Feelin’ the love

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Dvds - MARIA NOAKES

LOVE is in air. Ex­pect to see sparks fly in the sev­enth se­ries of The Big­gest Loser as 16 sin­gles from around the coun­try – in­clud­ing Tas­ma­nia’s Ly­dia Han­tke – unite to bat­tle the bulge and maybe even find love.

Whip­ping them into shape are train­ers Michelle Bridges, Tiffiny Hall, Shan­nan Pon­ton and Steve ‘‘ The Com­mando’’ Wil­lis.

In her third sea­son as host on the re­al­ity weight- loss show, Hayley Lewis says this Big­gest Loser has more twists and turns than ever.

‘‘ It’s def­i­nitely the most ex­cit­ing one I’ve been in­volved with,’’ the mother of two says.

‘‘ We’ve got a cou­ple of dif­fer­ent love sto­ries hap­pen­ing, but the main goal of the show is for the con­tes­tants to lose weight and change their lives and be­come more con­fi­dent peo­ple.

‘‘ But many of them have never been in a re­la­tion­ship and some of them are well into their late 30s and there are some who have never been kissed and they’re in their mid- to- late 20s.

‘‘ Their weight has held them back or they haven’t had the con­fi­dence to be in a so­cial sit­u­a­tion or ap­proach the op­po­site sex, but all of them des­per­ately want some­one to share their life with.

‘‘ I guess the main fo­cus wasn’t for them to fall in love with each other, it was ba­si­cally to find the con­fi­dence to go out there and find it.

‘‘ A cou­ple of them – well, a cou­ple of cou­ples – have found it within the house.

‘‘ It’s pretty amaz­ing and re­ally nice to watch ac­tu­ally.’’

The train­ers won’t let bud­ding ro­mance get in the way of weight loss. Epic chal­lenges, agonising work­outs and temp­ta­tions will push con­tes­tants to their lim­its.

‘‘ We’ve got a young boy this year, he’s 20. He did a chal­lenge the other day and it was the first race he’d ever been in in his life,’’ Lewis says.

‘‘ He went through school and just avoided do­ing [ any] type of game or ac­tiv­ity and he was quite emo­tional be­cause it was the first time he’d ac­tu­ally been part of a team. He was quite ex­cited. He said it was hard be­cause he’d never had the ex­pe­ri­ence of feel­ing pres­sure and ex­pec­ta­tion.’’

Lewis, a for­mer Olympic swim­mer, says the show has taught her to be pa­tient and ap­pre­ci­ate the sup­port she’s had through­out her life and ca­reer.

‘‘ I guess it’s made me a more pa­tient per­son when it comes to un­der­stand­ing peo­ple, be­cause most of my life I’ve been sur­rounded by peo­ple, ath­letes and coaches who were ei­ther try­ing to mo­ti­vate me or in­spire me,’’ she says.

‘‘ I’ve learnt there are a lot of peo­ple out there who have never had any self- worth or self- be­lief.

‘‘ When they come into the house, it’s the first time some of them have ac­tu­ally heard a com­pli­ment – so that type of thing is re­ally hard be­cause we all know how im­por­tant be­ing com­pli­mented is and be­ing told ‘ good job’ or ‘ you’re a great per­son’. Yeah, some­times it’s quite up­set­ting.’’ THE BIG­GEST LOSER, TDT, Mon- Thur, 7pm

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