The Biggest Loser

Biggest Loser's Debbie Lounds: I Don't Mind Going Home First

09/23/2011 at 06:30 PM EDT

Biggest Loser's Debbie Lounds: I Don't Mind Going Home First
Debbie Lounds, before and after The Biggest Loser
NBC (2)
No one wants to be the first person eliminated, but for The Biggest Loser contestant Debbie Lounds, having that distinction may have been a blessing in disguise.

"One advantage of being sent home early is that you haven't become so ingrained in being away from everyone and everything," Lounds told reporters after Tuesday's season premiere. "I was on the Ranch long enough to learn new ways to eat and become more open-minded about exercising."

Lounds, 60, was a member of the oldest of three teams divided by age but, according to the show's doctor, she was "one of the healthiest contestants on the show."

"A lot of them had sleep apnea, high blood pressure, diabetes. I didn't have any of those things," she said. "Considering all of us who were there, I didn't mind being the sacrificial lamb."



When her team lost the weigh-in, Lounds was the first contestant sent home – but not before verbally lashing out at her teammate Bonnie Griffin for turning on the waterworks.

"I don't think she was getting the sympathy vote; I just thought that she could have controlled her tears a little bit better," said Lounds. "It's okay to be sorry for yourself sometimes but at some point you have to grab the bull by the horns and pull yourself up."

Nevertheless, Lounds says she and Griffin – her roommate on the Ranch – still "get along fine."

"She and I talked soon after because I wasn't coming from a place of meanness," she said. "I wanted to make sure that she knew that."

A Healthy Focus

Putting the drama on the show behind her, Lounds is focused on taking off pounds by sticking to a 1286-calorie diet and exercises that have improved her balance and stamina.

"I enjoy working out more. I exercise between five and six days a week," said the senior administrative assistant, who has gotten her whole office involved in her fitness regimen.

Lounds's daughter has even joined her on jogs to help her prepare for the Biggest Loser marathon, where all 15 of season 12's contestants will compete for a spot in the finale – a Biggest Loser first.

"It's never something that was on my bucket list," she said of the race, "but it is now, and I'm going to cross it out."

Still, there is one thing Lounds is asking her friends to provide – other than moral, of course: knee pads.

"If I have to crawl across the finish line then that's what I’m going to [need]," she said. "I don't want my knees to get all marked up."

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