It took Justin Pope a while to reconcile himself to being “obese.” He says he knew he was overweight, or even fat, but obese felt like a label that belonged to someone else. A starting weight of 365 pounds on Biggest Loser season 11 made Justin face that fact, as well as some of the things that just weren’t working in his life.
“I’m educated now,” says Justin. “I know what I need to do to make myself better.” He says he found himself during his 12 weeks on the Biggest Loser Ranch, a self he had lost. He also discovered the joy he gets out of helping others.
In our post-elimination interview with Justin, he talks to us about the “Justin Callout Shirts,” something he started to help motivate some friends. They workout together at 5am and 8am, and he introduces them to self-confidence, better dietary habits and a fitness regimen. He also talks to us about the key differences between training with the new trainers, Brett and Cara, versus the tried-and-true regimen of Bob and Jillian.
Justin’s tremendous success on the Ranch, losing 118 pounds in those 12 weeks, has helped him maintain his new lifestyle at home. He says that the least difficult part about his return is maintaining his diet and burning calories. “I’ve got that in check.” Where he struggles is resuming life at home, with his family. He admits to changing quite a bit as a person, but everyone else stayed the same. He says it seems as though his family is mourning “the person I used to be,” and they have to get to know the new him, even dating his wife again.
Justin was a proven leader this season, and one that fans had a hard time reading. Was he or wasn’t he playing the game? He says all the game play talk is overplayed. “It’s not nearly as big a deal as people say,” says Justin. He goes on to clarify that “there wasn’t a day I didn’t give everything I had.”