Trae Patton/NBC
January 27, 2010 12:00 AM

Hello, all! I really like the format of this blog, so I will continue to answer your questions then recap and offer my opinions on the episode. If any of you have any other ideas or thoughts, let me know!

Last week Erin asked what contestants do during the off time. Well, there really isn’t much off time as contestants are encouraged to hit their minimum caloric burn for the day. For me, that would basically take the entire day until about 9:30 or 10 p.m. Other contestants would hit their burn earlier and would play cards, watch a DVD on the computer, write letters, clean their room, use the hot tub or go swimming. Towards the end of the season when there are fewer contestants you might be lucky enough to get off the Ranch and work out with Bob and Jill in one of their favorite workout places. I personally loved the off campus workouts because I was able to see how strong I was becoming and it really helped me overcome my fear of working out in gyms. I used to be afraid to go to the gym because I wasn’t in shape! Sounds weird, I know, but I cared too much about what others would think. After a workout with Bob or Jill, we would normally get some food at one of my personal favorite fast food places, Koo Koo Roo (it’s a West Coast thing). It’s like a healthier version of Boston Market. On a side note, Biggest Loser Chef Devin Alexander has joined forces with Koo Koo Roo, so I am sure the food will only improve.

Derek and Lee had a little conversation going and I wanted to chime in! Lee, you asked about motivation and advice on how to take off the weight. Biggest Loser can offer the motivation and get them interested in weight loss and living a healthy life. Only that person can then take the motivation and turn it into a habit. Like track star and politician Jim Ryun once said, “Motivation is what gets you started — habit is what keeps you going.” For me, when I was on the Ranch then home for 30 days, then ranch, then home before the finale, it all came down to having one habit that set the tone for my day. Every morning I woke up and ran for an hour. Once I established this pattern, everything else fell into place. Derek, you are allowed to have a love/hate relationship with the show because everyone is entitled to an opinion. I will say that weight loss is something that can be done at home — my mother did it. When I left for California she started her own journey and lost about 100 lbs. in less than 8 months. You are right: contestants are not that special. We are ordinary put in an extraordinary environment, trying to change our lives. It does make for good television though!

Now onto this week: Jillian is a weight loss queen and she called Melissa‘s bluff. The one thing I will say that I did notice is at the weigh-in Melissa lost 11 lbs., but Lance only lost 6 lbs. To me it seems like they are playing a seesaw game. One week one partner loses a lot and the other only loses a little. Lets see if next week Lance loses a ton and Melissa just does OK. Either way, the Red Team is very strong.

This pop challenge — what a game of luck! Allison mentioned the Presidential Mile. It’s the road that you enter once on the Ranch that goes around the mansion, the Biggest Loser house and dorm rooms. I found it pretty funny that the Red Team won another challenge with a twist. If I had to give out a 2-lb. disadvantage, no elimination vote and a no access to gym pass, I would have put everyone’s name into a hat and left it to chance, except for the elimination vote. I could see why they gave Michael that pass, he was frustrated with everyone in the house for telling him to push a little harder.

I could only imagine the hostility in the house with the Red Team and Green Team. It was apparent that something was wrong. Sometimes contestants have issues with each other but because production is not always on the Ranch, things can be missed. Either way, we got to see some drama this week!

Migdalia is now at home with her family and seems to be coming along OK, but I can’t help but wonder if she has any regrets. Do you think she has regrets? I can’t wait to see her at the finale, hopefully with her husband. I hope he is doing well overseas as we know that is a battle in itself. –Tara Costa

Tell us: What did you think of the episode? Is Jillian right about Melissa’s weight loss? Will there still be tension between Red and Green? What has been your biggest struggle that you have overcome?Trae Patton/NBC

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