Biggest Loser‘s Joelle: I Missed a Workout to ‘Uphold My Civic Duty’
After bringing back teammate Carla Triplett to the Biggest Loser Ranch, Team Silver’s Joelle Gwynn had a tough week culminating with a zero-pound weight loss. Unable to convince the rest of the Ranchers that she wanted to be there, the votes were cast and one message was clear: It was Joelle, not Carla, the show’s heaviest contestant ever, that the others felt deserved to go home. Months later, a reunion intended to rebuild a broken friendship ended abruptly when the two women could not agree on how to move past their failed partnership. At home in Detroit, Triplett, 36, and Gwynn, 41, have been working separately to achieve their weight loss goals and have already lost 87 and 57 lbs., respectively! In a phone interview, they spoke about their broken friendship and Joelle’s decision to miss a workout and leave the Ranch. –Rebecca Gross
What motivated you to go on the show? J: I was watching season 3 of the show eating a Double Filet-O-Fish combo and an apple pie. There was a gentleman that I dated from college on the show and he looked fantastic. He dropped 95 lbs. I contacted him and we talked. I was really motivated because that year I was really considering gastric bypass surgery. I asked Carla to audition, and the producers loved her sparkle and shine and we got an immediate response. It was really to save myself from gastric bypass.
How long have you known each other and how is your friendship holding up since returning home?C: I’ve known Joelle for two years. I still consider her a friend and have reached out to her many times but I don’t know how she feels. J: Carla and I were actually more of acquaintances. She did suggest for marketing purposes that we put ‘best friends,’ but we are still interacting in the same way that we did before and we are still working on achieving our goals; we are just doing it separately. I didn’t want to come on the show and do drama. There were some things that were said publicly that were hurtful, but sometimes relationships are rocky like that. The end result is that we benefited so much: we’ve gotten rid of high blood pressure, diabetes. There are victories here.
What does your routine consist of at home?C: I work out between six to eight hours a day. Pretty much just cardio and weight training. Once I found out I was on this show, I took care of what I needed to do to get the time off of work and since I still have that time available, I’m going to utilize it until I go back. J: For me it’s a combination of not only the cardio and weight training, but I’ve been doing kick-boxing, which I love because it helps get rid of stress. I do Pilates, yoga, spinning and swimming. Doing it with the toning and the cardio helped me with muscle. I think not so much weight loss is gone, but it’s really helped me with toning up and inches coming off.
Joelle, looking back at your time on the Ranch, do you think you ever gave up or didn’t give it your full at times?J: No. I think I went through tremendous challenges and any time that you try to grow, you’re going to have peaks and valleys. Now dealing with the challenges between my personal team and the outside team, I tried to stay on the high road and keep quiet about those. Maybe my weak point was not speaking or interacting, but the focus of this opportunity was losing weight and I challenged myself to do that.
Carla, did you think that Joelle had given up in that last week?C: I think that she worked hard to bring me back and when I got back, I think she may have given up a tad bit. Her workouts weren’t as vigorous as the week before and everyone noticed it. And there were times when she wasn’t on the Ranch because she decided to do other things. So, yeah, I think she did give up a little. J: Now if I can just say that I didn’t know you were speaking specifically of Week Six. Week Six was a special week– it was election week. I had submitted my absentee ballot prior to that and had found out that it been messed up. What you may not be aware of is that I had to make a decision that the producers and cast did not like. I chose to uphold my civic duty and leave to go vote. It was a historic moment for my community.
READ MORE: Biggest Loser Recap: Joelle & Carla’s FalloutBravo