On the first day of Season 1, Bob says he had to rethink his entire approach after meeting the contestants. "I thought it was going to be, 'I know exactly how to eat. I know exactly how to work out. I know all this, and I'm going to teach you how to do it,'" he says. "When I realized it was a much more emotional connection I had to make with these people, I had to throw everything else out. It couldn't be about eating chicken and broccoli and doing 5 miles on a run. It was so much more than that."
Unlike Bob, Jillian says she knew exactly what to expect thanks to her personal weight loss journey. When Jillian was a teenager, she says she was 5'1" and weighed 170 pounds. "I've lived it to a certain extent. I never got morbidly obese," she says. "I got into martial arts, and I had somebody come in and change my life, so I understood. I'm never sympathetic, but I'm empathetic."
Though their jobs aren't easy, Bob says he's excited at the start of every season. "We get to see them from the very beginning, and Jillian and I are much more about what's going on with them in the bigger picture, as opposed to it just being about the push-ups and the screaming, puking," he says. "I think that it becomes more about just a way of life. The moment we get them, that's what we try to teach them."
"Bob has said that he now understands this is why he was put on the planet," Jillian says. "I feel similarly."