After months of workouts, challenges and weigh-ins on “The Biggest Loser” ranch, Weber State University theater student Jackson Carter lost 138 pounds and came in third place in the competition.
Carter said that when he originally was chosen to be on “The Biggest Loser,” he was confident in how far he would get on the show.
“When I got called up on stage that very first night, I thought, ‘I have this in the bag, I’m going to win this,'” he said. “Then the next day, we started our very first workout and I passed out off the treadmill, and as soon as I came to consciousness, I thought, ‘I’m not going to survive the first week, I’m going to die.'”
Carter said that once he hit the last workout of the season, he couldn’t believe he had made it that far.
“I definitely wanted the grand prize, but I was proud of my accomplishments; I was proud to be a finalist,” Carter said. “There are only a handful of people who have been on the show, and only a small percentage of them can say they have made it to the final three. I’m one of the lucky few in this entire world who can say I was in the final three on America’s toughest competition.”
He said that when he was on the scale during the live finale, he was only a little nervous about the results.
“The fact that I was a second runner-up is incredible to me,” he said. “A few people have said to me, ‘I’m disappointed you didn’t win,’ and I was like, ‘Why? I wasn’t, I’m fine with it.'”
While filming the show, Carter and the other contestants went through 12-hour production days for the show. This included workouts with the trainers, an hour and a half of interviews, filming “reality” — which is filming the contestants as they interact with each other in the house — and nighttime workouts.
“Every single workout was tough; it never got easy, but we were able to recover better, we were able to do more, and I think that’s why we kept going even though it was hard,” Carter said.
Now that the show is over, Carter said that one challenge he will face is being away from the ranch and staying healthy at home.
“When you’re on the ranch, not that’s it’s easy, but there is a gym in your backyard and you have personal training 4-5 hours a day,” Carter said. “There’s a lot of stuff that is provided to you that you don’t necessarily have when you get home. . . . It was definitely tough to make that adjustment from having everything provided to having to get up and really motivate yourself.”
After losing 138 pounds, Carter plans on losing another 25. He said it will be different losing the weight at home because there is no competition involved, making it less stressful. He said he will lose the weight by exercising 90 minutes a day and eating 2,000 calories a day.
“(The trainers) kept saying, ‘This is an extreme — this is an extreme plan. When you go home and you are going to go out and have dinner with your friends, you’re going to split a dessert, and you’ll have to work it off at the gym the next day,'” he said. “Now it’s about getting to that goal weight and maintaining it, and maintenance is going to be easy now that I know how to do it.”
Avery Lytle, a zoology major at WSU and a friend of Carter’s from high school, went to the live “Biggest Loser” finale in California with Carter.
“I wanted to go to support him,” Lytle said. “I also wanted to meet some of the other contestants, but mostly I went to support him.”
Lytle has been watching Carter on television as the show has progressed and also went to the reunion held for Carter.
“It’s cool to see him compete and lose the weight; he’s really dedicated,” Lytle said. “It’s really surreal seeing a friend on television.”