Starting weight: 328 poundsEnd of Week 9: 250 poundsTotal loss: 78 pounds
Previous Weight: 261 LBSWeight Loss: 11 LBSCurrent Weight: 250 LBS
After losing my best friend Francelina at the weigh-in, all I wanted to do was crawl into my bed and lick my wounds. But of course, the beautiful and dramatic Alison Sweeney informs us that our night is just beginning. One more person will be leaving the ranch. That's right! This week is about facing your fears and one person is about to take on the fear of leaving the ranch. They will be taken to an off-campus location and have to spend the week away from the trainers, the gym, and the other contestants. The person who leaves the ranch will be determined by a pop challenge.
The challenge is a "save your neighbor" challenge. There is a picture of each contestant on one side of the court and a stack of bricks corresponding to our individual colors on the other. The goal? Stack your blocks in front of the other contestants' picture. Once your picture is covered, you're safe. You can't save yourself.
Right when Alison says "go" I realize that, while scary, leaving the ranch could be a good thing. Like it or not, in a couple weeks, we all have to go home. This is an excellent opportunity for me to leave the ranch, see where I'm still struggling, and go back to the ranch to fix those problems. Plus, Francelina and I had faced everything on the ranch together so it only makes sense that we would face the fear of leaving the ranch at the same time as well.
I begin to rally against myself, begging everyone to stop stacking blocks on my picture. But no matter how much I beg the other contestants, they are very reluctant to save Gina. For almost the entire challenge, there were only gold blocks on Gina's picture. Mind you, I can hardly blame them. Last week, Gina was kind of a mess. She broke down over and over again and turned the mood in the house vial and negative. I had to explain that I wanted the challenge; I wanted to take this fear on.
I was able to convince enough people to save Gina and got my wish. I will be leaving the ranch for the entire week. I know the trainers will be angry with me, but I have to start doing things for myself. I pull Gina aside and let her know that this is the week for her to get herself together. Had I not volunteered, she'd be the one facing life off the ranch. She needed to take advantage of every second she has this week because time on the ranch is truly a gift. She tells me that this will be her week to shine and thanks me for giving her this opportunity. I sure hope she's right.
Page 2 of 4 - But wait! There's more. Alison tells us that someone has to leave the ranch with me. No wonder she was picked to host the show. Only a soap opera actress can handle this many plot twists.
Jeff immediately steps up to the plate. Jeff's girlfriend Francelina was eliminated and I think he just needed a week away from all the craziness. Plus, we are the two most fun people in the house and he knew that the real party was going to be in Canoga Park, California. And with that, our "Mancation" began.
Our week off the ranch turns out to be a BLAST! Our house is super nice (check out my instagram @jacksonwhitt to see pictures). Since Jeff spent so much time with Francelina, he also spent a lot of time with me (we're a package deal) so we were already great friends. We got to go hiking and shopping and do things like normal people again. What was supposed to be really scary and challenging actually turned out to be just what we needed to recharge. I think that speaks volumes about facing your fears. What may seem scary can actually turn into a great growing and learning experience. I encourage everyone reading this to go out and tackle your fears head-on. You'll be surprised at how well you do when faced with them.
As if stripping us from our trainers, gym and routine wasn't enough, the challenge proved even more terrifying. Dangling seven stories in the air on a small plank, we were required to hold up 40 percent of our body weight. If we drop it, our plank will be released and we will take a 70-foot tumble to the ground. Last (wo)man standing gets immunity at the weigh-in. I drop out right after Jeff and let out a blood curdling scream that I'm sure could be heard in every city surrounding Long Beach.
Gina wins and is safe at the weigh-in. And from what everyone at the ranch is telling me, she is doing a whole lot better since we left. I am so proud of her and happy that she's following through with her promise. Good job, G!!
Now, I don't normally talk about what's going on with the kids because I'm not there and can't give an accurate representation of what's going on there. But I would like to commend Sunny on the talk she had with her mom this week. She sat her mom down and begged her to start a weight loss journey of her own. She's afraid that if her mom continues on the path she's on right now, she won't be around much longer. I know first hand how scary and emotional that can be and I can't imagine doing that at the age of 16. She is such a smart, brave young girl and an amazing ambassador for teens everywhere to look up to. I couldn't be more proud of her!
Page 3 of 4 - The weigh-in is the first time Jeff and I have seen the trainers all week and right off the bat, Jillian has a lot to say about it. She said that it was stupid to volunteer to leave and she can't believe we would leave their training on our own accord. It seems like she is expecting us to fail. Jeff and I get on the scale and both lose double digits! 11 pounds for me and 13 pounds for Jeff. We absolutely rocked it.
But that still isn't enough for Jillian. She accuses me of leaving because I'm a martyr who feels like it's my responsibility to fall on the sword for everyone else. I try to explain that I wanted the challenge, but she is convinced that there is more to it than that. We get into what turns out to be a pretty heated debate that lasts a little while, when Alison tells us that everyone else still has to weigh-in and we'd have to continue our chat some other time.
Here's the God's honest truth: Had this all happened Week 3 or 4, Jillian would have been right. I have played the role of martyr for my entire life. But at this point in my life, I stopped doing things for other people and started doing things for me. Leaving the ranch was for me and it paid off. I respect Jillian and love that I had the opportunity to train with her, but to hear her accuse me of falling back into that pattern upset me. Though, I would like to apologize for some of the stuff I said in my interview, particularly that part where I said, "She just keeps running her mouth." I said it in the heat of the moment and now realize that it was kind of rude.
Despite pulling great numbers, both Alex and I fell below the yellow line and Alex was eliminated. When her at home progress was revealed, I couldn't believe my eyes! She looks so good and I am happy she is keeping up all the good work. She is an awesome girl and deserves to feel just as good on the inside as she looks on the outside.
Tune in next week to see our makeovers with Tim Gunn and Ken Paves, this year we get to go home for the reveals and show all of our loved ones just how much we have changed, on the inside and out. The Biggest Loser airs Mondays at 8/7c on NBC.