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'Biggest Loser' livin' large

Written by: Cary Castagna, QMI Agency
Dec. 14, 2012

Ali Vincent, the first female winner of NBC's hit reality weight-loss series, The Biggest Lose, is now a motivational speaker, author, and host of her own TV show, Live Big with Ali Vincent, on the Live Well Network. (Handout)


Ali Vincent is making up for lost time. More than making up for it.

Before she became the first female winner of NBC’s hit reality weight-loss series, The Biggest Loser, the five-foot-five hair stylist weighed a burdensome 234 pounds.

“I let my body and how I felt about myself hold me back in so many ways. I was walking around on autopilot not really living my life,” she tells Sun Media in a phone interview from her home in Spokane, Wash.

“I feel like I kinda wasted a good 10 years of my life.”

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But after dropping 112 pounds to win Season 5 of The Biggest Loser, which aired in early 2008, Vincent vowed she “wasn’t going to waste a second more.”

And she hasn’t.

Now 37, the native of Mesa, Ariz., is a motivational speaker, author of Believe It, Be It: How Being the Biggest Loser Won Me Back My Life, and host of her own TV show, Live Big with Ali Vincent, on the Live Well Network.

All while maintaining her impressive weight loss and continuing to find novel ways of challenging herself physically.

Just last month, Vincent completed her first Ironman triathlon. For the uninitiated, that’s a gruelling athletic competition consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bicycle ride and 26.2-mile run (marathon distance).

Vincent, a nationally and internationally ranked synchronized swimmer in her younger years, promised herself and her fans shortly after winning The Biggest Loser that she would either be married with kids or have completed an Ironman by the end of 2012.

“I thought 2012 was so far away,” she recalls with a giggle. “Then 2012 rolls around and I’m like, “Crap, I’m not pregnant. So I guess I have to do an Ironman.”

Vincent began training for the Ironman in February via an online program. In June, she recruited Denver-area triathlete Sonja Wieck as her coach.

Vincent decided on the Nov. 25 Ironman in Cozumel, Mexico — partly because of the locale’s beauty.

“I was like, “Well, if I’m going to die, I’m going to die in paradise. I’m going to go big,” she giggles.

Despite her concerns about imminent death, Vincent completed the triathlon alive and well.

“When I finished, I felt fantastic, but I was done,” she says. “I had been on that course for 15½ hours and I was just ready for it to be over.”

She’s not sure if it’ll be possible — or necessary — to top that extraordinary feat.

“During the race, I came to the conclusion that for some reason I was still in that mental state that everything had to be bigger and better than the time before for it to have value,” she explains. “And what I really realized was that’s not the case.”

Vincent admits she initially hoped the Ironman would top her experience on The Biggest Loser.

“I’m never going to have that feeling I had on The Biggest Loser because I’m never going to start out so desperate as I felt in those moments,” she adds. “I’m happy and healthy now and I love living life. I’ll have great triumphs in my life and I’ll have great things that I go for, but I’m never going to have that feeling (like on The Biggest Loser) and that’s OK.”

For now, she’s content with continuing to embrace a healthy lifestyle.

And maybe have a baby one day soon.

“I think my hips are made for making babies,” laughs Vincent, who is single. “I’ve got baby-making hips.”

Ali's health and fitness tips

  • If you’ve ever had a desire to do something, then do it. I promise you that you can do anything you want to as long as you break it down one step at a time. The key is consistency.
  • You need a support system, too. There’s going to be moments on that journey — because it’s so big and scary — that you’re going to want to quit. Your support system is there to remind you why you need to keep going in the moments you feel weak.
  • It’s not about overhauling your whole life. It’s just making little tweaks in your life that add up to the big difference and that’s a healthier lifestyle and not having your body hold you back.

 

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