Chopin wins "The Biggest Loser" 3 shedding over half his weight
Erik Chopin must be wondering exactly what kind of mysterious magic or blessing that has been bestowed upon his Long Island, New York deli shop. Before his high-profile appearance and eventual success on Season 3 of the hit NBC reality television series "The Biggest Loser," one of his employees won a $1 million prize in the New York State Lottery--TWICE!
When his fortuitous employee at Emma's Deli and Catering returned to work the next day after winning the lottery for the second time in four years in early 2006, Chopin exclaimed prophetically that "good things happen to good people."
Indeed they do because now REALLY good things are in store for Chopin, 36 from West Islip, New York, after Wednesday night's dramatic conclusion to the junior season of "The Biggest Loser." This special third season of the show featured contestants from all 50 states vying to lose the most weight as a percentage of their starting weight to become the next "Biggest Loser."
50 "Biggest Loser"contestants--over 14,000 pounds when they began!
When he began his journey on the famous ranch weighing in at an all-too-familiar 407 pounds (I was 410 when I started my low-carb weight loss journey in 2004), Chopin went on to lose a record-breaking 124 pounds on the show itself.
But although he was the "biggest loser" with the cameras on him, that did not mean he would necessarily lose the most weight when he went home and it came time to return for the live season finale because he had some rather stiff competition to face.
There were supposed to be four finalists out of the fifty contestants, but one of them got an unexpected surprise--A BABY! Heather, 36 from West Bountiful, Utah, actually became pregnant when she returned home from the ranch. The producers at "The Biggest Loser" decided to shower her with a complimentary nursery for her second child because she had gotten so far in the game. CONGRATULATIONS, Heather! That baby's gonna have a very healthy and fit mommy now. :)
So the real competition for Chopin came down to the other two contestants.
Kai, 27 from Eagle River, Alaska, looked absolutely fantastic after starting off on "The Biggest Loser" weighing 262 pounds. She lost 77 pounds on the show and dropped another 41 pounds to lose an astounding 118 pounds becoming the gretaest "biggest loser" female in the show's history. Her petite 144-pound body was so gorgeous to see as she showed off her 45.04 percent weight loss. She won $50,000 for coming in second place.
Next up was the charismatic Wylie, 40 from South Beach in Miami Beach, Florida, who was disgusted that his starting weight was 307 pounds. His goal was to be able to walk on the beach without his shirt on. Through his hard work on the ranch, Wylie lost 90 pounds before going home and losing an additional 39 pounds for a total weight loss of 129 pounds. When he stepped on the scale (shirtless of course!) and it read 178 pounds, that represented an amazing 42.02 percent weight loss for Wylie. He won $25,000 for coming in third place.
So how about the eventual champion of "The Biggest Loser" 3?
Erik started at over 400 pounds and lost nearly one-third of that while on the show. But it is what happened when he returned home to lose weight on his own that will have people talking until Season 4! Although he looked far better when he walked away from the ranch at 283 pounds than when he started, imagine the surprise on everyone's face when they saw him in the season finale. The man looked like a stick he had gotten so thin!
Erik Chopin saved his life by going on "The Biggest Loser"
When he stepped on that gigantic scale for the final time and the numbers click, click, clicked into place with a big 1-9-3, you knew this was the latest winner of "The Biggest Loser!" Another 90 pounds lost for a grand total of 214 pounds that are gone forever--a mind-boggling 52.58 percent weight loss in about nine months. WOW!!! Simply incredible, Erik! YOU GO BOY! He earned $250,000 for being crowned "The Biggest Loser" of Season 3.
Of the 34 contestants who were sent home during the early elimination phase of the show, nine of them were able to experience triple-digit weight losses. Outstanding! Plus, the collective goal of all 50 contestants was to lose over 4,000 pounds by the end of the show. When they all stepped on the scale during the season finale, the total weight loss added up to 4,281 pounds--that's 85.6 pounds lost per person! WOO HOO!
Life is about to get hectic for Chopin who will have to decide what he is going to do with his newfound fame. Perhaps he can ask his double-the-luck, lottery-winning employee about what to do. Incidentally, that employee decided to stick around at the deli to help out the business until her boss was finished with his experience on "The Biggest Loser" this month. Well, that could be awhile now that Erik will be doing the media tour thing, but I bet she won't mind. :)
I'm happy to see the success of "The Biggest Loser" has continued with new products designed to help people in their battle against obesity. I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed with Season 3 and did not watch it as often as I did in the first two seasons. I don't know if it had anything to do with the absence of trainer Jillian Michaels or what, but I just couldn't get into it like I did when Ryan Benson and Matt Hoover won in Seasons 1 and 2 respectively. Nothing against Bob Harper or Kim Lyons, but it just didn't excite me this time.
Nevertheless, the fact that a show about weight loss can be commercially successful is a positive sign in a culture that can't seem to figure out why they are so fat. Whether people like the show or not, "The Biggest Loser" is making a difference because it proves an undeniable truth about humans--success at anything is indeed possible when you put them in the right circumstances and provide them with the proper tools and guidance to acheive. Adro Sarnelli, who won the inaugural season earlier this year of "The Biggest Loser" in Australia alluded to that in my exclusive interview with him. There's no reason why ANYONE with a weight problem can't be as succesful as these contestants on "The Biggest Loser" have been.
So, do you think you have what it takes to be on this amazing show? Get a taste of my review of the official application for "The Biggest Loser" and then go download the application to be on "The Biggest Loser" 4! If you are obese and have the will and drive to turn your life around, then give it your best shot! You could be the next Erik Chopin! GO FOR IT!
12-15-06 UPDATE: Wanna read more about Erik Chopin's unbelievable weight loss? Are you interested in finding out how he and the previous winners of "The Biggest Loser" did it? And you'll NEVER believe what he was willing to do to lose weight just before "The Biggest Loser" called him to be a part of the show. CLICK HERE to find out more about the latest "Biggest Loser!"