Specializing in the Busy Woman's Weight Loss, Nutrition and Lifestyle

Strong Healthy Woman Blog

My Client On The Biggest Loser (Dramatic Weight Loss)

The shocking 155 lb drop in weight from this week’s winner of The Biggest Loser has caused quite an uproar. Her skeleton like appearance has people worried about her health, and the fate of this television show. (See pic below.) The finale left many people wondering if this is safe and if it is reasonable for the “average” person?  biggest loser rachel Strong Healthy Woman

There is one key fact to keep in mind here however, this is a show that gives a hefty pay out to the person who loses the most amount of WEIGHT.

The is NOT a show that gives an award to the contestant who is the strongest or the most fit. The person that takes home the prize at the end is not necessarily the one who has worked through their demons to mentally and emotionally transition from a life of self hate to one of self love.  This is simply a weight loss competition.

Women in the real world shouldn’t readily expect to lose 155 lbs, they won’t have a team of medical/fitness people following them, and the carrot at the end of the stick WILL NEVER BE $250,000!

Does this mean it is not possible? Not at all my friends!

Let me introduce the REAL Biggest Loser here, my client, Danielle. She has lost a total of 45 lbs since we started working together in November. But that’s not even the best part of it all.

Danielle and Laura Miranda after training

Danielle is a determined woman who actually saved for 3 long years to go to the Biggest Loser Ranch in California (not televised) a few years back. She has been overweight her entire life. After suffering the loss of her mother at a very young age, she grew up receiving very poor examples of how to love and take care of herself. Like a lot of women do in the face of trauma and hardship, she turned to food and perfectionism.

During her time on the Biggest Loser Ranch, Danielle lost a ton of weight! But despite this incredible feat, she still had (and has) a lot of work to do. Just like the show on TV, the journey at the ranch was focused on one “pass or fail” measure: WEIGHT.

While weight is a valuable measurement of progress for a training and healthy eating program, by NO MEANS does it make up the entire picture. It’s possible to find yourself on an extremely slippery slope when you are conditioned to view your daily self worth (and success/failure of workouts and eating habits) through a number on the scale.

Like most women, Danielle too was in desperate need of learning that REAL short and long term success is based on changing long held beliefs and habits around personal mindset, self worth, triggers, behavioral patterns, numbing of pain or stress, and social-emotional pressures, to name a few. (<– No bathroom scale can ever measure this work.)

How can you expect to change your entire life (for good) if you have only 2 tools in your pocket: eat less and exercise more?? You can’t. With this mindset life simply becomes an emotional yo-yo like roller coaster of weight loss & weight gain.

Needless to say in the year after leaving her 2 month-long stint at the Biggest Loser Ranch Danielle gained a lot of the weight back, and sank deeper into a depression.

IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE DISCLAIMER: Let me be clear. I am not in any way against the work that is done with The Biggest Loser. In fact, I fully support it! No other program has been capable of bringing  about a national conversation about weight loss and exercise. It makes me happy as a fitness professional that Americans are not only willing to watch the show consistently, but that they are also anxious to engage in their own Biggest Loser challenges at home and at their jobs.

So when Danielle finally found me on StrongHealthyWoman.com in November of 2013, she asked me for what every client that I have ever worked with thinks they need most: help with exercise and a good diet plan. And, as I think you are starting to get the message here, focusing on those two aspects is NOT the most important priority. Never is.

Don’t get me wrong. A whole hell of a lot of effort is put towards daily training and eating clean. Duh.
Danielle Strong Healthy Woman Biggest Loser
But the majority of what I help Danielle integrate into her life and her DNA is this one fundamental concept that not enough fitness pros out there talking about. >>>>

Losing 5 lbs is no different than losing 100. The most important tool in both cases is to develop an unwavering belief in yourself that you CAN do it and that you are WORTHY of being happy. This belief is what is going to get you started, but most importantly, it’s what’s going to KEEP you going when SH#% gets HARD!

Without digging deep to cultivate a strong belief in your own self worth, even the best workout and diet plan in the world will fail.

MAJOR KEYS to Danielle’s ongoing LIFE transformation:

I. Mindset & Motivation Overhaul:

Define Your “Why.” Every single day I ask Danielle to verbalize her main goal; THE reason WHY she is doing all of this.  Her “WHY” is to “fall in love with myself and be a confident and proud woman!!” (HELLLLL of a lot better than striving to be a “size __” or “weigh ___lbs” , wouldn’t you say? I’m sorry, but those reasons wouldn’t get me up in the morning!)

Believe In Yourself.  Belief in yourself is the armor that protects you when the shit hits the fan and all of the little negative voices in your head start shouting “I told you you couldn’t do it”, “you’re going to be the fat kid forever!”

You can lose 50, 60, or 200 lbs by using ANY diet & exercise program. But if you never change the way you view food, fitness, and your own self worth throughout the process, chances are when the going gets tough, you will fall right back to your old habits that made you gain the weight in the first place.

Record and Celebrate All Incremental Victories.  Women have a habit of downplaying their own success. You need to OWN IT, baby! No matter how small or how large, ANY behavior or thought process that is handled in a different way than before, should be acknowledged and written down. Success is defined as the process of noticing your daily victories and rewarding yourself for the small achievements. Big successes are the summation of daily incremental victories!


Danielle StrongHealthyWoman

Re-Frame Food As FUEL. Food =  fuel. It is not a pick-me-up,  a reward for a bad day, nor is it a reward for a good day! Food is an essential piece of the transformation process that will build muscle and give you boundless energy for your workouts and for your busy life. You are an athlete, you need to eat like one. When food is re-framed as “fuel”, it loses the addictive power that it has over you.

Identify The Critical Moments. How will you change your behavior if you don’t even know when you are most susceptible to giving in to your vices? This awareness allows you to create healthy alternative strategies for these critical moments instead of playing “clean up” once the damage is already done.

Use Bad Days As Feedback. The mere understanding that ups and downs are all part of the game is, well, a game changer. Instead of using what went wrong as an excuse to self sabotage or beat yourself up, view it as a way to grow and learn for your next time at bat. Remember, YOU are not a failure; the behavior you chose failed.

 Laura Mirandas success reminder

II. Exercise & Eating Overhaul:

Strength Training 3 times a week via SHW Personal Training.  Weight – moderate to heavy using the concept of “progressive overload!” Training is varied every day with the use of all of the goodies – intervals, Tabata, HIIT, olympic lifts, functional training and GAMES!

Cardiovascular exercise 2-3 times a week.  Workouts are new every day in order to keep it fun and prevent the dreaded plateau! All workouts utilize a heart rate monitor for maximum efficacy. Examples – agility training,  running, biking, walking, dance class, intervals on treadmills/bike/elliptical.

No processed/chemical laden foods. If it has a label or it is in a package, it is off limits. Danielle focuses on adding a variety of foods that are new and exciting like high fiber carbohydrates and grains, lean protein, fruit, tons and tons of veggies, healthy fats from nuts, avocados, flax and chia seeds. Drinks only come in the form of unsweetened tea, club soda with fruit or water.

Meals are planned a day in advance. As a full time law student, Danielle doesn’t have time for much. Planning and prepping helps her avoid last minute binges and the will power trap!

Take a Grocery Shopping tour. We walked through the grocery store as I hammered home the fundamentals of healthy food, how to avoid the common traps and misconceptions, and how best to stock your cart for maximum results!


LEARN, LEARN, LEARN. GROW, GROW, GROW. It NEVER stops! This lifestyle overhaul for Danielle and for every Strong Healthy Woman is an ONGOING process. No one just wakes up one day with all of the information downloaded into their brains. You cant expect to just “get it” once and POOF you never have to struggle again.

What you CAN expect is that every time you fall and have the willingness to get back up and keep going, every time you take both the success and failure of the past and apply it to future change, you gain THAT MUCH MORE knowledge and experience to tackle what’s ahead.  What does your willingness look like?

Boot Camp Tribeca NYC

Be > Yesterday,

Laura Miranda MSPT, CSCS
NYC Fitness Freak & Physical Therapist Technique-Geek
StrongHealthyWoman.com BOOT CAMP & TRAINING


Laura Miranda Fitness Trainer, Physical Therapist NYC



Facebook Comments

Comments are closed.