Ali Vincent appeared on season five of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” reality weight loss show and became the show’s first female winner. Once a competitive athlete, when she gave up her sport (synchronized swimming) she did not begin a new fitness routine and the pounds slowly crept on over the years. Eventually, she found her 5′5″ frame topping out at 234 pounds. That’s when Vincent decided to apply to be on “The Biggest Loser” and went on to lose 112 pounds. She recently made an appearance in Atlanta and took the time to respond to our questions about her weight loss journey.
Q. What was your biggest motivation for going on the show “The Biggest Loser” and making your weight loss journey an experience you shared with the public?
A. I had tried every diet in the world and they always worked but as soon as I quit the diet the weight started slowly but surely creeping back on. I wasn’t a fan of the ‘Biggest Loser’ because I rarely watch TV but after watching the season 3 [finale] when a gentleman name Eric Chopin lost over 200lbs, I was mesmerized by what I saw in him. He was a different man full of confidence and pride and I wanted to feel that way. He was a different man when he punched through the life size poster of himself at the finale, than the guy who first stood on the ‘Biggest Loser’ scale during that first episode. I was tired of feeling bad about myself and I saw this as an amazing opportunity to turn my life around, thinking of doing it on TV honestly didn’t really connect until the season started to air.
Q. Were there ever any moments where you feared you would fail to reach your weight loss goal? How did you overcome such obstacles?
A. ABSOLUTELY! I think every day the first time I was on campus I was terrified always thinking, “what if I am the first person who can’t do this?” I was so disconnected with my body and so used to just accepting what I felt like life was dealing me, I had lost all confidence in what I knew in my heart of hearts I was capable of. It all started to change one minute on one minute off, of the treadmill that was. In each new minute I was able to do I knew I could do another one. I started to feel accomplished and my confidence started to grow as I nurtured it through small goals. I realized that if I just concentrated on the goal at hand, I could do that. In the long run all my small goals added up to the big goal and not only was I able to regain control of my body and my life, I became the First Female Biggest Loser, which I am extremely proud of.
Q. How have you been successful in keeping off the weight?
A. I have been successful at keeping my weight off because I changed my relationship with it. I am always going to be a girl who has to stay conscious in my choices and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I made a lifestyle change and lifestyle implies a choice. A diet has a start and an end, my life is everyday.
Q. Are you on a specific diet? Please share your favorite healthy eating tips.
A. Yeah it’s called BALANCE. I eat anything that I feel like eating, I just do it differently. I will grill instead of fry, I will use wheat or sprouted grain breads instead of white, I choose non-fat, I drink a lot of water instead of only Pepsi, I use small plates. I enjoy finding healthier ways to eat my favorite foods. One of my favorite sayings that I love to remind myself of every time I make something is “If I can’t taste it, don’t waste it.” What that means to me is I’m not going to waste 80 calories for a slice of cheese in a beautiful sandwich loaded with hummus, sprouts, tomatoes, peppers, avocado and turkey but if I feel like tasting cheese then I make a little quesadilla and the calorie value is worth it.
Q. For someone just beginning their own weight loss journey, what advice would you give them?
A. My biggest piece of advice is that if you change nothing, start writing everything down and become conscious of your choices. Before the ‘Biggest Loser’ I had no idea the calorie value of anything yet alone what I was eating everyday. Keeping a journal on your food intake, activity, and emotions through the day allows you to become present in your life. By starting here you will be amazed and start making changes without ever really going on a diet.
Q. What’s your favorite part of the Mind Body Sole tour?
A. My FAVORITE part of the Mind, Body, Sole tour that I am on with Famous Footwear is really truly just being a part of something bigger than myself. I love meeting the hundreds of people throughout our country that are choosing to be the change they want to see. So many of us have the same feelings, come across similar obstacles, and have big WINS in our lives we just need to start sharing them with our communities and each other. I remember feeling so alone before I started this journey and what I have realized is that I was never alone I just never gave anyone the opportunity to be on my team to support me. I love that Famous Footwear is really helping their customers know that they are not alone and that every big journey starts with one step. Famous Footwear is absolutely about providing the best and always looking for latest, highest quality SOLES (:)) out there for us, their customer.
To learn more about Ali Vincent and buy her book, “Believe it. Be it,” visit AliVincent.com.