NU student moves forward with weight loss competition

By Julia Gall

Part two in a series tracking the progress of one contestant in the “NU’s Biggest Loser” weight loss competition.

When “NU’s Biggest Loser” contestant Jose De La Rosa first began the weight loss competition seven weeks ago, he was struggling to adopt exercise into his lifestyle.

With four weeks left to go, the senior finance and accounting major has found his stride.

“It’s had its ups and downs, but I’ve gotten into the mode where I can feel comfortable going to the gym every day, [or at least] six times a week,” he said.

Now in the home stretch, De La Rosa said while it’s been a great experience, he’s looking forward to the competition’s end as well as graduation.

He said the time spent competing has been “distracting” him from his schoolwork, but he’s enthusiastic about the new lifestyle he has gained while involved in the program.

“Now I don’t feel the pressure [from the trainers], but I just want to go to the gym,” he said. “I feel really bad when I don’t go, which hasn’t happened too often.”

De La Rosa said he’s most excited about his physical changes.

“I’m seeing a lot of change about fitting into my clothes and getting pumped about seeing changes in my body.” He said he intentionally bought clothes in the beginning of the year that were too small, hoping he’d be able to fit into them by the end of the competition.

But in terms of shedding the pounds, De La Rosa said there was more immediate change in the early stages of the competition than there is now.

“I had a lot of weight loss at the beginning, but now it’s getting really hard to lose weight. Before, my heart rate would skyrocket really fast, but now it’s gotten better to condition it,” he said.

During the competition, De La Rosa and the nine other contestants have kept logs to track the intensity of their exercise routines and the number of calories they consume at each meal. They submit the logs to their trainers in the Marino Center, to ensure the contestants are losing weight safely, he said.

He said the tracking system helps him understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

“I think it’s given me a really good perspective on how many calories things have and before I wouldn’t think about that,” he said.

De La Rosa said he and the other competitors have been researching the nutrition of different foods and sharing what they’ve found with each other.

“We’re all willing to share what information we come across,” he said.

The collaborative effort is common for the participants in this program.

“I’m starting to feel like this isn’t a competition and there is no rivalry like there is on the TV show,” he said. “It’s just something we all want to do. Everyone is serious about changing. I motivate my other teammates and they motivate me.”

The next challenge the contestants will tackle is an intramural sports tournament on Thursday featuring volleyball, basketball and dodgeball. Also in the works is a food challenge in the dining hall, which will have the contestants creating a meal based on its dietary value. The date has yet to be determined.

De La Rosa said he’s going to keep with the challenges despite some setbacks.

“It’s gotten harder to lose weight, but it’s not discouraging,” he said.

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