'The Biggest Loser': Danny plans to stay brown, go shopping -- and get back in the gym
There is a moment in Danny Cahill's tryout tape where he looks directly into the camera and promises NBC that if he's chosen for "The Biggest Loser" he won't just win the title -- he vows to become "The Biggest Loser" ever.
See kids, that's called goal setting. And Danny said it was crucial to his win Tuesday night when he swept the Season 8 title and set an all-time record for the show by losing 239 pounds, or 55.58% of his body weight, more than any other contestant has ever done.
Below, you'll find highlights from Danny's conference call with the media this morning, during which he busted Jillian for eating cheesecake, discussed his plans for indulging over the holidays, and revealed how he feels about his newly brown hair.
But before we get to that: In a cruel twist of the numbers Tuesday night, it appeared that Rudy lost out on $100,000. After all, he lost 234 pounds, or 52.94% of his body weight, and while that wasn't enough to beat Danny, it would have been more than enough to beat Rebecca. (She won the $100,000 "at home" prize by losing 139 pounds, or 49.82% of her body weight.) But, this just in from the show: Rudy gets $50,000 for his second-place finish, and Amanda will get $25,000.
Now, back to Danny:
--Danny said he won the $250,000 prize by being boring. He, like all the other contestants, left the ranch to continue his weight loss journey at home. But Danny continued living like he was still under Bob and Jillian's watchful eye. "I did exactly what I did while I was on the ranch.... I was a stickler about what I put in my body."
-- He may consider surgery to deal with excess skin. "I do foresee that in my future," he said. But first, "instead of losing weight, I want to go back into the gym and lift some weights" and see where that leaves him. Then he'll decide whether to pursue surgery.
-- He said he has fears about regaining the weight. He has long struggled with his weight, and said that when he was a teen, he lost 75 pounds over the course of one summer, and kept it off for eight years. "Then, I gained it all back plus another 150 pounds." It will be different this time, he said, because he plans to stay diligent. One way he plans to do that: His wife has also lost about 60 pounds, and the two plan to have weekly Saturday morning weigh-ins in their bathroom. "We're going to be accountable to each other."
-- The best thing that happened to him was when rival teammates sent him home for a week, in the hopes that he would fall off his diet-and-exercise regimen. Instead, he lost 15 pounds. "That was really the beginning of the spark in me. I really turned the corner that week.... Week after week, that fire ... it just seemed like it started getting hotter and hotter."He also rejected criticism that the show pushes contestants too hard, potentially jeopardizing their health. "I am so much healthier now," he said, adding that he has been able to ditch all the medications he was taking before showing up at the ranch.
-- He is still at a loss as to why he gained all the weight in the first place. But he has an inkling that it was because he had the wrong assumptions about what it meant to be a dad and father. "I lost myself years ago.... I decided it was time to put away my dreams and start a family and raise a family. I didn't realize I could do that and still dream at the same time.... I look back at all those years, wasted."
-- He said his new-found physique is allowing him to be a better father. He plans to take karate classes with his son, and the pair have been busy camping, rock climbing and just playing in the woods. Another sign of how things have changed: In the past, it was his wife's job to put the Christmas lights up, because a ladder couldn't handle his weight. "This year, I'm putting the lights up."
-- Some of that $250,000 will go toward buying a new wardrobe.
-- Danny and Liz will remain buddies forever. In fact, Danny said he is flying Liz in next year so that she can help him plan a ceremony at which he and his wife will renew their vows. (One of the three-hankie highlights of this season was when Liz passed up her prize -- a video from home -- and gave it to Danny as a surprise. Danny thought he was joining Liz to watch her video, when up popped Danny's own family. It was a much-needed boost that helped Danny keep his head in the game.)
-- He plans to have a glass of eggnog, and a Christmas cookie this holiday. "But I'm not going to have a plateful of Christmas cookies and a half a gallon of eggnog." He credits Jillian with helping him learn to strike this "balance": When Jillian met him at home to see how he was progressing, he broke down and began expressing his fears, concerns and frustrations. What did Jillian do? Took him to get a slice of pizza. He recalled her saying: "I'm not telling you to never eat pizza again. Just don't eat the whole pizza." Danny also spilled the beans on Jillian, saying that while he was eating pizza she was further illustrating her point by eating a slice of cheesecake with fudge and caramel on top!
-- His new year's resolution is to get back in the gym. And he's not waiting until Jan. 1 to start. He said that he is wrapping up press obligations and will be back at home on Friday, and will spend an hour in the gym. "For the next 30 days, except for Sundays, I will spend an hour a day in the gym every day," he said, and use that commitment to start to map out a new schedule for himself in the weeks and months ahead that will allow for him to balance work, family and working out. He added that he will continue to push himself. "I don't want to get back to where I'm comfortable again, I don't want to let myself get comfortable."
-- He's not going back to the salt-and-pepper look. His new brown locks were part of makeover week, and although Bob didn't like it -- "What has happened to your salt-and-pepper?" the trainer asked when Danny got back to the ranch -- Danny's 10-year-old son told him, "I think it makes you look good, dad."
And that settled it.
Brown is in, Danny said: "It makes me feel young, makes me look young."
On Twitter @renelynch
Photo credit: NBC Universal