Weighing more than he ever has, former "American Idol" Ruben Studdard is hoping that when "The Biggest Loser" premieres on October 8, the opportunity to participate on the show will help him regain his health and shed some of his 462 pounds.
When the producers of "The Biggest Loser" invited him, Ruben told the Today show that "I knew it was time for me to change my life. I don’t think I’ve ever been this big.” But Ruben's problems go beyond his weight.
At 35, Ruben has high blood pressure and borderline diabetes, according to Reality TV magazine. His decision to go on the show, therefore, it motivated by the desire to take control of his fate rather than fame. “I had no desire to be the next ‘Real Husband’ or anything like that! It had nothing to do with popularity or fame because I’ve got that. This was about me changing my life.”
This won't be Ruben's first attempt at shedding pounds with celebrity trainers. While he'll work with Jillian Michaels, Bob Harper and Dolvett Quince on "The Biggest Loser," in the past he's worked with Gunnar Peterson, one of Hollywood's major trainers and best-selling author of "The Workout: Core Secrets from Hollywood's #1 Trainer" (click for details).
But Ruben says Gunnar's plan did not work for him because he made him sick from too many workouts and not enough food, according to People magazine.
"I was losing weight, but I was exhausted. It was making me sick," he said. "I'm a big man. There was no way to do those workouts on that amount of food, so everything was contradicting itself."
Although he lost only 12 pounds working with Gunnar, Ruben did shed pounds initially when he became a vegetarian several years ago. However, he regained that weight after a divorce.
Ruben hopes that "Loser" will make him a winner. "My family has a history of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart-related issues – things I didn't have to deal with yet because I'm young. But I don't want to be worried at 40, and if I don't fix things now, I will be."
Talking with Zap2 It recently, Ruben added, "I've worked so hard to sustain myself in the music industry, that I haven't really paid attention to taking care of myself."
He admits that he will need to surrender his fast food habits, describing sending a roadie to McDonald's for junk food. "Anything good for you, you can't get fast," he sighs.
Memo to Ruben: If Jillian is your trainer, prepare to eat your words. She's known for her fast results, and offered these thoughts to Zap2 It.
"What I can tell you is he's a funny guy, he's a likable guy, he's a sweet guy," she says about Ruben. "But like all 'Biggest Loser' contestants, there is definitely an underlying pain, sadness, and anger underneath the cool, funny facade. I'm curious to see how deep those issues run, and how capable he is of managing them."