Fit families fight on
The challenges don’t end with the final weigh-in, TBL Families host and former contestant Fiona Falkiner warns.
SHE’S no stranger to doing the hard yards, so when glamorous TBL Families host Fiona Falkiner warns this year’s crop of contestants the hard work is just beginning, you’d better believe it.
As the reality weight loss show edges towards its finale, Falkiner, who has played host on screen, and occasional motivator, listener and supporter off-screen, offers advice from someone who has been there.
“The challenges don’t end when the show does,” Falkiner says. “It’s just that you’re the one setting them, not the trainers.”
Falkiner, 32, is living proof of the benefits of that advice. Since appearing as a contestant on The Biggest Loser in 2006, she has continued her transformation, and this year added TV host to her CV alongside her job as successful plus-size model.
Falkiner made the final four in 2006, and says she is not just paying lip service when she states that those who carry off the three main prizes on this year’s show are not the only winners.
It’s her response to criticisms that the show exploits and humiliates the overweight for entertainment.
“The point is these people are, for many of them, getting a shot at life,” she says. “They are getting a shot at health, and at tools they can carry with them for the rest of their lives – to me there are only positives. And you don’t need a cash prize to benefit from that.”
Falkiner says her own journey continues, and her work on the show this year was at times bittersweet.
“I was a little daunted going in but from day one it’s been fabulous,” Falkiner says.
“Personally, it was a reminder of how far I had come since, and how it changed my life.
I obviously wasn’t in the house with the contestants, but there were plenty of opportunities to have a quiet word, offer encouragement, listen to their stories and be able to share my perspective.”
Ironically, one of the hardest parts of the show for her to watch also became one of the best.
“The most difficult thing to watch was the Pestell family tearing themselves apart early in the series. The best thing was also watching them heal and come together,” she says.
“It’s seeing ‘I can’t’ become “I can’, and that’s what anyone on the show takes out of the house.
Also, the challenges start once they are out of the house.
“This group are lucky in one way because, given that this is a family format, they are ahead in terms of support once the show is over. “They have people who were actually there in it with them. “For me, in 2006, I was coming out alone – not in terms of support – I had that from friends and family – but in the fact that they had not been there with me. I think that’s a great thing for this year’s crop.”
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