06/05/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Inspiring The Biggest Losers


We all know the show The Biggest Loser. But did you know that a pilot program is taking the show regional? America is slowly realizing that fad diets just aren't cutting it and even if they work temporarily, most people put the weight right back on. People need a lifestyle change that allows them to change the way they eat, exercise, and think. Over 2/3 of Americans are overweight and 1/3 are considered obese. It is estimated by our government that 1 in 3 children born today will have diabetes. The CDC says that the cost of obesity is around $174 billion per year. Diabetes alone will bankrupt our country in a short period of time.

It is obvious that this country needs a drastic change and Symtrimics has partnered with the pilot regional Biggest Loser program to take on the task. Symtrimics has put together a weight management program for contestants that is the diet world's equivalent of the "all-inclusive vacation". Symtrimics provides scientifically verified disease risk reduction, energy, vitality and true cellular health for your patients. They deliver a Physician Prescribed Wellness Program supported by clinical trials and a Fortune 500-type marketing program that results in improved patient and community health.

The Biggest Loser program combines exercise trainers, dieticians, doctors, supplements, Glycemic Index education, and a motivational component. I was extremely honored when Dr. Kelly Sennholz--noted wellness doctor--invited me to share motivational tools and advice with the contestants on weekly phone calls.

Dr. Sennholz and I want the contestants to recognize that they are the Olympians of weight loss. I recently worked with the 2010 winter Olympians on overcoming hurdles and distractions, being motivated by personal goals, and developing the confidence to handle pressures. These skills parallel perfectly with the issues that the overweight contestants are struggling with.

In the first week of the Wichita Biggest Loser program, we discussed the importance of developing long term goals and using these objectives to keep them on track. This activity is, in fact, one that we used with the current winter Olympians to help them on the path to winning more Olympic medals than any country in winter Olympic history. The second week I talked to them about building their confidence by focusing on the small victories they've had. As a point of comparison, I shared how I had to build my confidence after a spinal injury left me doubting if I'd ever compete again--giving up a lifelong goal of winning an Olympic gold medal. And this week we are talking about remembering passions to help contestants enjoy the process and their overall lifestyle. Throughout the upcoming weeks, I hope to change contestants' outlook about diet and exercise through tools similar to those found in my new inspirational book, When Turtles Fly: Secrets of Successful People Who Know How to Stick Their Necks Out.

These contestants are going through some drastic changes and it's important that they have the proper frame of mind to handle the challenges they will encounter. I understand that weight management is one of the biggest hurdles Americans face. It all starts with the motivation and belief that a healthy lifestyle is possible. It's been inspiring to see that the same tools that helped me win an Olympic gold medal can be used to help bring people an overall positivity about weight loss.

Symtrimics' program has been wildly successful offering people a program that is cheaper than Jenny Craig and physical-run weight loss programs and proposes more sustainable results. With this type of success, we will likely see Symtrimics rolling out more regional Biggest Loser programs within the year.

My experience of working with the Biggest Loser contestants has inspired me to leave motivational diet, health, and wellness tips at the end of all of my blogs. These tools will be driven from the actual advice shared in my weekly motivational sessions. To kick this off, let me share the first tip: Write your goals down and keep them in your pocket to encourage you to stay on track when you are presented with obstacles or temptations.