Here’s an exclusive Q&A with cover girl and OC4 coach Jen Widerstrom.
Now that you’re in Colorado, do you ski?
Not once! Are you kidding? I have never been. I would fall down and be weird. I would have to go hire some very kind, patient ski instructor to take me down the hills a few times. I also don’t have any free weekends. It is great to be busy, but work definitely directs the sails on the fun stuff you get to do.
How many seasons were you on The Biggest Loser?
Two full seasons over the course of three years. Now we have been on hiatus for two years.
Why did the show go on hiatus?
It was a combination of things. First of all, Bob [Harper] had a heart attack, which was so unexpected. He is such a pivotal and critical part of the show that it literally can’t exist without him. Also, the show needs to evolve if it is going to be relevant. As you know, it is not about getting on the scale and losing “weight.” You have to account for muscle gain and bone density and water weight. If the show is willing to come back with an evolved point of view on how to measure success, it would be relevant. People ask when the show is coming back all the time, and as of now, I have no idea. The sad part for me is that here is a show that changes lives, and not just the ones on the screen. This is a story so many people connect to, and you don’t have to be 400 pounds to connect with someone going through a hard time or loss of a parent or a divorce. The show lets people feel less alone and less unique in their struggle.
What is your advice for people who don’t know how to start exercising?
It is tough. A lot of people ask, Why don’t people just start? It is because they don’t believe they can be successful. And how embarrassed are they going to feel saying, Hey, I am starting this challenge, then they quit after four days or four weeks. What are people going to say about them? What people need is support in the beginning. They need someone to believe in them. Then what starts to happen, bit by bit, week by week, is that they start to take ownership and start to believe. Evidence of their success and progress makes them believe, and now we have established trust and they have built trust within themselves.
What was the last thing you did that scared you?
Maybe this is lame, but I did a remote skit with Conan O’Brien and Kevin Hart a while back, and I was so scared! I mean, they are comedy greats — come on! I was supposed to train them in a partner workout, but the producers told Conan and Kevin to do the opposite of everything I said. They were out of control! I thought I was going to ruin the whole thing, so I was shaking and nervous. That five-minute skit scared me more than The Biggest Loser live finale on TV!
What was the last movie you saw?
Thor: Ragnarok. So good! I would love to do that superhero thing. Put me in some of those leather metal garbs on a horse next to Wonder Woman — I want to be one of those superheroes!
What alternative sport do you like?
Before I left LA, I did kickboxing and I really miss it. I love when I can be a student and learn. My coach in LA is so good — and he is also hot and Australian, which is a nice motivator! But kickboxing is really fun and a great sort of meditation for me. It pushes me out of my safe zone.
Now in its fourth year, The Oxygen Challenge 4 has helped thousands of participants all over the world transform their bodies and their lives. This summer, we are bringing you two of television’s most celebrated experts: Jen Widerstrom of NBC’s The Biggest Loser and Karina Smirnoff of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars!
So what are you waiting for? Start transforming your life and body now.
Join the challenge today!
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