Contestants are often eliminated on The Biggest Loser because they were not working out enough. Roy “Santa” Pickler says he was had the opposite problem.
Pickler says he was “doing workouts off-camera and when the groups weren’t together and often before the [trainer] workouts started in a day,” he told reporters on Wednesday. “I think that led to the group suspecting I wasn’t giving it my all when in reality I was just tired.”
Even though Pickler lost nine pounds at the weigh-in, he was sent home in a unanimous vote over other teammates who had loss much less weight.
“I’m an engineer by education and in an engineer’s mind that’s a logical approach,” Pickler said of his vote to eliminate Kimmy, who had lost only 4 lbs. “But it was obvious that as we went through other eliminations that I don’t have the same line of thinking as the rest of my team members.”
The Red Team cited Pickler’s “distance” and the fact he was “distracted” as the reasons he was sent home – a perception Pickler says was all a misunderstanding.
“Two weeks prior to getting voted off [my wife] Chris and I both had emotional meltdowns and we went off and worked through our personal issues. It strengthened our marriage,” he explained. “Had [the team] known that they probably would have understood and I probably wouldn’t have been voted off when I was.”
Pickler, 63, first became known as “Santa” in his Middlebury, Ind., community after playing the role at the local Boys and Girls Club.
“That was my excuse coming onto the Ranch,” Pickler said of his weight gain. “I could always eat because I was building the Santa persona.”
Pickler has now lost 92 lbs. and is basking in the support of his community as he continues his journey to portray a “healthy Santa.”
“Every time I go for a bike ride or a run or walk I get people honking and waving,” he said. “It’s a big lift for me to be seen in public working out.”
“Santa” is also looking to get more involved with the local Boys and Girls club and is developing his own outdoor adventure camp for kids. “Kids have too many negative distractions nowadays and it’s just my way of giving a positive intervention in their life,” he said.
He hopes to start the camp this summer after he and his wife weigh in at the finale.
“I’ve learned that if you really give it your all that you may fall flat on your face but when you get back up you can show the world what you’re made of,” he says of his time on The Biggest Loser. “That’s what life is all about. We don’t need hold ourselves back. Ever.”