The Biggest Loser, Season 15 – Episode 12 Recap

NBC’s The Biggest Loser is back for its 15th Season, and the OurSkinny team is here to recap Episode 12. The remaining 8 contestants spent the week in Park City, Utah at the Utah Olympic Park, and OurSkinny coaches Nathan Mikeska and Brandy Wall had lots to say about losing weight while traveling.

OurSkinny Recaps Season 15 of NBC's The Biggest LoserLast week, we found out that The Biggest Loser would be headed to Park City, Utah for the week in order to train like Olympians.

After twelve weeks, some of the contestants are in fantastic shape. Others, not so much. All of them, however, have gotten into the spirit of competition. Trainer Bob Harper is concerned, however, because “When we are traveling, weight loss is rough. Someone is going to have to plus, because that’s what happens when we travel.”

Bobby, newly returned to the show, makes the point that he’s recently spent some time at home. The show provides a controlled environment; “Reality is a very different experience.”

Prepare to Win
Although we haven’t seen them training for it (no swimming), the contestants will soon be competing in the first ever Biggest Loser Triathalon.

As in any competitive endeavor preparation will play a big role in determining the winner, and Rachel makes this point right away. She has got the eye of the tiger at this point, and following a Blair Witch-like segment on the plane (at least insofar as the camerawork is concerned), she reveals to her roommate Jennifer that, having prepared her meals for the week, she has packed a cooler!

Jennifer is impressed – and rightly so. The OurSkinny Team is openly rooting for Rachel at this point, and trainer Nathan Mikeska nods and says, “You have to be prepared, especially during the work week. ‘I don’t have time’ is an excuse we hear a lot, but all you have to do is stay one step ahead of the game.”

There is no question that Rachel has become something of a target. Jay admits that there are some “bad vibes” in the house. Rachel doesn’t seem to care. She says, “The Rachel of twelve weeks ago, if she felt that target on her back she would have wilted. Now, I am a lot stronger. I want that pressure. I am ready for the pressure.”

This kind of attitude is contagious, and it’s clear now in week twelve that everyone is starting to feel like a winner. Apollo Ohno sees the fighter in Rachel and says, pointing to his head, “It starts here… and when that light turns on, you have to leave it on.”

Visualizing Success
Ohno, of course, is an eight-time Olympic medalist, but it could have been different.

He tells a story of finishing dead last at the Olympic Trials when he was just fifteen. His father sat him down and told him: you can either go through the motions, or you can give yourself a second chance. We know who Apollo Ohno is, of course, but it is important to remember that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of amateur athletes struggling to discover the champion within themselves. We may not know their names… yet… but they are out there…

And they face the same problems that we do…

Following a workout, trainer Dolvett Quince has the contestants close their eyes. He asks them to picture themselves just twelve-weeks prior. To feel the fear of the person stepping on the scale for the first time. And then he has them visualize themselves just twelve weeks later. And what will they look like in twelve years?

“When you get home, it’s not going to be any easier. There are going to be obstacles, going to be things to get in your way. Let those things happen. Just don’t doubt yourself or stop believing in your own ability.”

OurSkinny’s Nathan Mikeska agrees, “It’s about breaking barriers each and every day. Sometimes it’s about the big things – our fears – but more often than not, it’s about getting rid of all the little things that stand in our way.”

For Jennifer, that means box jumps, and trainer Jillian Michaels is all over her. She asks, “Are you afraid of succeeding?” and makes a very good point about the stories we tell ourselves: “It’s very scary for people to open up to a different possibility. A new story. A different reality. It’s associated with fear of failure and it’s associated with giving up the crutch that the weight has provided for them.”

As we discussed last episode, it’s about dealing with the past and embracing the future…

More Sweat than Tears
Last week was all about tears… this week was much more about having fun (of course there were tears too).

The top three competitors, Rachel, David, and Jay, are really fit at this point. Jay is running around like some kind of black-hatted prairie gazelle. David is strong as an ox, so much so that Dovlett says to Ohno, “Yeah, he’s an athlete.” Rachel is a completely changed person. As she says, “I used to hide everything. I was so sad and lonely.” For this episode, at least, she is feeling the thrill of victory.

The challenge this week is a curling competition. (“Bicep curls? Hair curls? Cheese curls?” asks Tanya, still providing comic-relief).

Jay’s aware that he is on thin ice, having won several challenges and with the second highest percentage of weight loss. “Cowboys and ice don’t really mix that well together,” he says, as he confesses that he’s not even trying to win. Rachel shows no such reservation: she comes out of nowhere to win the five thousand dollar prize. She’s lost the greatest % of her body weight. And she’s not done yet…

During the second hour of the episode, the contestants find themselves at the bottom of a bobsledding course, where they meet Jazmine Fenlator and Lolo Jones of the U.S. Women’s Bobsled Team. After a little insprational talk, the contestants are told that they will be racing for glory, for pride, and for a one-pound advantage at the weigh-in. Unfortunately for them, they will be racing UP the course, not DOWN it. That’s a one-mile run with a vertical climb of 400 feet… not to mention the fact that the course is located seven thousand feet above sea level.

No surprise here: Jay and Rachel quickly put some distance between themselves and the rest of the pack.


Bobby and Tanya are doggedly making their way up the slope, well behind Jennifer, Marie, and Chelsea, who look like they are power-walking the neighborhood (and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that). David is somewhere in-between, waxing philosophical.

Rachel pushes through the finish line for the win and gets to take the fast way down. In a bobsled! So cool.

Emotional Eating, Travel, and the Art of Preparation
We all know it’s tough to lose weight when you don’t have control over your schedule – and whether you are traveling for work or pleasure, your hard-earned routine is going to be disrupted.

Wellness Coach Brandy Wall knows that this is a problem for lots of OurSkinny customers, too, so she offered a series of quick tips for how to stay on track:

  • Rachel had the right idea: pack snacks and drinks in a cooler.
  • Plan ahead, research online menus for restaurants at your destination.
  • If you are visiting friends or family, DO tell them that you are trying to make healthy choices!
  • Ask them to grab healthy items to keep in the fridge or go to the local grocery yourself.
  • See if your gym has a reciprocal program with gyms in other cities
  • If not, call a local gym and see if you can use their facility on a trial basis

We FINALLY get a little focus on nutrition when, inspired by Bobby’s binge-eating, trainer Bob Harper stops in to cook breakfast for the gang. The show recommends “lean protein at every meal including breakfast,” which is good advice. Bob makes a frittata, which is basically quiche without the crust, in a muffin pan. Also a pretty good idea, as it keeps the portion size reasonable.

The Biggest Loser “Tip” for this week was also actually pretty good. Dolvett discussed the importance of creating a support team for yourself. Contestants on The Biggest Loser have access to celebrity trainers and medical and nutritional experts, sure, but equally important is the support of family and friends.

Week Twelve Weigh-In
With the Winter Olympics very much in focus, it’s probably worth mentioning the Olympic creed, as penned by the modern games’ founder Baron de Coubertin.

He wrote, “”The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph, but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered, but to have fought well.”

With that in mind, the “where are they now” segment this week focuses on Tumi, who looks absolutely amazing. She hadn’t tried on a single wedding dress before coming to the ranch, but look at her now. As she puts it, “I got every gift I was supposed to get on the Ranch.”

The weigh-in takes place at the Nordic Ski Jump, and it appears that #winteriscoming to the show.

Rachel has lost six pounds, which means that she’s lost 105 in twelve weeks!

Jennifer lost no weight in Utah, but she’s had an attitude adjustment for sure. She says, “I will not let that define the week that I had!”


David has said, “If you fix it all up here, amazing things happen,” and we have seen him disburden himself of a mountain’s worth of grief. In addition, he’s lost four pounds this week.

Marie has lost five pounds, proving to all of us that, “You can do it when you are out of your comfort zone.” Chelsea is starting to seem like a sleeper here. Slow and steady. Tanya seems to be in a good place, even if we are not sure how she keeps hanging around on the show. “My focus was to enjoy the week,” she says. “And that’s exactly what I did.” Good for her.

Bobby and Jay… well… they each gained weight in Utah.

To be honest, that might be a good news for Jay. He’s been a nervous wreck of late. The other contestants vote him off the show (somewhat reluctantly), and at least now he will be able to transition without all the stress that goes with stepping on a scale each week in front of millions of television viewers.

Gonna miss that black hat,

- The OurSkinny Team

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