RALEIGH — Biggest Loser 6 wraps up tonight with the finale at 8 on NBC. North Carolina natives and Raleigh residents Heba Salama and Ed Brantly are still on the show. One will get voted off tonight.
They'd been home in Raleigh since late August, as episodes aired. The N&O caught up with Salama late last week as she drove home from a nail appointment at Primp in Raleigh in preparation for the finale. We talked food cravings, crazy bloggers, and why Salama feels Oprah's pain.
Q: What’s something you had to give up eating but still would kill a small animal in order to eat?
A: There’s one thing proud to say I did not give up the whole time — full fat salad dressing. This whole time, I never sacrificed that. So it can be done. Cheeseburgers, sadly, are still a weakness but I try to be more vegetarian and follow Bob’s lead. Ed’s would be Chinese food. ... He sees menus or ads on TV and you can see him still salivating.
Q: What has been difficult for you to do to keep the weight off since you came home (late August) and have been away from the Biggest Loser ranch?
A: The difficult thing has been the way the weight has come off slower at home than it did at the ranch. When you’re at the ranch, you walked 100 yards from the gym to the kitchen that was only stocked with healthy food. But, here at home, from the gym (Gold's Gym at North Hills) to our house, we pass all kinds of signs and restaurants.
But I think we’ve done a really good job. We try to have kind of a high calorie meal every three or four days. Nothing ridiculous, maybe 500 calories more but it’s just something to splurge on so we both feel like normal people.
Q: Can you relate to what Oprah is going through right now after 20 years battling her weight?
A: Absolutely. I was on treadmill when I heard the announcement that she was back up to 200 pounds. It was good for me to see that because I don’t want to go back there. She carries her weight so well and she always looks amazing. But it’s also hard to recommit yourself to this process over and over again. We plan to weigh ourselves once every 10 days and to try to stay healthy, like 5-10 pounds within our range. If it creeps up, we’ll stop it before it gets out of control.
Q: I’ve read some blog posts and some folks don’t seem to like you and Vicky. I understand how blogs can go viral but how have you dealt with that? Are you able to insulate yourself from it?
A: Well, first of all, I do avoid it. I do feel like there are more positive than negative people out there. Second, it’s all editing and it’s not real and I know the truth behind all of it. Everyone on the show is friends behind the scenes. I also think out of all the things that are written, it’s a small percentage of the population that takes the time and effort to write bad things.
We have a fan page on Facebook with 500-plus people. That’s more than (trainer) Jillian (Michaels) We have far more supporters than not. I just don’t even acknowledge [the criticism0. I’m above it. People go on Biggest Loser to get healthy and lose weight. People who commend us for that get it.
It’s crazy to me that people have that much time on their hands. I didn’t even know that world existed. At one point at the beginning I did read some stuff and they were saying terrible things about the people from last season. It’s just a lot of jealous people. Otherwise, why throw stones at people from your computer? It’s ugly.