A FIGHT FOR LIFE
For one couple on The Biggest Loser Families losing the weight might help them fulfil their dream of having a family of their own
All she’s ever wanted is to be a mum but Tenealle Auvale was told by a doctor that she’s a “walking contraceptive” due to her obesity.
The 26-year-old appears in the new season of The Biggest Loser Families alongside her husband Johnee, 38.
They’ve been trying desperately to fall pregnant for several years but the show’s doctor Norman Swan delivered a heartbreaking assessment of their chances.
“Dr Swan told me I was a walking contraceptive,” Tenealle says. “When you’re overweight, it reduces your chances of falling pregnant as well as carrying a baby full term. So the odds of us being able to have a child was slim.”
Before the show, the office administration worker from Victoria suspected her weight was adding to the couple’s complications. They’ve endured several unsuccessful IVF attempts over the years.
Swan’s verdict drove home how bad her health had become, Tenealle says.
“I’ve allowed myself to get to this point. That’s tough to acknowledge.”
At the start of the show, which premieres on Network Ten this Sunday, Tenealle weighs in at 134 kilograms while Johnee pushes the scales to a whopping 215 kilograms.
He’s officially this season’s heaviest contestant. And the doctor’s news for him was shocking.
“The doctor told me I’m a ticking time bomb,” Johnee recalls. “Essentially he said if I didn’t do anything about my health, I’d end up in a coffin by the time I’m 50. It was confronting. I don’t want to die. I’m still a young man.”
The couple, who met at church nine years ago, are competing as a team with Johnee’s brother Moses and his wife Rina.
Fitness trainer Steve “Commando” Willis will whip them into shape. His first task is helping Johnee kick his eyeopening soft drink habit.
“I’d easily do four to six litres a day of fizzy drink,” Johnee admits. “I’m a Mountain Dew fan.’’ His other shocking food habits include fried chicken and chips for breakfast, hosting lavish family banquets of whole suckling pigs, and avoiding vegetables.
While he admits it was unhealthy, Johnee says he was pretty content with life.
“I’m a happy-go-lucky type of guy,” he says. “I looked forward to getting out of bed in the morning. I love my friends and family. Things were pretty good. The problem, though, was that my body was malfunctioning. I was always running out of breath. I couldn’t keep up with my friends like when I was younger.”
Biggest Loser Families
contestants (from left) Johnee, Tenealle, Rina and Moses with trainer Steve Willis.