The Biggest Loser is more than a show about losing weight, coach Steve Cook insists. It's about re-establishing self-love and setting his team up for a successful lifestyle change when they return home. Ahead of Tuesday's all-new episode of the USA reality competition's reboot, the fitness trainer and body building competitor opened up to PopCulture.com about his own struggles with food over the years, and how his experiences taught him that the real transformation comes from the inside.
Having previously struggled with binge eating during periods of depression and loneliness, Cook knew that sharing his experiences with his team was key for them to see him as more than someone who "has it all figured out." He also knew that many of his team members' unhealthy relationship with food also came from emotional responses.
"They're such givers — they don't have enough in their cup for them," he told PopCulture. "If you cant take care of yourself, you can't take care of the people around you. ... [Self-care] is not a selfish thing to do. You need to be healthy both mentally and physically so you can be that person."
While the number on the scale might be what determines which contestant goes home every week, Cook said the true experience is all about the internal progress being made in group therapy and by stepping outside of one's comfort zone.
"It's a self love show," he explained. It's getting people together and really leaning on each other and figuring out how to love yourself again."
He continued, "You can lose weight, but if you're not tackling the tough issues, setting yourself up for the future, dealing with toxic relationships ... when you go home you'll gain it back."
Setting up his team with the skills both physically and emotionally to live their best lives when they get home, Cook knew that the isolated setting of the campus was a bit of a safety net when it came to dealing with real life.
"Anyone can do it for a while, but the test of time is the hard part," he said. "What happens when the going gets tough?"0comments
The Biggest Loser airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on USA.
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