By People Staff
Updated October 11, 2007 12:00 AM
Credit: Photo: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC; Adam Kaloustian

You knew it had to happen–the Black Team would have to go to the elimination room sometime. In week five, it came on the heels of a week’s ‘vacation’ in Jamaica. Upon returning to the Ranch, everyone posted good numbers at the weigh-in but they weren’t good enough for Jillian’s squad. In the end, 40-year-old Long Island police officer Jim Germanakos got the strategic boot (fellow teammates wanted to split up his alliance with his twin, Bill). However, Germanakos has turned his ouster into a whopping 135 lb. weight loss–he is down to 226 lbs. from a starting figure of 361! Jim spoke with PEOPLE about policing, new uniforms, and the donut myth. –Cynthia WangIs police work different with more than 100 lb. less of you around?I can move better now, it’s like I just got out of the police academy. When I was heavy and I was dealing with a bad guy, my tactics would have to be different. I feel really good now. I feel much more confident. I feel safer. Just the idea of going over a six-foot fence or running down the block is much easier now.

How do your fellow officers react to seeing you now that you’ve lost so much weight?Well, it’s amazing since this started, how many police officers have told me how I’ve inspired them to get back in shape, too. One of the fun things for me is that now the cops that have gained weight in the past few months or year have come to me for my old uniforms! So it’s like, ‘Jim, do you have a big old jacket I can borrow or have because I grew out of mine?’

Was it easy to motivate yourself at home to workout? Jillian is so tough on the show.When I came home, my train of thought was, ‘I’ll show them they were right, that they were right to vote me off because I can do it at home.’ My wife is there pushing me. The other thing that’s been a tremendous help to me … is the Body Bug. The one that we have has a counter and we can also go on to the Web site and put in a food journal. You really have to know what’s going into your mouth to learn what to burn. It’s calories in and calories out.

What has been your proudest accomplishment so far in regard to weight loss?I actually found my equipment belt that I started my police career with! And when I got out of the police academy, I was probably 250. So when I found my old equipment belt from 15 years ago–the new one you saw on the episode was a size 52 and all three of my kids could wear it at once–I had to pop new holes in it to make it smaller, so that was really fun for me to do!

So you are busting the myth about cops and donuts.I am involved in an Adopt A Cop program where all of the fourth-grade classes in town are assigned a police officer. And inevitably once I meet my new class every year, the first question is usually either ‘Have you ever shot someone?’ Or, ‘do you eat donuts?’ I try to explain to the kids that the reason why police officers got a reputation for being in Dunkin’ Donuts is because we are there all the time for the coffee! I actually am not a donut fan. The problem I had was pretzels. I would rather have pretzels than donuts, but I’ve given up both for this process!

Photo: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC; Adam Kaloustian