'The Biggest Loser''s Granny: From Tummy Tuck to the Ranch!

August 27, 2009

Liz Young may be a granny, but that doesn't mean she wants to be a plus-size granny. The 49-year-old salesperson from Chapel Hill, TN, began gaining weight when she gave birth to her first child -- she has three -- and she has never been able to take it off. She even went so far as having a tummy tuck.

Last February, she auditioned for "The Biggest Loser" in Nashville, because, after years of unsuccessful dieting, she feels the show may be her only answer!

ET: What brought you to your 267 pounds?

Liz Young: Putting everybody first. I am a mom, a wife, a grandmother. I am self-employed. Everything is such a priority, but me. I wasn't the priority in my life. One day I woke up and I was fat. It was a shock. I saw a picture of myself and went, "Dang. That is me." I didn't see myself that way. You see your clothes getting bigger and bigger, but I said, "The dryer shrunk those pants," or '"This brand runs small." I wasn't concerned about the sizes until I got into a 3X top. It was like, "Where do you go from 3X?"

Then I had a girlfriend who had a stroke and a heart attack, and they put her on life support. She died. That was a wake up call for me. I was, "I am not going out that way." I have nine grandkids. I am determined that I am going to get this weight off, get healthy and get my whole family healthy. If I am going to go, it is going to be from something I can't control, not a stroke or a heart attack.

ET: So was that your "ah-ha" moment?

Liz Young: My husband had bypass surgery a year ago. That should have been my "ah-ha" moment but it wasn't. He went on the heart healthy diet like the doctor told him to do, but we only did that until he could drive again. He wanted fried chicken and I wouldn't cook it, so he said, "I am going to go get it." So I said, "What the heck? I will cook it." I am a people pleaser. He knows when I come home, this is a lifestyle change. I am from the South. Everything we cook is fried, or slathered in grease.

ET: What do you see as your biggest challenge here?

Liz Young: Everything. Honestly, I am shocked. I thought I would be in better shape. I thought I would be able to hold up to the workouts, but I don't have a clue how I made it through the first day. I have watched the show since day one, and you are sitting at home going, "I could do that." In my mind, I don't know where I got this, but in my mind, I thought they worked them out for 30 minutes and they got a break. (she laughs) Wrong! No break, people. Reality set in on day one.

ET: What is the best advice you received so far on the ranch?

Liz Young: You are going to have to get your fanny up off the couch and get motivated and moving. No matter what you do, it is better than doing nothing. No matter what size you are, there is something you can do. And, you can control what you put in your mouth.

ET: Did you bring a skinny outfit?

Liz Young: No, I didn't because I don't have anything. I am the type of person that, if it doesn't fit, I am getting rid of it. I am looking forward to the day I can shop in any store. I won't have to worry if they carry plus sizes.

ET: What made you decide to audition?

Liz Young: I was sitting on the beach in Mexico in January with my boss. I said, "I need to go on 'The Biggest Loser.'" He said, "Liz, I bet you would be good at that." I didn't know there would be tryouts in February in Nashville. I told my family I was going to go. They said, "You are not going to get on. You are not big enough." I said, "I don't care. I have to go try out." My cousin who is the same size as me, I begged her to come with me. She said, "I only need to lose 40 pounds." I said, "Right out of your butt, girl. You surely don't believe that. You weigh what I do and I know how much I need to lose." But she wouldn't go with me and I tried out on my own. I don't know how I got here!

"The Biggest Loser" premieres Tuesday, September 15 at 8 p.m. on NBC.

More On: The Biggest Loser


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