A Conversation with The Biggest Loser Runner-Up Rudy Pauls
On Monday night, Rudy Pauls set a Biggest Loser record for the most amount of weight lost in a single season of the NBC reality series -- 234 pounds -- for about thirty seconds, before Danny Cahill edged him out with a 239 pound loss. Although Pauls lost out on the $250,000 grand prize, he still left less than half of the size of his original frame and with a consolation prize of $50,000. Not bad for the eastern Connecticut engineer, who at 6'4 was the first player this season to lose 100 pounds. This afternoon, Movieline caught up with Pauls as he readjusted to a 70-hour work week to discuss his plans to gain back some weight (the healthy way), the other trainers he bonded with and those sadistic producers who snacked on cookies a few feet away from him.
Congratulations Rudy! How does it feel to have lost over 50% of your body weight?
I feel incredible. It was a goal since day one to beat the season record of 214 and I held the record for all of about thirty seconds so that felt great. You know, 234 pounds, 52.94% of my weight, that's amazing for anybody. Everybody on this show, all sixteen contestants just had incredible weight loss.
What are your goals to keep the weight off? I imagine that you would loosen up on the exercise and calorie restriction a little, right?
Well, the same plan kind of. What we do on the show is a little more extreme than most plans. At home, you're definitely allowed to eat more calories and your workouts don't have to be as intense. So that's going to be nice. I'm going to take a little bit of a break and then make my workouts more weight-related and cardio-based. So hopefully, I'll actually end up putting on a little bit of weight and get myself settled in at about 225 or 235 before spring comes. And then sometime in March, I want to start prepping for triathlons. I'm going to go heavy in the training again. I did one in October that was a sprint and want to get involved in some longer distances this year.
Sounds great. It's still pretty soon after the finale but do you have plans on keeping in touch with any of the other contestants?
Definitely. Some of my best friends are on the show, Danny being one of them. Actually I already talked to him today. It's been a whirlwind for him after winning with all of the interviews he had to do for a few days. He's on his way back home so I'm happy for him in that aspect. Alan, who was my rock and a good friend of mine, I will definitely keep in contact with him. We're all trying to see when we can see each other again so I'm sure there's going to be a lot of communication between me and the people on the show.
Do you have any way of reaching out to Bob after the season ends?
I'm sure that I have a friend in Bob and that we will keep in touch whether it is texting or emails for a long time to come as well. Bob is definitely the kind of person who cares and wants to see you succeed. I'm sure he'll be here for me, especially if I'm struggling keeping it off.
Do you have any plans yet for the $50,000?
I actually just recently found out that the second place prize existed. [Laughs] So I don't know. Most likely, it'll just be taking care of bills that got out of hand while I was gone and make life a little easier. I don't know, it's something my wife and I need to think about. I'll probably definitely put some away for the kids for college savings. No new vehicles or anything crazy.
I read that you're already going back to work next Tuesday?
Yes, I'm back in on Tuesday. Just like it was before I was on the show. I'll be back in my normal schedule. If something else arises while things sizzle down, if I have other opportunities, I'll look into them and see if it's something I want to do. Right now, my guarantee is at the plant with my job so I'm going to stick with that as long as they're still giving me a paycheck and I can take care of my family.
There have been a few previous contestants who have become trainers or motivational speakers. Are you interested in following that same path?
I enjoy talking about health and fitness, especially nutritionally because that's what got me through my time being home. It's something that I'm already pursuing. I'm trying to get some certifications in training as well as nutrition. The more I educate myself, the better I'll be able to help others in the future. We'll see. I don't have anyone banging on my door to see if I want to do anything now. If it comes along and will not make my life crazier since I'm already working 70 hours a week. If I can find a balance, I'd definitely love to continue helping other become healthy because through that, you find a path to your own wellness.
I'm really curious about the craft services on Biggest Loser. Usually, production crews complain about gaining weight because there are just tables of M&Ms, brownies and any other kind of fattening food you can imagine, readily available. Does Biggest Loser not have that problem?
No, sadly they do have that. Occasionally, we walked by it. They don't put it out in front of us all of the time but I'm telling you, story producers, they're out there with their coffee and their cookies, interviewing you while eating them.
That sounds like torture.
No, it's part of the learning experience. It's what you have to learn. We're all there to become healthy and if that one cookie is going to tempt us enough to back away from what we've been doing then we've made bad choices. Even during the times when we were able to go up to the craft service table, production never stopped us if we wanted something. But watching most of the other contestants, we'd go up and we'd grab a piece of fruit or a hard boiled egg. We'd stick with our diet . Those temptations go after awhile. I think if most people sat down and ate a healthy meal on a regular basis, they'd acquire a taste for healthier food.
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