Let’s just assume “The Biggest Loser” trainer Jennifer Widerstrom doesn’t sit down that much.
Yes, she’s a former “American Gladiator.” You may remember her as Phoenix with the pink hair. Or you may know her from leading a routine in a “Women’s Health” video. Or any of the work she’s done with the Goodwill Military tours, visiting troops in Kuwait, Iraq, and Korea.
She keeps pretty busy, and obviously, pretty fit. She knows not only how to shape and reshape her own body, but others as well.
“I’m think I’m only about five pounds lighter than I was on ‘American Gladiators,'” Widerstrom tells Zap2it. “There’s a way to train to create muscle [that large], and then a way to train to do the opposite thing. For me, being healthy is more important than looking good naked, and part of what makes me feel healthy is feeling strong, feeling connected, feeling balanced.”
A big part of creating the shape she wants is nutrition — not just workouts. She’s committed to keeping the engine clean. “I try to eat more green stuff now. I’d be really good and then be really bad. Now I’m more consistent. Like for lunch today, I’m going to get a vegetarian wrap with lettuce, where before I would have gotten a fried chicken sandwich and fries … because that’s the way I feel today,” she says. “I’m more connected with putting better food in my body.”
What about her “choose love, not fear” motto, which has become a fan-favorite? Widerstrom lives that daily, not just in the gym.
“It’s interesting, because in the moment that it happened with Gina [in episode 1] I was sharing a tool that I use every day. I’ve been taken back by how deeply it’s connected with people, but essentially, it’s so easy to get in your own way.”
“Are you afraid of failing? What’s really the fear? That you can’t do it? But what about if you come from a place of love, of loving your sport, your progress, and out of that love, attempt it. The fear will be there no matter what. Acknowledge that the fear is there in whatever situation, and then you’re empowered. Then it’s ‘what else can I accomplish?'”
She continues, “In the gym setting, it was about getting Gina to touch the medicine ball. But once she finds success in the gym, she then realizes maybe she can have a difficult conversation and so on … and then what else is possible?”
“What we do in the gym gives us practice for the hard moments outside the gym.”
Obviously, working through the fear with love is working for her white team. No member of the team has gone home yet during the first three episodes.
“It feels good to be successful,” says Widerstrom. “We’re in the right head space. I’m teaching them tools for fitness and wellness that transcend into life. I just keep telling them to be stable, and be confident, and forward moving.”
“If one of my guys wins this thing, that would be cool. I’d be smiling ear to ear and probably jumping,” she says. “But the bigger prize for me would be seeing these guys one year, two years, past this season, and seeing them successful with their lives. That to me is what ‘The Biggest Loser’ is about.”
Check out Jennifer’s white team in action, in this clip from episode 3:
“The Biggest Loser” airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.