Monthly Archives: March 2008

My iVillage “Elimination Blog”

I just came across this on iVillage.com. I had forgotten even doing this interview. Obviously, it was done before the Show aired based on my response to “who will make it to the end?” I KNEW who would make it but I wanted to be coi.

Anyway, just thought I’d post it…kind of for posterity I guess.

ox,
Julie

Julie Reveals her Turning Point

Name:Julie Hadden
Age:35
Starting Weight: 218 lbs
Weight when leaving campus: 160 lbs
Finale Weight: 121 lbs
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
Status: MarriedOccupation before leaving for the show:Stay-at-home mom

1.) What was your big turning point — either during the show or before that made you realize you needed to lose weight?

My turning point was really more of an evolution; it wasn’t instantaneous. But it was very poignant. Obviously, I knew I needed to lose weight or I wouldn’t have auditioned for the show to begin with. But I have always hidden behind a big smile and covered everything up with black clothing to minimize my size. But still, I wasn’t kidding myself about my problem. My husband begged me every year to go with him to his big office Christmas party. My excuses became ridiculous. But I knew he had photos of me on his desk from our wedding 9 years ago. His co-workers thought I STILL looked like that. There was NO WAY I’d show up and blow that image. I was embarrassed. I think moments like that were my turning point prior to the Show.
But my crystallizing moment once [I was] on the set was at the first weigh in. They had kept our weight from us prior to the official weigh-in that was filmed for TV. And to be honest—I know this sounds crazy—but I didn’t know how much I weighed. We just didn’t have a scale in our home. And THAT was no accident. When I saw my weight for the first time, I gasped at the reality of that number. And then I burst into tears. I had no idea it had gotten that out-of-control. With no full-length mirrors and no scales at home, it’s easy to lull yourself into a “delusion of grandeur” I guess. That fictitious image of myself was blown away at that moment. And I knew that I was there for a reason. That God had allowed me this opportunity to make a life-saving change in myself. I never looked back from that point on. I said the whole time I was a part of the show that it was the hardest thing I had ever done in my life. But every day I was there was a GIFT!!! I mean that with all my heart.

2.) What is one thing you wish you had known before going on The Biggest Loser?

I said while participating in the show that “If I had known how hard it would be, I would have NEVER done it.” And in retrospect I am SO GLAD I didn’t know. I have never been subjected to such physical or emotional stress in my life. You know the process of turning a piece of coal into a diamond? It’s through the intense almost unbearable pressure that the results are so magnificent! Well, that’s how I feel about all of us. So it might sound cliché and it might sound hokey, but I can’t say there’s one thing I wish I had known. Because if I had seen the whole picture clearly before I participated,I may have very well cheated myself out of one of the biggest blessings of my entire life.

3.) If you could have done one thing differently during the show what would it be? I don’t have many regrets from the experience.

Not that any of us played a perfect game, but I think I played the game pretty well. I tried to retain my integrity while at the same time realizing it was a competition. If I had to pinpoint one specific thing it might be that I promised myself that I wouldn’t cry throughout the process. I had seen men and women both cry like babies on previous seasons and I was determined to not do that on national television. But I cried a lot. Every single emotion known to man came out in me. I experienced some of the greatest joy and some of the most intense pain ever! And I could picture my friends back home saying “Suck it up cry baby.” And I regretted crying. But when someone you really grew to love got voted off or you were at the end of your rope due to physical pain or exhaustion – – sometimes tears was the only outlet I had.

4.) What do you think your biggest weight-loss obstacles will be now that you’re dieting on your own?

Definitely maintaining the same intensity in regard to working out. My trainer was so inspirational and motivating. And although the working out on the show was incredibly demanding, it was my full-time job while I was there. Now I have to balance a healthy lifestyle with all the other competing demands of me. Balancing the caring for my child and my husband, keeping the house clean, being a soccer-mom and room mother, teaching my little 3-year olds in Sunday School and everything else that makes demands of my time, is a huge challenge.

5.) What advice can you give other people who are hoping to lose extra pounds?

I think the first thing you need before you lose one pound is the BELIEF that you can actually be something different than what you see in the mirror. How you look on the outside does not define who you are on the inside. But on a practical note, you have GOT to start exercising. Burn more calories than you consume. Think about how wonderful the future can be. You owe it to yourself and to everybody who loves you.

6.) Who do you think will make it to the end of the show and why?

I think it will be any four of the following: Amber, Amy, Nicole, Patty, Bryan, Phil, David, Hollie, Isabeau, Bill, Ryan, Gerry, Jez, Kae, Lezlye, Jim, Neil or Me. Any of us could be standing in the end. We had a very diverse cast this year. Everyone embodied different qualities that would make them an outstanding winner. I could go on about just about everybody. I made some lifetime friends from this experience. So it’ll be neat to see who is standing in the end.

7.) What is one thing that happened behind-the-scenes that no one would know from watching the show?

There was so much behind-the-scenes FUN that couldn’t possibly be captured on camera. The show would have been 5 hours long per episode if it had been.
But hopefully, they will see that although we were 18 individual competitors and we all had the same aspiration to win, we really did care for each other. The strategies that were executed at the elimination table did not necessarily reflect the love and care we genuinely held for each other behind-the-scenes.

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