescue inhaler since like Week 2 at the ranch. I do take an inhaler on a daily basis but that's just to keep everything as it should be. But I haven't had any blood pressure problems or anything. I'm no longer -- I'm not on any medications aside from that inhaler. And so I haven't had any trouble at all. It has been great.