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The Biggest Loser Season 11: Exclusive Interview with Dan Evans

Posted on 01/24/2011 by Gina in The Biggest Loser and Cast Interviews

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by Gina Scarpa


Last week on The Biggest Loser, brothers Dan and Don Evans shocked everyone when they each put up a +9 on the scale at the weigh-in.  They couldn't explain the weight gain but it was clear that both were prepared to leave the ranch and continue their journey at home.  Bob and Jillian accused them of throwing the weigh-in on purpose in order to be sent home but both vehemently denied any wrongdoing.  Today, we spoke to Dan in an exclusive interview about the reasons he came to The Biggest Loser and the surprising weigh-in that sent him home.


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: What made you and Don decide to try out for The Biggest Loser?
A. Dan: The real catalyst for each of us resulted from personal issues with our families, specifically, our children. Don's son, Paul, sincerely feared his father would die because of his obesity. After months of unsuccessful attempts to motivate his father to lose weight, Paul adopted a "tough love" approach in an attempt to force Don to lose weight. He ostracized Don, refusing to have any contact with him. Obviously, this adversely affected Don's wife and daughter. His family was "fractured." Don believed The Biggest Loser program was a way to heal his fractured family.

At the same time, I was having difficulties dealing with the negative aspects of my own obesity. In 2004, my 24-year-old son, Adam, died. A few weeks prior to his death, I overheard him talking to a friend about my weight loss efforts. He didn't know I heard his comments and the conversation was otherwise unremarkable, but as any father would, I felt a real sense of pride when I heard my son "bragging" about me. Since his death, I have gained that weight back. It is a constant source of personal disappointment to me. Discussions with Don about his estranged relationship with Paul, intensified my sense of disappointment. Even though Adam is gone, I will always be his father, and I should always want to make him proud of me. I believed I owed it to his memory and to myself.

While contemplating these issues, I found myself increasingly concerned about my difficulties interacting and recreating with my 8-year-old daughter, Madelyn. Because of my weight, I was unable to do the things with her that I had done with my son when he was her age . . . like . . . ride a bike, swim, ski, or even play at the park. To Madelyn, my weight was not an issue. She had never known me in any other physical condition. Still, I felt I was not the father I should be.

Don and I knew we had to do something to solve the family problems created by our obesity. Don had to repair his fractured family. I had to honor the memory of my son and be a better father for my daughter. When The Biggest Loser open casting call came to Oklahoma City, we believed it could be a solution to our problems. We were right!

Q. Gina, RealityWanted: Was there any part of you that wishes you had trained with the "unknowns"? Do you think the experience would have been different for you?
A. Dan: For me, the only benefit of training with the unknowns would have been the guarantee of one additional week. Since I know very little about the unknown trainers, I can only speculate, but I don't believe the experience would have been appreciably different.

Q. Gina, RealityWanted: Watching the show, you must know that Bob and Jillian always try to get to the heart of people's issues. Were you prepared to talk about how you dealt with the death of your son on national television?
A. Dan: Yes, I was prepared to discuss his death. It was one of the two motivating factors in my Biggest Loser journey.

Q. Gina, RealityWanted: What happened at this week's weigh-in? You and Don both said you didn't know how you gained 9 pounds but it was clear that people thought you threw it so that you could go home.
A. Dan: It's difficult to imagine how we could have made a sufficient number of mistakes cumulatively, whether it's hydration or food or whatever, to negate any weight loss we'd had that week, plus add 9 pounds. That would equate to a significant intake of food and gallons of liquid. I'm not sure of exactly what went wrong, but I can tell you that we take full responsibility. Since returning home, I have remained steadfast in my attention to diet, hydration and exercise. In doing so, I have lost another 59 lbs for a total weight loss of 74 lbs, over 25% of my initial body weight.

Q. Gina, RealityWanted: Did you worry that Irene would keep you and send your brother home instead?
A. Dan: No, I was confident Irene would include our wishes in her decision-making. However, I did comment at the time that if she had decided to send Don home instead of me, I would not have been angry. We had given her the "authority" to make the decision for us. We were responsible for delegating that authority to her. Accordingly, any outcome would ultimately be our responsibility.


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: You told everyone that you were serious about losing weight and you have done an amazing job at home! What did you change about your lifestyle when you returned home?
A. Dan: I developed significant stamina and physical abilities at the Ranch. I was also well educated on nutrition. I integrated the training and experience from the ranch into my home life. I continued eating healthy meals. I monitor my food and hydration on a daily basis. I exercise one hour in the morning before going to work and one or two hours each evening. I run, or jog, a minimum of five miles each day. On weekends, I run/jog eight or ten miles daily. I participate in Cage Fitness classes, a combination of calisthenics and kick-boxing, 2 or 3 times a week. I also do weight training a couple times each week. Although it seems like a lot of activity and expended time, it has actually become very routine and doesn't adversely impact my schedule. Before I went to the Ranch I didn't realize how much time idle time I wasted. I'm also pleasantly surprised at how much I actually enjoy my workouts and how much I miss them if for some reason I miss a workout session. I'm doing things I haven't been able to do in decades. I'm honoring the memory of my son and being a better, more active father to my daughter. I'm a better husband. My new lifestyle has had a positive impact on family, friends and co-workers who have demonstrated a renewed interest in diet and exercise. My wife has lost 16 lbs since I returned home.

I suppose the short answer is . . . I changed almost everything about my lifestyle and made it better than I could have ever imagined.

Q. Gina, RealityWanted: What did you learn from being on The Biggest Loser?
A. Dan: I learned how to live a completely new life style. I learned how to prepare healthy nutritional meals. I developed the stamina and endurance to complete a regimented exercise program on a daily basis. I learned that motivation is temporary but commitment is permanent. I learned that I was capable of doing so much more than I thought I could do.

Q. Gina, RealityWanted: Do you have a goal for finale night?
A. Dan: I actually have two goals for finale night. First, I would like to show Bob, Jillian, my fellow contestants and the Biggest Loser fans that I successfully completed my Biggest Loser journey at home. This is especially important since both Bob and Jillian believed I could not succeed at home. Second, I would like to win, or at least be a serious contender for the "At-Home" weight lost contest.


The Biggest Loser airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC.

(Image courtesy of NBC)



Follow Gina @ginascarpa

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