The Biggest Winner
66-year-old MA Native Explains How “Biggest Loser” Changed His Life
By Kim Dunbar
Johnny Forger used to struggle getting off the couch, getting into his car and strapping on his extended seatbelt. At 346 pounds, he told himself it came with age.
“That was totally wrong,” said Forger, 66, whose stint on Season 12 of NBC’s “Biggest Loser” helped him lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle (he lost a total of 97 pounds by December’s finale). “I feel the best I’ve felt in 30 years,” he added.
Last Christmas, Forger’s family staged an intervention. They confronted him about his weight and gifted him a one-year gym membership and trainer. And when his kids found out “Biggest Loser” was holding auditions in Boston, they took him.
“I was doing it all to humor them,” Forger said. “But after hearing other people’s stories, I realized that maybe I did have a problem and was determined to get on the show.”
Although Forger’s time on “BL” was short (he was eliminated in week two), he learned enough to last a lifetime. “I’ve been struggling to get rid of this stomach for 25 years,” he said. “But they did it. They showed me how to do it the right way with exercise and diet. I can’t stay in my clothes!”
Forger was determined not to fail once he returned home to Massachusetts. He continued to follow the program ~ exercising, eating white meats and vegetables, and staying away from sugars and white flour. He insists someone doesn’t have to be on the show to have success.
“It’s about doing the obvious things,” Forger said. “Get up and get going.”
Forger, who completed the final “BL” challenge of running a marathon (he came in 11th), spends time in the gym, walks, jogs, boxes and rides his bike ~ something he hasn’t done in 40 years.
“I want to be clear that this is not a diet,” he said. “This is a new lifestyle.”
His actions have affected his family ~ his three children and nine grandchildren are all making healthier choices.
“Don’t let something else get in the way of good health,” said Forger, who almost didn’t go to the “BL” Ranch because of work concerns (he owns a realty company). “For everyone who says they can’t because of their jobs, just forget it. I did that for years and look where it got me.”
Once again, Forger’s family stepped in and forced him to go. And he’ll be forever grateful. “Thank God they came into my life last winter,” he said. “’Biggest Loser’ changed my life.”