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The Biggest Losers

Aired January 12, 2009 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, they sweated, starved and struggled


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You just kind of passed out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I'm on ground?


KING: To become the biggest losers.


MICHAELS: But don't ever tell me that you can't do it.


KING: Former champs from the TV hit show how they're doing now and tell what it's like going from fat to fit.

And then we'll get the skinny on the new season.



Tell me what it is.


KING: From trainers Jillian and Bob.

Can you be a loser too?

Find out right now on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening.

The hit weight loss series, "The Biggest Loser," is in its seventh season. The focus this time -- couples. The oldest, youngest and heaviest contestants they've ever had are taking part in this cycle, which began January 6th on NBC.

Tonight, we have the winners and some of the contestants from previous seasons.

And the tough love trainers, Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper, are here, too.

They're with us now from Los Angeles.

How, Jillian, is the second season going with couples?

MICHAELS: Wow, well, it's very intense. And we like to refer to it as the biggest loser extreme.

HARPER: Yes. There's never a dull moment. We have the biggest contestants we've ever had. We've got the oldest contestants we've ever had.

MICHAELS: The youngest contestants we've ever had.

HARPER: That's right.

KING: How old were the oldest?

HARPER: Sixty-three.

MICHAELS: Yes. That's absolutely right. Grandparents.

KING: Why do fat people merge?

HARPER: I think it becomes environmental, don't you?

MICHAELS: Well, we also both believe that they're bringing their enablers with them. So they're attracting people with the same type of habits because it's validating their lifestyle.

HARPER: All of a sudden they get together in their relationship and they get comfortable. They get lazy. They get tired.

KING: What's the pound for pound challenge?

HARPER: We are teaming up with General Mills and Feeding America to not only get people to lose weight, but to also help feed the hungry. So we, right now -- as of today, we have 1.3 million pounds of food that are going to be delivered to local food banks and over 51,000 pledges.

KING: Wow!

HARPER: So we're trying to get people to lose weight and to feed the hungry.


KING: Bob is also...

MICHAELS: Taking food right out of their mouths and putting food in other people's mouths.


KING: Bob is also the author of the book "Are You Ready?," right?



Why is this show, do you think, Jillian, popular?

MICHAELS: Well, I believe that it's iconic. It's changing the face of America, if not the world. Obesity is pandemic now and nothing could be more timely.

KING: Contestants include a mother and daughter, father sons, sisters, best friends, grandparents.

Where do you find them?

HARPER: Oh, we have a really great casting group over at Reveille.

MICHAELS: Where do we find them?

HARPER: Yes. They're all over America right now. I mean, it's like -- there's one point where I tell people in the first episode, that if you really want to see what America looks like right now, watch "The Biggest Loser," because the more obsessed we get with weight loss, we tend to get bigger and bigger every single year.

KING: Until then, the premiere episode, a shocking new twist revealed.

What happened, Jillian?

MICHAELS: I can't give it away.

HARPER: Oh, I mean, I think there's -- there's plenty of twists on every single turn. And this season, we've sent nine people home to try to do it on their own for 30 days. And that's the hardest thing. The first week, those are the contestants that have to leave that really struggle the most. And so we're really going to put their -- what Jillian and I taught them to the test.

KING: Where are they when they're doing this?

Where do they all gather?

MICHAELS: We are out in Calabasas.


MICHAELS: In a national park.

KING: And they live there? HARPER: Yes. They are pretty much under lockdown. They're...

MICHAELS: Pretty much.

HARPER: They're trapped there. If they're not in bed, they're in the gym or in the kitchen.

MICHAELS: Exactly.

KING: For how long?

HARPER: This season is our longest season ever. So I think we're shooting for almost five months.

Is that correct, Jillian?



MICHAELS: Five months and a week. My mom.

HARPER: Five months and a week.

KING: How are they doing?


KING: How are the teams doing, generally?

MICHAELS: Right about now I think we're really at the tough point. We're not at the beginning, so there's no enthusiasm. And there's no light at the end of the tunnel. So we're really in the midst of it at the moment, I think.

HARPER: And I also think that Jillian and I have gotten better weight loss than we have any other season.

MICHAELS: Oh, yes.

HARPER: I mean its like -- it's -- the weight loss -- (CROSSTALK)

HARPER: The weight loss is crazy right now. I mean, we have girls -- it used to be a man's game. "Biggest Loser" used to be a man's game. And now, Jillian and I have really turned that around. And as you can see over the past two seasons, winners are females, because women know what it takes and they have been unleashed and...

KING: What do you do with the resisters?

MICHAELS: Bob -- Bob hugs them in to submission and I beat them into submission.

(LAUGHTER) MICHAELS: But I -- my knuckles are bloody from this season, let me tell you.

HARPER: I think that it's difficult with the resisters, though, because that's why I titled my book -- entitled my book, "Are You Ready?," because unless they're ready to make the change that Jillian and I want to make for them -- we can't do anything unless they're ready.

KING: Do you find that one parter -- one partner might do well while the other doesn't?

MICHAELS: That's a great question. In some cases. But usually they share the like mind and -- when they're family. It's when they're family...

HARPER: Right.

MICHAELS: ...that if one does bad, both do bad. If one does great, both do great.

HARPER: And I think the husbands and wives, I think they really struggled. I did that last season. If a wife did better than the husband, you would see kind of the husband being almost -- almost emasculated, in a way.

KING: We're going take a look now at one incident when Bob gets frustrated with one of the contestants.


HARPER: Oh, no


HARPER: Go. That's it. Good. Everybody looks good. Do not be sloppy. Finish this strong, Joelle (ph). No, Joelle (ph). Don't do it. Don't do it. Dig, Joelle (ph), dig. Ten...Joelle (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not trying to quit. I'm not trying to quit.

HARPER: Well, then do it, Joelle (ph). Stop saying all these words. Quit talking.

I'm sick of just words, words, words, talk, talk, talk. Shut the (EXPLETIVE LANGUAGE) up. Just do it. Just stop talking and do it.

MICHAELS: I have never seen Bob that mad, ever.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's never gotten that mad?



HARPER: I was upset that day. I mean...

KING: No kidding.

HARPER: ...I really was. I say in the way in that I was possessed by Jillian Michaels at that moment.


KING: Hey, last season's winner will join us next. She lost almost half her body weight.

How is she doing now?

Stay with us and see.


MICHAELS: You can control this. You're not a victim of this. (INAUDIBLE) the situation.

What do you choose?

Do you choose the girl that came here and the life she was living?

Do you choose change?

Do you choose health?

Do you choose happiness?



KING: President George and First Lady Laura Bush will be our guests tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE.

Like all "Big Loser" winners, last season's weight loss champ has an incredible story.

Take a look at how she took it off.


MICHELLE AGUILAR, SEASON 6 WINNER, "THE BIGGEST LOSER": My parents went through a divorce about five or six years ago. And I just gave up. I gave up on all of it.


AGUILAR: I've been doing this for months -- day in and day out, working out every day.


AGUILAR: Some days I can push myself to the limit and do four hours. And then some days I'm in there and I'm done after two. I'm like, that's it. I can't do it.

MICHAELS: Your current weight is...



MICHAELS: Michelle is the next biggest loser.


KING: Here she comes, the incredible Michelle Aguilar, last season's winner of "The Biggest Loser." She lost 110 pounds for a 45.45 percent weight loss, after starting the competition at 242 pounds.

She'll come out on our set. Congratulations to Michelle.

How have you -- how have you adjusted to this?

What's it like being slim?

AGUILAR: You know, it's a whole new world. You know, it's like clothes are different. Food is different. Sitting at tables are different -- you know, you can move in. You can get close to people. It's a brand new world.

KING: Are you going to stay with it?

AGUILAR: Absolutely. I think...

KING: No doubt?

AGUILAR: The relationship with food changes. The relationship with, you know, how you handle yourself, as far as like when the emotions get tough. And you realize that food is not there to comfort you, but it's for fuel.

And so absolutely, I have to stay with it.

KING: How did you get so big?

AGUILAR: You know, I -- I turned to food. I looked for a comfort in it. And over time, it took a hold of me and it, you know, spiraled.

KING: Now, there's a young man sitting next to her. He's Micah Whitehead. He is engaged to Michelle. He proposed nine days after she won.

Was it contingent that she had to lose weight or you wouldn't marry her?


KING: You would have married her at 242?

WHITEHEAD: Absolutely.

KING: How long have you two gone together?

WHITEHEAD: We've only been dating since she came back from the show in September. But we've been friends for about four years now.

KING: Have you watched her on the show?

WHITEHEAD: Absolutely, every single episode.

KING: What did you make of it?

WHITEHEAD: It was -- it was rough seeing Jillian yell at her every week. But, you know, I knew that's exactly what she needed to get through the process.

KING: Has she changed?

WHITEHEAD: Absolutely.

KING: In what way?

WHITEHEAD: Absolutely. Most of it -- most of what I saw was with her emotions and how she dealt with stuff. And she was definitely more confident whenever she came back. She would -- would say, no, I don't want to do this. And...

AGUILAR: Thanks, Jill.

WHITEHEAD: Yes. Thanks, Jill.


KING: Have you set a date?

WHITEHEAD: No, sir. Not yet.

KING: Why not?

WHITEHEAD: It's just too soon.

AGUILAR: Life's busy right now.


MICHAELS: We -- I mean, I can hardly, you know, get out the door and get things going. So to plan a wedding, it would be a little bit overwhelming right now.

KING: You both live in Dallas?


KING: What do you do, Micah?

Micah, what do you do?

WHITEHEAD: I -- I work in television. I'm an editor.

KING: Oh, and what -- oh. It beats work.



KING: And what do you do, Michelle?

AGUILAR: Right now, I'm going around doing the best I can to, you know, help inspire people to -- to take a journey, to change their lives.

KING: Oh, you're getting involved with like post of the show?

AGUILAR: Absolutely. Whatever I can do to help. You know, it's a gift to be given the opportunity to -- to change your life. And if I were to keep it all to myself, I would be doing every an injustice.

KING: What was she like when she was fat, Micah?

WHITEHEAD: There's really not much difference in her personality. She's more confident now. But other than that, she's exactly the same girl that, you know, I was friends with back then. And now I just have grown to love her.

KING: This was a friendship that turned to love?

WHITEHEAD: Yes, sir.

KING: What was it like when you -- what was it like to look in the mirror when you weighed 242 pounds?

AGUILAR: You know, when you're -- when it, for me, when I was 242, I looked and I saw the things wrong with me. I looked and I saw the arms I didn't like, the stomach that I needed to suck in. And it was like everything wrong. You know, everything was wrong about me.

And to look now, it's like I look and I say well, those are my strong arms -- my arms that, you know, worked really hard to get smaller.

KING: Do you have faith in her, Jillian?

MICHAELS: I have every confidence in her, actually -- more so than probably any other contestant I've worked with, except possibly Ali, who looks unbelievable, who we'll be seeing shortly. Yes. And she's -- she's incredible. KING: A lot of it's -- is there a turning point?

Is there a point where you're going, going, going and you go over the hump?

AGUILAR: There -- there was for me. I had to make a decision to surrender to the process. You know, Jillian doesn't make it easy. You know, she shows you a path and it's a tough and it's a difficult one. And you have to be 100 percent committed to it.

And every day was a struggle until I decided I'm going to be here 100 percent, I'm not going to fight it anymore. I'm going to trust the path Jillian has got me on is going to help. And that made it easier.

KING: How did you come to enter?

AGUILAR: You know, a friend of mine told me about it. And I -- I signed up with my dad. And I was actually the first alternate for the previous season, didn't make it. And then they called me back for the second season.

KING: She's -- she's one of the great symbols for the show. You should take her everywhere, Bob.

HARPER: Absolutely.


KING: Good luck to you, too, Micah.

WHITEHEAD: Thank you.

KING: Happy -- happy wedding coming.

And, Michelle, you look great.

AGUILAR: Thank you.

KING: And I like the suspenders.

AGUILAR: You like them?

Thank you.


AGUILAR: I wore them just for you.

KING: Oh. Smart thinking. You'll be back.


KING: Michelle Aguilar and Michael Whitehead -- another great success story.

There are some wild moments on "The Biggest Loser." And we're going to take a look at some of them in 60 seconds.

Stick around.


KING: How did you, Jillian, get involved with this show?

MICHAELS: It was a fluke, actually. I had a gym and a sports medicine facility in Beverly Hills. And there was a Hollywood agent training there one day. And he saw me acting like a crazy person and presumed that it would make good television and had also heard about "The Biggest Loser." He convinced me to go in on an audition and the rest is history.

KING: Bob, how did you get involved?

HARPER: I got a call from a casting person at NBC about a show called "The Biggest Loser." And when I heard that name, I was like very skeptical.


HARPER: But then when I found out that the show was all about diet and exercise, it was so right up my alley. So it took about a six week audition process for me. I was just -- I found it to be very exhausting. At one point, I asked if Meryl Streep was one of the overweight people.


KING: Were you a trainer?

HARPER: I've been a trainer, yes, for about 20 years now.

KING: What's the toughest part of someone 120 pounds overweight?

HARPER: I think the toughest part is the first step. I think it's -- people know -- especially at this point, when you're 120 pounds overweight, you know all of the things that you're not supposed to eat. You know all the things that you're not supposed to do. I think that people get tired of getting their hand -- their hand slapped. And I think that it's like -- what I really try to do -- and what Jillian I know tries to do -- is just try to uplift people.

KING: Yes.

HARPER: And that, to me, is what -- what it's about.

KING: By the way, go to with your weight loss stories. Click on our the blog and we'll share our thoughts later in the show.

There have been a lot of wild moments on "The Biggest Loser" -- some emotional and others crazy.

Let's take a look at some of the show's greatest hits. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE BIGGEST LOSER," COURTESY REVEILLE LLC & NBC)

HARPER: Jump in -- five, four, three, two, one. Jump, jump, jump, jump, jump.

MICHAELS: Don't, don't, don't, don't. Fight, fight.


MICHAELS: You can tell me that you choose to quit. But don't ever tell me that you can't do it. So unless you faint, puke or die, keep walking.

On your mark, get set, go.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm looking at all these dreams that I have and just realizing everything that I had dreamed, I deserved.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm almost there. I'm almost at the finale. I'm going to do whatever it takes. You know, when this is all said and done, it's going to be me standing up there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just realized, you know, it really hit home -- this is absolutely bigger than just me. And I felt like I'm doing it for all women out there.

MICHAELS: Michelle is the next biggest loser.


KING: When LARRY KING LIVE returns, meet the first woman to win the weight loss crown.

Don't go away.


MICHAELS: Why are you here?

Tell me why.


MICHAELS: Why are you fat, Ali?

VINCENT: I just know that I used my -- my weight to protect me.

This is how I protect myself.

MICHAELS: From what?

VINCENT: No. Because, like if they leave me, it might...


VINCENT: ...if people leave me, it's because I'm fat. It's my excuse.

It's not because of me, because why would they leave me?


KING: Welcome back.

We're talking to some of the biggest losers.

Season five's winner lost more than 100 pounds.

Here's how Ali did it.


VINCENT: When I was getting ready to come to "The Biggest Loser" ranch, I was scared -- like, OK, Ali this is it. This is your opportunity to have everything you want in your life. No more excuses.

I'm an athlete now. I'm an athlete preparing for the biggest competition of my life.

This is mine for the taking and I am taking it.


KING: Whoa.

How did Ali Vincent do it?

The winner in season five of "The Biggest Loser," she lost 112 pounds -- the first ever win by a female.

And we welcome Ali Vincent to LARRY KING LIVE. An extraordinary story coming through that -- through that picture.

All right, how did -- how did you do it?

VINCENT: You know what, I often ask myself that. I pinch myself still every day. Like, I'll be in the shower washing my hair and I'll be like oh, my gosh. I was on "The Biggest Loser." And then I'll be like -- oh. Oh my gosh, I did it. I won. Like I actually -- I just -- I wanted to -- I finally believed in myself again. For whatever reason, life happened and I started putting myself in this box, quit setting goals, quit -- you know, feeling bad about myself.

KING: You were a synchronized swimmer...

VINCENT: I was. I was...

KING: a kid?

VINCENT: I was a nationally and internationally racing accredited swimmer. I was an athlete. And when I quit my sport...

KING: When did you balloon up?

VINCENT: Well, when I quit my sport and I never -- I never thought of exercise before. You know, it was what I did. It was my life. And so when I quit, I continued to eat, because it used to be cool to eat like a whole large pizza and not gain an ounce because we were working out like for -- like hours on end.

KING: Yes.

VINCENT: And so it was just literally like five pounds at a time. And when it was five pounds, somehow it was like controllable. And that's all I ever saw. But then it was 50. And then it was 100. And I was like, I don't know how to get out of here.

KING: Now, I'm told you were voted...

VINCENT: I don't know how.

KING: in the fourth episode...

VINCENT: I know.

KING: Right?

VINCENT: It was nasty.

KING: And then came back and won the fifth.



KING: How did she do that?

MICHAELS: Well, she didn't actually fall below the line, either.

HARPER: Right.

MICHAELS: So it was kind of frustrating. Ali was training with both Bob and myself at the time.


MICHAELS: And there was a twist in the game where one person could eliminate anyone they wanted, whether they fell below or not and, obviously, had the foresight to know that she was a force to be reckoned with and sent her home.

KING: You may have noticed another lady sitting here. That's Ali's mother, who was also a contestant on the show.

Take a look.


BETTE SUE BURKLUND, ALI'S MOTHER, LOST 75 POUNDS: It's horrible. I can walk by the mirror today and be shocked -- like, oh, yes, I'm fat. And I've been fat for 30 years. And for the first time in my life, I believe that I can do it the right way.

MICHAELS: When you started this game, you weighed 261 pounds. Your current weight is...




MICHAELS: Your current weight is 186 pounds. You lost 75 pounds, Betty Sue.



KING: How did you gain so much weight, Betty?

This is Betty Sue Burklund, Ali's mother.

BURKLUND: How did I gain so much weight?

KING: Um-hmm.

BURKLUND: Life. It's easy. I also was an athlete when I was young. And, you know, I'd like to say it was kids, but, you know, that goes away after you have baby weight. And it's just -- you know, being busy -- eating fast foods, going, running places, driving through fast food. Some of our best times were spent...

VINCENT: Our fondest memories.

BURKLUND: Yes, fondest memories -- in drive-thrus of fast food.

KING: Do you have a desire to go back to that?

BURKLUND: Well, absolutely.

KING: You want to eat it?

BURKLUND: Absolutely.

What, are you kidding me?

VINCENT: Oh, I was like go back to what?

Are you kidding? BURKLUND: Not the weight.

KING: You don't want...

BURKLUND: I don't ever want to be that weight again.

KING: But you want the McDonald's?

BURKLUND: Well, of course. The convenience and the -- I swear, they'll be next thing that they sue -- you know, like we're addicted to nicotine. We're addicted to whatever they put in fast food.

KING: Well, do you think you're going to keep it off?

BURKLUND: Well, I've got to. I don't have as many years to go.

And I used to tell the kids on the ranch, thank heavens. You know, that's the only good news about this -- I have less years I have to exercise.

KING: You won with your daughter?

VINCENT: We were. We were -- and what was interesting that we like really kind of realized is that they -- it truly is -- the apple does not fall far from the tree. I laid there night after night looking across at this woman who is supposed to be my mother and like guide me. And I'm supposed to be her daughter and like do anything she wants me to -- which we don't do either of.

But -- and just realized this is -- it's a woman with the same -- we're both adult women that are fighting the same battle.

And like where did it start and how does it end and really take a look at it?

KING: Do you think you've licked it?

VINCENT: You know what, people ask me all the time, so are you going to gain weight, are -- you know, do you think you'll gain your weight back?

And I say absolutely not. There is no way that I will ever, ever...


HARPER: It's a day to day struggle. That's what we try to tell people all the time.

BURKLUND: Well, it's -- it's like alcohol. But you can't quit alco -- you know, food.


BURKLUND: You can quit alcohol.

KING: No. You have to eat.

BURKLUND: You have to eat.

KING: You don't have to drink.

BURKLUND: You know, it's still about control.

VINCENT: And that's the key, knowing that it's the rest of my life.

KING: You keep it up, dear.

VINCENT: Oh, thank you.

KING: You keep it up too, mom.


KING: No McDonald's.


BURKLUND: No McDonald's.

KING: Ali -- nothing against McDonald's, it's just...

BURKLUND: Yes, yes, yes.

KING: A biggest loser favorite, Erik, has stumbled.

Has he fallen off the weight loss wagon?

See for yourself next.


ERIK CHOPIN, BIGGEST LOSER 2006: I'm not worried about my vanity, I just want to survive. I want to be healthy for my kids. I've got two little girls and my wife.



MICHAELS: You're the biggest weight loss in the show.



KING: Anyone who's struggled with weight knows that pounds are not easy to peel away or keep off. 2006 winner Erik Chopin thrilled everyone when he dropped 214 pounds.

But as he said on "Oprah" today, he's losing the fight against fat.




So many people reached out to me. And I felt like I -- I just let them down.


CHOPIN: And, you know, on MySpace and Facebook, people reach out to me. And there's an older picture there. And I'm kind of hiding and I'm not really being frank about what's been going on.

And you mentioned food being your drug of choice.

WINFREY: Um-hmm.

CHOPIN: That's definitely my drug of choice. I guess I'm a food addict. When you're on the wagon, you've got in control When you start coming off of it, you go the other direction.


KING: We welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE Erik Chopin, the "Biggest Loser" third season winner, lost more than half his original body weight. He appeared on "Oprah" earlier today to talk about his weight gain. What happened, Erik?

CHOPIN: Well, I think that, you know, right after the show, I had a purpose in life. I was traveling the country. I was meeting with people. I was discussing obesity with him, morbid obesity. That kind of ended and I wasn't -- not having a purpose, just for me, not being, you know, positive in my career, just set me off track. And I started to fall into a bit of a depression. Unfortunately, I turned to food and I stopped what I learned, exercise.

KING: You lost 100 -- you lost 124 pounds. You began the competition weighing 407.

CHOPIN: I lost 214 pounds, total.

KING: We had it wrong, 214 pounds total. What have you gained back?

CHOPIN: I've gained about half of that back, unfortunately. And I'm extremely proud of the work that Bob and I did. I don't want to discredit that. I felt, as I said earlier today on "Oprah," I've been hiding. I didn't want to face the fact that this has happened again. I'm ashamed of it. But the only way that I can move on is just to kind of announce it and say, look, I did this; I fell off of the wagon. I'm not perfect, I'm a human being.

I'm going to take care of this in 2009. I think it's about healing from the inside, something I missed from the first round.

KING: Can he do it, Bob?

HARPER: Absolutely. If he says he's going to do it, Erik will do anything that he puts his mind to. You try to tell people, like I said earlier, it's a struggle. It's a day-to-day. Jillian and I have to work out. We have to make our daily plan to make sure we stay healthy and stay on track. Erik is going to have to do the exact same thing. I know, if anyone can do it, it is going to be Erik.

KING: Oprah is back on the struggle again. Watch. Let's hear from her.


WINFREY: I'm mad at myself. I'm embarrassed. I can't believe I'm still talking about weight. I can't believe, with all of the other things that I know how to do and all of the other things that I'm so great at and all of the other accomplishments, I can't believe I'm still talking about weight.


KING: Erik Chopin, do you feel the same way? Are you mad at yourself?

CHOPIN: I'm extremely mad. I'm looking at myself in the monitor now and I find myself not looking like it's the mirror at home. That's a problem. I can't live like that. So it's cleansing. I feel it's cathartic now to talk about this. I'm going to take care of it. I am.

KING: What led you to come out.

CHOPIN: I had to say -- I heard Oprah talking about it. And I was -- I just thought it was so courageous and admirable. I said, wow, she's inspiring. Look at me. I -- I'm not letting people in on it. My friends and neighbors, people that see me every day, they see it. But a lot of people out there, they think I look the way I did at that finale shot. And it's -- I have to -- I have to go back to where I was.

KING: Jillian, can he do it?

MICHAELS: He can definitely do it. Bob has definitely given him the tools, the skills, the information to do it. But, Erik, I have to ask you that question: is it worth it to you? And I think if it's worth it to you, we know you're able. You have the education. If it's worth it to you, you'll do it.

CHOPIN: Of course.

KING: Is it?

CHOPIN: Absolutely it's worth it to me. I always said on "The Biggest Loser," I want to do this for my family. I have two little girls, and since "The Biggest Loser," I was blessed with a son. He's nine months old. And if I take care -- if you start loving yourself, everything else will go in to place. It's a ripple effect. And, you know, like I said, there was some depression. And, you know, I don't want to say, I feel sorry for Erik. I don't want that at all. And that's why I was quiet about it. I wanted to heal quietly and maybe reveal myself, and that hasn't happened. So maybe by speaking about this now, I'll take care of this.

KING: A father and daughter are next, whose love for each other outweigh their love of food. Together, they lost almost 200 pounds. Thanks, Erik. Their story is next.


KING: Jillian and Bob remain with us. And now, a father and daughter who had a special bond. It included food. Meet two people who loved each other enough to lose a lot of weight. Watch.


COLEEN SKEABECK, "THE BIGGEST LOSER" WINNER: Every day I'm worried about my dad. To think about living the rest of my life without my dad or getting married without my dad, I just don't know how that would work.

JERRY SKEABECK, "THE BIGGEST LOSER" WINNER: I've been the butt of probably a million jokes behind my back. And I don't want that to happen to her, because she's no joke. She's a superstar.

I got to "The Biggest Loser," I felt for sure I was going to die.

C. SKEABECK: There's absolutely no limit now. Nothing can hold me back.

MICHAELS: Jerry, your starting weight was 380 pounds. Colleen, your starting weight was 218 pounds.


KING: Joining us now in Cleveland, Ohio, Jerry Skeabeck, the contestant from season six who lost 115 pounds. He had more health risks than anyone on the show. Weight loss alleviate many of them as well. He had a lot of problems. And Colleen Skeabeck, Jerry's daughter, and a contestant. She's 23 years old, went from 218 to 167. What made you decide to come on the show with your dad?

C. SKEABECK: For me, it not only was about changing my life, but it was about changing his life. I just knew that this was a golden opportunity for us to be headed off in the right direction. And, you know, it was. I mean, look at him. He looks amazing.

KING: What was it like to go on, Jerry? What was it like to do it with your daughter?

J. SKEABECK: It was pretty cool, Larry. We do a lot of things with our kids in our lifetimes, but this is an experience that's -- I'm beyond words. The situation that we were in -- that I was in with, my health risk, and the consequences that we had, you know, being overweight, and looking at us now and how we feel now; it's overwhelming, Larry.

KING: Jerry, I -- is it true that you had a screening and they thought you were 76 years old, and you were 51?

J. SKEABECK: Yes, sir, yes. My internal age was 76 years old. And that's enough to tear you apart when you're 51 years old.

KING: Coleen, did your father being overweight have anything to do with your being overweight?

C. SKEABECK: I think that my dad's obesity had a lot to do with me being overweight. I mean, I learned my eating habits from my dad. I remember being a kid and him bringing home fast food and always having a quick fix meal, because with his job as a police officer, he was always on the go. In to my adult life, I moved out and always looked for a quick fix for a meal, and the pounds just packed on, all from not planning in advance.

KING: Is it tough, Bob, to work with relatives?

HARPER: No, I actually enjoy working with relatives, because you can get really to the bottom of things. You can find out where the child learned their traits, what they learned from their parents and being able to fix that. Parents really need to come together and help their children much more than what's happening right now?

KING: Same for you, Jillian?

MICHAELS: I definitely prefer to work with people one-on-one. With that said, Bob is right in this particular instance, as well, because Coleen and I discussed how a lot of times children will become like their parents in many different ways in order to hold on to them. And I think that she was becoming her dad. She identified with him. This was how she could keep him close. And we had to find a different way for her to be close with her father.

KING: How, Jerry, is your health situation now?

J. SKEABECK: Well, at the finale, Larry, I'm 52 years old and the doctor found out that my inside is 52 years old. So that's a great feeling.

KING: Do you have every confidence you're going to keep this off?

J. SKEABECK: I have no choice, Larry. This is a battle for my life. This is my change of my life. And I have no choice but to keep it off and get even stronger at it.

KING: Coleen, are you tempted?

C. SKEABECK: I'm constantly tempted. I mean, every single day I run into temptation. But I honestly think of that first day, when I stood in front of millions of Americans in my sports bra and spandex, and I just don't want to go back to being that girl. I was really unhappy. I love the person I've become, and the person I'm becoming. So I never want to go back there, even with the temptations. You have to learn to fight them off.

KING: Jerry, you were sent home, weren't you, originally?

J. SKEABECK: Yes, I was. I left on the third week, Larry. I had a torn hamstring, and I had a weight gain where we fell below the yellow line.

KING: How did you get back?

J. SKEABECK: Well, I ended up working out at home. And I -- some trainers at home. And Jillian's loving care and some great leadership on the medical staff, and we were able to take off 115 pounds for the finale.

KING: They seem to have it down, Bob?

HARPER: I think so. They look fantastic. I think Jillian and I both are both very proud of what they've been able to achieve. Coleen looks like a movie star.

C. SKEABECK: Thanks, Bob.

KING: Go ahead, Coleen.

C. SKEABECK: What's that?

KING: I'm sorry. Was this a difficult one for you, Jillian?

MICHAELS: You know, you asked me during the break if I'm ever wrong about a contestant. Jerry has proved me wrong. And his success -- we would e-mail back and forth every week about where he was at and what was going on. I was just like, you are bringing --

KING: You didn't have faith in him?

MICHAELS: I was worried about him. I'm not going to lie, I was very concerned.

HARPER: He had so many health issues.

MICHAELS: He put it in my face and was like, watch this, and took off 115 pounds.

KING: Congratulations, Skeabecks, we're proud of you.

C. SKEABECK: Thank you.

J. SKEABECK: Thank you.

KING: Jerry Skeabeck and Coleen Skeabeck. Your questions and comments in our live blog report, pound-for-pound, a great web feature in 60 seconds. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Let's check in with our own David Theall, who's even dropped a few pounds himself. Looking great, David. What's on the blog?

DAVID THEALL, LARRY KING LIVE PRODUCER: Thank you very much, Larry. We've got a couple of comments for you and we also have a question for you. This, I'll tell you, is happening, of course, on the blog, As always, when you go to the website, look for the live blog link, click it, and join our active conversation going on right now.

Some of the comments we received, Larry, one is from Don. Don said "I truly hope the contestants recognize the gift they've been given. I would have given anything," says Don, "to have a team helping me lose my weight."

Larry, we also heard from Tammy, who dropped by the blog. She said something that really caught our attention and also really got us to thinking. She said, "mark my words, with a down economy, tighter budgets, and stress levels up over these things, we're in for a few years of people sliding into unhealthy escapes and fattening waist lines."

Larry, we also got a question on the blog tonight. It comes in from Jennifer. She's asked: "what kind of follow-up is available to the contestants from the trainers and the producers of the program?"

KING: Oh, well?

MICHAELS: We have our -- that's the backbone for both of us.

HARPER: They have our phones.

MICHAELS: E-mails. They know where we live. They've stayed with us.

HARPER: We try to give them a safe place, because we can't be there every single step of the way. But they know that they can come to us when they feel like they are being tempted.

KING: Thank you. Thanks, David Theall, for staying on top of our blog. You can blog in any time. Now, double weight trouble for a set of twins that led them to the winner's circle. We're going to meet one of them when LARRY KING LIVE returns.



KING: You know, you often hear that twins stick together through thick and thin. It's true for our next guest. He got fat with his twin brother and he got fit with him too. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JIM GERMANAKOS, "THE BIGGEST LOSER" WINNER: I look forward to getting back to where I can look in the mirror and say, hey, my wife is a pretty lucky girl.

BILL GERMANAKOS, "THE BIGGEST LOSER" WINNER: My life has changed for good, forever, new healthier way of life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your starting weight when you first started training with Jillian was 361 pounds. Your current your current weight is --


KING: Joining us from New York is Jim Germanakos. He's the winner of season four. With his twin brother Bill, he lost 186 pounds. What do you weigh now, Jim?

GERMANAKOS: Plus or minus, I'm about 220. I've changed my regimen from weight loss to more weight lifting and body building. My weight right now is very maintainable. This is my college lacrosse playing weight right now. I'm really happy to be right where I am.

KING: Has your life changed?

GERMANAKOS: Everything has changed. I'm a professional police officer. Even not only at home, but at work, it's just become so much easier to be the person I'm supposed to be. At home, I can do more with my kids. At work, I can do more. As a matter of fact, I accomplished one of my lifetime goals by completing the New York City Marathon in November. Trying to keep my fitness level well and still spending a lot of time in the gym, trying to do -- trying to do what's best for myself.

KING: How is your twin brother?

GERMANAKOS: He's doing great. He's says hello. He's sorry he couldn't be here today. Bill's regiment of Bikram yoga and swimming and cardio, he's keeping his weight off. He's a solid 200 pounds. He looks great. He's traveling the country, speaking on health and wellness. He's just doing great.

KING: Is it hard to keep it off?

GERMANAKOS: It's not as hard as you think when you follow the plan, when you follow the resources that were not only available to us, but are available to everybody. They're out there, "The Biggest Loser" books, the fitness videos, the idea of keeping a food journal, the idea of keeping your calorie count and doing your cardio. You know, use the resources that are available to you and it's not as hard as you think.

KING: How well did Jill and Bob do for you guys?

GERMANAKOS: Jillian was a godsend. Bob as well. I didn't get a chance to train as much with Bob. I only spent five weeks on the campus with Jillian. I ended up doing most of my weight loss at home. Every -- everything that Jillian taught me while I was there and since -- she has been very available to me. Any time I have a problem, I call and say, Jill, what do I do? She always comes through with the right answer, it seems.

Yes, she was a godsend and I'm really happy that I was able to have "The Biggest Loser" to save my life and help me with my family.

KING: Are you and your brother competitive with each other?

GERMANAKOS: Yes. I think that if we weren't so competitive with each other, we wouldn't have done as well as we did. When I was home, I was more concerned about him coming home, and then competing with him for that real cash prize, because I won the at-home championship. He ended up staying as a finalist, and winning the grand championship.

KING: So you experienced quite a physical transformation. What about psychologically. Are you different?

GERMANAKOS: The biggest thing for me was to put myself first. Before -- you think by putting your family first or the other things around you first that that's the right thing to do. When you realize that you have to put yourself first, then everything else around you will follow. By putting myself first and doing this for myself and getting back into shape makes everything around me better. More time with the family, being able to do more at work, and being able to experience life like I'm supposed to.

KING: Congratulations, Jim. It's great seeing you doing so well.

GERMANAKOS: Thank you very much, Larry.

KING: Jim Germanakos, winner of season four. His twin brother, Bill, by the way, lost 186 pounds. Can Bob and Jillian help you? The tough luck trainers are back with us with some advice when we return.


KING: I don't know either. We're with Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper. From our blog, Nicole writes, "I weigh 350 pounds. It seems impossible. Where do I start?"

HARPER: I'm sure it does seem impossible. But it is absolutely possible. I've sat with a girl on our show this season that weighed 350 pounds. And it's about what you can do day by day. The food choices that she makes at lunch tomorrow, being able to get more steps in today. That's going to get the ball rolling for her. You can never give up.

KING: Frieda from Maine writes, Jillian, asks this of you: "when you go home, how do you cope with the old temptations? How do you walk away? Do you need counseling to get past the mental addiction to food?"

MICHAELS: I am a huge proponent of counseling. My mother is an analyst. I've been therapy since I was five, as Bob has heard again and again. With that said, I think support and internal exploration is critical to being successful and, in the long run, keeping the weight off. You've got to do the inside work. So, yes, I would definitely explore that. I recommend it highly. And I hope that, Frieda, you do go on and do that for yourself.

KING: Johann from Allentown writes, "is it possible to lose weight and/or maintain weight without the monotony of counting calories. I just want to eat healthy and look good without all the constant planning and counting."

HARPER: Unfortunately, you're going to have to start counseling calories at first.

MICHAELS: Bless you. Thank you for telling the truth.

HARPER: You have to. Americans don't know the proper portion size anymore. It's like, you've got to be able to count the calories and see exactly what you're eating. People always want to say, I never count my calories and I lost all this weight. I'm like, well, I've been doing this show for seven seasons now and we have to count them, because people just don't know what to eat or how much to eat anymore.

MICHAELS: People are always looking for some sort of quick fix. It's like, I don't want to count my calories. Really? I didn't want to go to work today, but I did. You have to put the work in.

KING: This obesity tragedy in America starts in childhood. More kids overweight in America than any other country.

HARPER: Absolutely. That's where it is now. Adult onset diabetes is happening younger and younger. Heart attacks are happening younger and younger.

KING: Does this make you pessimistic?

MICHAELS: No. We're never pessimistic.

HARPER: Never.

MICHAELS: No. I think we're extremely hopeful. And just the change that we've seen in America from the show has been so inspiring and brings meaning into our lives, pushes us to do more and stick with it.

KING: The success of the show, then, doesn't surprise you?

HARPER: Absolutely not. I told Jillian from the first day of season one -- I looked at her and said, this show is going to be big and around for a very long time.

KING: I mean, seven years?

HARPER: Yes, seven years.

KING: Who'd have thought it? HARPER: Season seven is our biggest one.

KING: Think you can go ten?

HARPER: Without a doubt. Without a doubt. You'll be seeing us for a while.

MICHAELS: He will. I don't know if I will. I want to drop this season. This one's going to put me six feet under.

KING: Thanks for a great hour. Thank you for arranging all of us. Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper, the co-hosts of "The Biggest Loser." And Bob's book is "Are You Ready."

Tomorrow night, the president and Laura Bush. What would you ask them? It's their final exit interview. So go to our blog,, and tell us. I want to remind you that we'll be live for the next two weeks from Washington, D.C. starting tomorrow night. We've got some great shows lined up before, during and after the inauguration.

We'll see you tomorrow with the president and Mrs. Bush. And we'll see him in Washington, too. Him being Anderson Cooper and "AC 360." Anderson, look forward to seeing you.