Monthly Archives: January 2013

Q & A with Julie: Do I keep up with Season 4 Biggest Loser Castmates?


“The Biggest Loser” was a life-changing – once-in-a-lifetime experience to say the least. I am beyond blessed to have been a part of it.

I am very often asked if I continue to keep in touch with those I was on the show with in Season 4. And the answer is “Yes!” Many of them I am still in contact with.

There’s no way you can go through the kind of experience we all endured together and not forge a forever bond. The experience of “Reality TV” in and of itself is very unique. And the dynamics of “The Biggest Loser” are very unique. On my season, we lived in a dormitory type setting. The quarters were very close. And we lived life together. We cooked meals together. Ate together. Did dishes together. Did laundry together. Worked out together for hours on end. We faced challenges together and my “Black Team” members and I actually survived Jillian Michaels together. Any socializing we did was … together. It was as much like a family as any you could imagine.

I have such positive feelings for everyone on Season 4. And not just the cast, but the producers and all the crew. Facebook is a wonderful way to keep up with everyone. I keep in touch with Bill, Jim and Isabeau a good bit. But Nicole and I text back and forth all the time. And Hollie is one of my closest friends. Me and her.And every once in a while I’ll get an irreverant post on Facebook from Jez and I know that he still loves me.

And yes – for those of you who want to know – I do still keep in touch with Jillian. I think I will forever. She’s an amazing trainer and friend. Me and Jillian

The Biggest Loser “fraternity” also transcends well beyond the season we were on. For years after my season, I went back to every Finale. And made great connections with so many of the contestants that were on years after me. I also got the chance to meet those that were on the previous seasons. The ones I was “in awe” of…those like Suzy Preston Hoover and Poppi Kramer. Scheduling hasn’t permitted me to go back for the past couple of seasons, but each year Chef Devin Alexander hosts a wonderful dinner party for all the former losers. It’s a great time to get together and reminisce and socialize.

Some of you may remember that Kelly Fields (Season 5) lived with me for a while as she was preparing for her Finale. She is like a member of my own family. And Michelle Aguilar, winner of Season 6, is a dear friend of mine. I could go on an on about the fabulous friends I’ve made through the Biggest Loser experience. And I watch each season with equal parts enthusiasm and sympathy as I watch a “new class” of losers endure the beatings that will change their lives.

With Suzy Preston Hoover Nicole Mahalik, Bill Germanakos and Me Me and Michelle Aguilar The precious Kelly Fields

Words of Encouragement from an Unexpected Source

Today I was searching for a specific email from someone and I was scrolling through tons of old correspondence. Suddenly, one jumped out at me and hit me like a brick in the face. It was the last email from my mother-in-law, Betty. She passed away in October 2012, after a very brief battle with acute Leukemia. And yet seeing her email was like she had just walked through the door or called on the phone. It made her presence seem real once again.

Those who knew Betty, can attest that she always cared about others more than herself. And, when it came to her children or family, there was no question of her unending love and concern. It was very common to get a note in the mail, or a news clipping of an interesting or helpful story from her. Although she was seldom one to send email “forwards” – the message I found today included a quick message from her and a forward of some wonderful advice.

It was such a simple and yet profound list – and it came from such a precious source – that I wanted to share it here:

1) Pray.
2) Go to bed on time.
3) Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.
4) Say “No” to projects that won’t fit into your time schedule, or that will compromise your mental health.
5) Simplify and unclutter your life.
6) Separate worries from concerns.
7) K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut).
7) Get enough rest.
8) Eat right.
9) Exercise several times a week for optimal health of your body and mind.
10) Write down thoughts and inspirations.
11) Remember that the shortest bridge between despair and hope is often a simple ‘Thank you GOD…’
12) Laugh.
13) Develop a forgiving attitude.
14) Be kind to unkind people (they probably need it the most).
15) Talk less; listen more.

These “words to live by” have inspired me today, like they did when I originally read them. And they caused me to think of the wonderful woman who first shared them with me. I hope you will receive some encouragement from them today as well.