Ben explains why he asked his team to send him home on the show's first episode

By Jessica Herndon
January 10, 2012 12:15 PM
Credit: Chris Haston/NBC

Last week, Ben Shuh of Howell, Mich., was the first contestant to go home on season 13 of The Biggest Loser. Not because he was the contender least likely to succeed or the biggest threat. He asked his team to vote him off.

“I underestimated it would be so hard to put someone’s name down and vote someone off,” said Shuh, 34, during a conference call after his departure.

Additionally, Shuh says the splitting of the teams, one of each joining the team of either trainer Bob Haper or Dolvett Quince, upset him a little because “I could potentially send my brother home.”

Still, asking to leave so early while others, including the brother-sister duo Adrian and Dephne Dortch, were forced to go home before, has the potential to cause an uproar.

“I can only do what I felt was best for me and my family,” Shuh, who has nine kids and one on the way, said in his own defense. “You can’t please everybody and I did not take the opportunity lightly.”

Firm about his ultimate goal to “win back my health and fitness” the retail manager says he learned a great deal during his time on the Biggest Loser Ranch, including enough to keep striving for his goal of losing 150 lbs. “I’d be okay with 220 or less for the rest of my life,” says Shuh, who started the show at 396 lbs. and left 15 lbs. lighter.

Ditching the excuse of not having enough time to work out, Shuh says he now spends about two to three hours a day doing cardio, weight training and circuit training. “I work out in my home gym,” he said, “and after dinner my wife and I take a two mile walk through my subdivision.”

And, adds the former wrestler and football player, “I’ve started to get the competitive juices flowing again. I feel like I can do it.”