Before Tori began the Best Life Weight Loss Challenge, she told the Oprah Show producers that she wasn't an emotional eater—she just ate the wrong foods. But Bob wasn't buying it. "I believe that no one's just overweight because they like certain foods," he says. "Always there's an emotional component, and I do feel Tori is unwilling to go to that place."
As Tori examined her feelings, she realized the attention people paid to her body when she was a child might have something to do with her weight gain. "I feel like as a young girl, my body was always being talked about, you know, 'That's a shapely little girl,'" she says. Tori says this kind of attention made her feel uncomfortable. "I don't know if I somewhat held onto some of my weight because of that—just like kind of a coat, so to speak," she says.
Now that she has lost 20 pounds, Tori is coming to terms with her body. "As I've gotten older and feeling more comfortable, and through this journey of really trying to lose this weight, I just feel like I'm at a point where I'm ready to take the coat off and show who I am," she says.
As for eating the wrong foods, Tori got an important lesson on portion sizes from Bob's book, The Best Life Diet. "I started looking at labels and reading portion sizes and thinking, 'Gosh, this portion you can only have a small amount, and it's a ton of calories,'" she says. "You don't realize how many times you're putting your hand in a bag of chips, or whatever. And that adds up."
The only male challenger, Bill, says the Best Life Weight Loss Challenge isn't his first battle of the bulge—it's been a lifelong war. Bill says he put himself on his first diet at age 8. "I've lost the weight before. I've gone up and down and up and down and up and down and up and down," he says. "I've done the weight loss. I like the exercise. But I haven't found that key to keep it off."
At the boot camp, Bob asked each challenger to rate key areas of their lives—such as career, family, health and relationships—and Bill was the only one who scored every single section as negative. "I've never seen anyone rate every area of their life in a negative fashion," Bob says. "It just tells me nothing will ever be good enough."
Bill says that simple task was a wake-up call. "It's not that everything's bad. I have a great life," he says. "But I always feel like I'm falling short as a husband. I'm falling short as a father, as a businessman to my partners—every area. And my weight gain has just really been a big part of that, that I just kind of gave up on myself to focus on everything else, because I felt like I wasn't reaching anything."
Since beginning the challenge, Bill says he has begun to accept the slower progress of his weight loss—instead of the faster results of a yo-yo diet. "I've really tried to make the choice every time, whether it's eating or whether it's exercise, that I'm not going to do anything that I can't commit to for the rest of my life," he says. "Because otherwise my personality is going to do it all at once, and I'll burn out and crash."
After 14 weeks in the Best Life Weight Loss Challenge, LaToya has lost 5.9 pounds—the least of all the challengers. Bob says he was encouraged by LaToya's enthusiasm at the beginning of the challenge, but then she became the only challenger to actually gain weight during the first five weeks.
Despite LaToya's insistence that she is dedicated, Bob says he doubts her commitment to the program. "When I look in LaToya's eyes, I don't see someone that's fully committed. I see someone justifying why they're living their life the way they are living it," Bob says.
While she was under lockdown at Cal-a-Vie, LaToya lost six pounds—and, weeks later, her total hasn't changed. LaToya says her clothes are fitting better, and she really can't explain her steady weight. "I don't eat out. I'm picking the groceries and cooking and packing lunches and things like that. That wasn't happening before. And working out in a way that I hadn't been before, working out five times a week," she says. "All those things are happening, but obviously there's something missing, and I'm open to hearing what those things are."
Bob says he believes LaToya thinks she is doing everything right—but that might not be the case. "Is she as committed as most of the other challengers? Absolutely not. I can guarantee she's [overreporting] the exercise, not on purpose … and not doing what she says she's doing, and perhaps even underreporting on the eating side. And I think it's about, 'This is great. I want to lose weight if it fits into my lifestyle, but I don't want to change too much of my lifestyle.'"
LaToya says, at first, she might not have realized how much her life needed to change for her to succeed. "But since Cal-a-Vie—and I will say Cal-a-Vie was my breaking point, where Bob and I talked—I was like, 'You're right. This can't fit into my lifestyle. This has to be my lifestyle,'" she says.
LaToya's fellow challengers say they believe she is trying—but she might still be making some bad choices. "I think the more I read about eating out, I think that when we make choices that we think are healthy, they might not be as healthy as we think they are," Tracy says.
Melissa and Bill attest that LaToya has been doing some exercise. "We worked out last night, and it's the combination of the level of activity, like how hard she's pushing herself, because she hasn't done it before," Bill says.
So will LaToya be allowed to continue with the Best Life Weight Loss Challenge? "I say she stays and commits really hard to the program through the summer, and we'll see what happens in September," Bob says.
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