Rulon Gardner thought he was a goner for sure.
The Olympic gold medalist wrestler had been caught eating a bag of tortilla chips in his bedroom. When he stepped on the scales he was ashamed to have only dropped 5 pounds from the previous week.
Fortunately for the visibly nervous Gardner, Jennifer Jacobs failed to lose any weight and was eliminated from NBC’s “The Biggest Loser Couples.”
“As I watched that zero come up on the scale, that was like pulling a dagger out of my heart. It was a chance to take another breath,” Gardner said.
Gardner, a 39-year-old gym owner from Logan, started the competition at 474 on the scales and weighed in at 325 on the March 29 episode. Although the burly man has lost 10 pounds over the past two weeks, “Biggest Loser” trainer Jillian Michaels called him out for snacking irresponsibly.
“In the middle of the night you housed a bag of chips,” Michels said. “I adore you, I told you what to do, but you are rogue, you are totally rogue. You do whatever you want all the time. ... You are not allowing me to help you.”
Jay Jacobs, a fellow contestant on the show, said everyone had noticed Gardner’s case of the munchies, but they supposed the athlete knew what he was doing and the other contestants didn’t want to tell the former wrestler what to do.
The whole experience served as a wake-up call for Gardner. He said his excessive snacking was a lapse in judgment.
“I am disgusted (with myself),” Gardner said. “I want to be here. Everyone should have to earn the right to be here.”
Tuesday’s episode was the first since Gardner’s partner, Justin Pope, was voted off the show March 22. Pope asked to be voted off to save teammate Courtney Crozier. Pope now weighs 225, down 140 pounds from his original weight.
"The Biggest Loser" airs Tuesdays on KSL at 7 p.m.