From Loser to Winner
As a former athlete and champion wrestler, Matt enjoyed a taste of being on top, being in great shape, and well disciplined, but he allowed food dependence and other self-destructive habits to take that life away. He is back now and with a renewed fervor to help other people, young and old, to recapture good health and in turn recapture their lives...
The words, "Biggest Loser," conjure up negative images for most of us, but there is nothing but positives oozing from Matt Hoover and Suzy Preston, winner and third runner-up of NBC's Biggest Loser show.
Since their exciting weight loss, this couple is on a mission to tell others and be an inspiration to thousands of obese Americans.
Matt, who began the show with a 55" waist, but who now looks svelte in his size 36" inch pants, wants to take his new look on the road to high schools and hospitals to convince others they can do what he did.
When Matt checked in for the Biggest Loser he was a prime example of a heart attack about to happen. He was grossly obese with a body mass index (BMI) of 48.6, blood pressure that registered 152/98, a cholesterol reading of 230/148, triglycerides of 428/48, and suffering from severe back pain left from a past surgery. Now 157 pounds lighter, Matt not only looks different, but feels different as well. His blood pressure is 101/68; cholesterol is 101/49, and the chronic back pain…gone!
"The heart is a muscle, declared Matt, "and I want to demonstrate to others that a muscle can be (re) built." This is the message that Matt desires to take to young people in schools across America. He wants to train them to stop reaching for fast food items and stay away from vending machines.
As a former athlete and champion wrestler, Matt enjoyed a taste of being on top, being in great shape, and well disciplined, but he allowed food dependence and other self-destructive habits to take that life away. He is back now and with a renewed fervor to help other people, young and old, to recapture good health and in turn recapture their lives.
"I want to show the kids that they have the ability to change," he concluded.
Suzy, looking very svelte herself as a 95-pound loser, touts a similar message and desires to help others through her experiences.
"I don't want this to be just about the weight loss. I want to grow from this (experience), and reach out to others. I want them to find value in themselves."
Suzy, as some women often do, said she lost herself while putting the focus on everyone else. "I want to teach women to say, 'Hey I'm real'. You have to make changes for your self though. You cannot do it for your husband, a boyfriend, or family. It won't work and it won't last."
Suzy claims her key to success is having a great support group and gives credit to her family for her support.
"Get people to hold you accountable," she says.
So, what is an average menu for Susie to maintain her size 6-8 jeans? Sticking to 1200 calories is a must. She eats many vegetables, low carb foods, and her meat of choice is turkey.
Matt couples his diet with a half hour run each day.
"I run 15 minutes out and 15 back, he says. I keep my food choices close to the ground…meaning vegetables," he explained.
Matt and Suzy's weight loss took place over a nine-month period during the taping of the TV show.
"We saw each other at our worst, "exclaimed Suzy." There was none of the usual first date primping and getting ready. We were sweaty and gross! In fact I didn't even like him (Matt) at first," she laughs.
While the couple worked hard on changing their outward appearance, something was changing on the inside and a relationship began to develop. Are there wedding bells in the future for this enthusiastic, happy couple? We will leave that for speculation.
Matt and Suzy indeed won the "Biggest Loser" challenge, but their biggest challenge seems to lie before them. Touting a message that many Americans do not want to hear is difficult, but one that Matt seems destined to carry out. If he can help alleviate obesity as America's worst health problem, then he will make losers into winners.
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"From Loser to Winner"
Patricia Kirby brings several years of journalism, editing, and publishing experience to Radius magazine. She is a published writer and former co-editor of Hoosier Outdoor magazine, with a distribution throughout the mid-west. Patricia is also a form...