Olympic weightlifter Holley Mangold says she doesn't feel cheated out of more time at "The Biggest Loser" ranch.
In fact, she's feeling quite grateful on this Thanksgiving Eve.
Holley came up short at this week's weigh-in, losing only three pounds despite embracing running -- something she hates -- in a big way and running at least six miles a day several days as part of the grueling workout regimen at the ranch.
The effort would show up shortly after her elimination, when she arrived home and stepped on the scale to discover she'd lost 10 pounds. But on the only scale that mattered this week, she showed only a three pound weight loss, and it resulted in her elimination.
The shocking turn of events seemed to hit her trainer, Bob Harper, the hardest. He was moved to tears, and doubled over like he'd been punched in the gut. (Producers probably weren't happy, either. Holley had been invited to join the show along with "American Idol" winner Ruben Studdard, and his weight loss was also less-than-spectacular this week.)
It was no secret that Bob had big hopes for Holley (and still does) and never thought she'd be staring down elimination at this point in the game. He never really considered her when he mulled over how to best use his one and only trainer save. So it was a save that he used just last week.
It all led up to this question for Holley during today's media conference call: Did she feel cheated?
"I don't feel cheated at all," she said. "Everything worked out wonderfully. It was a good time for me to leave the show."
Holley, who has lost more than 90 pounds after starting the show at 351 pounds, said she told Bob early on that she did not want him to use the save on her. She said she never had any plans to stick around long enough to win the show. She just wanted enough time with Bob, and to mull over a new strategy for her personal and professional life. And she says that's exactly what she got.
As weird as it sounds, Holley said, she was afraid to lose weight. As an athlete, she'd been rewarded for so long for being so big, with so many around her equating her size with strength. She feared that losing weight would mean losing power and ruin her goal of medaling at the next Olympics.
"I had a very hard time accepting... that I can lose weight and it is not going to ruin my career."
She said that thanks to Bob, she now knows the opposite is true: "I know I can lose weight and still be a medalist in Rio."
Holley said she cannot explain her lack of weight loss at the weigh in. "I worked my butt off that week... It was shocking because I ran so much."
She said she hasn't missed a step since returning home. "As soon as I stepped off the plane I was back in the gym lifting. I got to dive right back in."
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