Biggest Loser’s Sione Goes From Landscaping to Body Sculpting
04/09/2009 AT 12:00 AM EDT
Even a new appetite for fitness did not deter the Biggest Loser Ranchers this week from a high-calorie binge-fest that granted one lucky contestant total control of the game. Laura won that temptation -- and the power -- to send home the Blue Team's Sione Fa, 28, of Mesa, Ariz. The Tongan landscaper spoke to PEOPLE.com about his new career move as a personal trainer (Polynesian dancing anyone?), how he's managed to lose more than 130 lbs. so far, and why he ditched Jillian. -- Rebecca Gross
What was your biggest accomplishment?Physically, pushing myself to the limit was the half marathon. Up until that point, I barely got to running 2 ½ miles without stopping. Emotionally, it was the car-pulling challenge. I just realized I need to pace myself and finish strong instead of giving it everything I’ve got and not finishing, because I saw that pattern in my life a lot.
The show portrayed Ron as this big Godfather figure. Did he really command that much respect or was it played up? He was a father figure. I don’t know to what extent, but he was definitely a big influence on the show. A lot of the decisions he made stuck so you have to give it to him for either playing the game well or playing the Godfather role well.
Why did you leave Jillian to go train with Bob even though you were still on her Black Team?She’s a great trainer -- I don’t take anything away from that. I think emotionally we connected better with Bob and obviously that showed. On the Ranch, don’t realize it’s just as much emotional as it is physical there.
When did you know you wanted to become a personal trainer? And did you learn anything from Bob and Jillian that you will incorporate into your own training style?I just knew I couldn’t go back to my old life and old career, and I knew I wanted to make health and fitness part of my life forever. I learned a lot from Jillian on cardiovascular training, getting your heart and lungs in shape. And from Bob, I learned a lot of the physical strength training, but also the emotional connection. He showed us we want to be on this earth a long time and live a healthy life, not just the quick fix. I’d like to adapt these long-term goals into my training methods.
What is your typical regimen now?I’m a morning person, so I get to the gym at 7:00 am. I do strength training for about an hour and a half, then I do cardio for another hour or hour and a half. In a regular working world, of course not everyone would be able to go to the gym for about 2 ½ hours, but we are trying to lose weight and when I get to the maintenance stage it’ll change.
What is more difficult for you--the diet or the exercise?They have to go hand-in-hand. If I’m not making wise decisions with my eating, I can feel it in my workout. Food is now a fuel for me. It’s not just something that’s going to occupy my time while I’m watching a movie or because I’m bored, it’s actually something that’s going to help me get through the day or make me feel better.