Ruben Studdard is joining the cast of "The Biggest Loser" after deciding to take drastic action to lose weight. Studdard claimed the title of "American Idol" in 2003 and looks forward to dropping the pounds.
"I was losing weight, but I was exhausted," Studdard told People magazine in 2006 after going on an extreme diet of only 1,200 calories. "It was making me sick. I'm a big man. There was no way to do those workouts on that amount of food, so everything was contradicting itself."
Studdard only lost 12 lbs. on that diet and decided to make a change in his life: he became vegetarian. That, along with exercise, helped him lose over 70 lbs., yet Studdard knew he still needed to lose more, as he weighed 455 lbs. at the time.
"I've never had an issue with my weight, but 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," Studdard explained.
"The Biggest Loser" is known for its high-intensity workouts and dieting regime. Contestants are closely monitored by their trainers and a host of doctors. Season 14 winner Danni Allen lost 121 lbs. on the show and speaks very highly about the life-changing experience.
"It's been such a great journey and I found a new confidence within myself," Allen told People after the show. "I'm still the same person, I'm just ready to let her shine a little bit more and hopefully inspire others as well."
While Studdard lost 70 lbs. at one point in his life, he began putting weight back on after divorcing Surata Zuri McCants. It was a trigger for him to begin eating unhealthy food, and he acknowledged that fact in a recent interview.
"It too me to be in my thirties for it to become somewhat of a mission for me, because I grew up in the South, so we used to eat everything. Everyone has different obstacles that they have to conquer and I'm looking forward to having the opportunity to conquer mine," he told GossipCenter.com.
"The Biggest Loser" premieres Tuesday, October 8 on NBC.