Interview: Lance Morgan from ‘The Biggest Loser: Couples’

We had the pleasure of talking with the last eliminated contestant from The Biggest Loser: Couples, Lance Morgan about how he is continuing to lose weight at home, getting his job back, and the crazy thing he wants to try now!

Do you think that eating the cupcakes contributed to you being sent home? And do you regret your decision to eat so many?

Lance Morgan: No I don’t really regret eating so many. I regret eating for the right person, but no, I don’t have any regrets with anything that I did on the ranch really.

And how are you able to incorporate your fitness at home? I know you live about an hour from a gym so how do you get in your daily workouts?

Lance Morgan: It’s tough. We do some workouts at home and then in turn we also drive about an hour to a gym in Abilene. So our days home we usually spend doing-we’ve got a little bit of equipment in the house that my wife usually gets on the treadmill and I usually do some light weights and we ride our bicycles quite a bit.

So it’s safe to say that people who don’t belong to a gym can still do this?

Lance Morgan: Yeah. It’s harder. I mean believe me it’s much harder to do it at home because you have so many distractions. There is always a load of laundry or dishes or something to do. But yeah, it can be done. It’s just you have got to get your mind set, “Hey, I’ve got to do this,” and you’ve just got to stick with your plan.

Prior to starting The Biggest Loser your wife Melissa said that in addition to getting healthy, both of you were working on your marriage which has been strained. How are things now and also how has losing the weight helped?

Lance Morgan: Things now are wonderful. A lot of our problems with our marriage – my being overweight was a big problem in our marriage because I couldn’t work any more. So you throw the financial stress in there, I mean that’s probably the number one cause of problems in relationships now. And obviously I haven’t gotten to go back to work yet but I will be going back to work soon. And it’s just kind of like one more thought off your mind.

So it’s helped a lot being on the ranch and our communication is much better than it was before, much better.

There was a lot made in the beginning of the show about possible game play by the red team. And watching the episodes now can you understand how Bob and Jillian construed things that way. What is your relationship with the trainers like now?

Lance Morgan: I could see their points at the time before I even watched the show. I mean I could see their point. It’s been done before and I understand their point. But I mean you just have to know Melissa and I to know that if we’re going to game play we’re going to say, “Hey, we’re game playing.”

So our relationship with Bob and Jillian at this point, I still like Bob. I mean after, Bob realized quick that listen, this is an issue that we have got to get past because you still have a goal in mind. We have still got to accomplish this goal. So let’s just – he didn’t really – he sort of did admit that he believed Melissa but obviously when Melissa fell below the red line both our jaws dropped and I think they realized at that point, “Oh my god, she really wasn’t playing the game. It just kind of saddened me that it took the hoopla of Melissa on the stage that first week to realize it.

And how much weight have you lost to date?

Lance Morgan: To date I have lost 100 – I’m trying to count because I haven’t weighed in a few days. I have lost 105, 106 now – somewhere in there.

Wow. Congratulations. Keep up the weight loss. I just wanted to ask do you work out with your kids?

Lance Morgan: Most of them time now it’s just Melissa and I working out together and with our trainers. But we do take family bike rides. We’ll just ride the bicycles around the neighborhood to get them out. But going to the gym everyday, most of the time we work out during the school. We’ll drop the kids off at school and then we go work out.

But you do some things as a family like the bike rides and stuff?

Lance Morgan: Yes, yes, yes we do incorporate the kids with bike rides. We have just taken walks around the neighborhood with them. So we do incorporate exercise with them but just very little. I mean – you know.

Well, how have your family’s eating habits changed as a whole?

Lance Morgan: Very dramatic for us. Obviously for Melissa and I it’s dramatic. Now the kids – it’s a minor difference for them. Like my son is now eating whole wheat bread instead of white bread. It’s still kind of hard to get him to eat broccoli some times but a little spray of butter on it and he’ll eat broccoli, a few green beans. He’s really getting better at eating. They still both crave their little brownies and their Cokes but we don’t keep sodas in the house any more at all. It’s like a treat for them now if we go out for lunch or dinner somewhere or traveling or whatever we’ll get them a soda at that point. But we have really cut back on the amount of sweets that we keep in the house.

Could you talk a little bit about what was the most important thing that you learned on the ranch?

Lance Morgan: Nutrition by far. I mean I never even thought about counting calories before. I never thought about the food I was putting in my mouth, the quality of the food I was putting in my mouth, the junk food – all that. I mean literally the first two weeks I was there it was like, “I get it.” I understand now where I failed all those times dieting, trying to diet before. And it’s not a diet. I mean it’s an entire lifestyle and so it was nutrition. I mean I have spent plenty of time in a gym in high school so that wasn’t really much about it. It was all about the nutrition for me.

And do you think it’s going to be easier to keep it as a lifestyle change because you and Melissa are doing it together?

Lance Morgan: It will. Us doing it together is a good thing and at the same time it’s kind of a bad thing because we tend to be enablers. I’ll manage for whatever – Melissa may want to bring a pizza home or something and I’m like, “It wouldn’t hurt. I can have one too.” And so there are times that we enable each other but for the most part it’s easier because we kind of – it’s about accountability as well. So there is a slim line off to the side that we cross every now and then, but for the most part we keep each other on track.

I know you’re working on getting back into commercial diving. I’m curious how that’s going and what some of the parameters may be that you’re having to go through to get your job back?

Lance Morgan: I definitely will be going back into the commercial diving industry. I have already had like four people contact me saying, “Hey, whenever you get ready to come back to work come on.” As soon as the finale is over I’ve got a job. I’ve just still got some weight to lose. I could probably go back to work right now if I wanted to but I’m not done. I’ve still got weight to lose and after the finale is over I’ll get back at it. I still will need to lose about another 50 pounds.

I wanted to talk more about your kids and how this whole journey is affecting them. And do you think the changes that you guys are making now are kind of recreating a foundation for their lifestyles?

Lance Morgan: Definitely. It’s changing their lifestyles. I mean because your kids tend to eat what you eat and your kids tend to follow in your footsteps so what we’re doing now is hopefully heading off especially for my son Wyatt, is heading him off at the path and now following down the road that I took as a kid.

I mean I was always the fat kid all through elementary and high school. So it’s definitely setting a better foundation for them.

How old are your children?

Lance Morgan: Wyatt is 10 and Carson is 14.

I was wondering about you going back home for the week and sort of how was it getting back there after so long, being away for so long?

Lance Morgan: I mean it was very nice. I was happy to see my family. I mean Melissa had been gone for several weeks at that time and it was wonderful not only for me to see my family but for my family to see me, the changes that I have made. So it was great to get to come home. The bad part about it was that I felt kind of bad because I didn’t get to spend as much time with them as I wanted to because I still had to work out because I still had the scale to face at the end of the week. But yeah, I was so happy to be home and sleeping in my own bed. It was awesome.

What was that comfort? Was it sleeping in your own bed or were there other comforts that you had been away from for so long that you just really relished?

Lance Morgan: Definitely. I mean just being at home and being able to spend time with the kids and the whole thing. I mean I would have slept on any bed to get to come home and see my kids and my family. I would have slept on the floor. It wouldn’t matter. But it felt good. Being gone for several months and it was dog tired work; so it was good.

And you plan to get back to work ranching or are you maybe thinking of something else?

Lance Morgan: I’m actually planning on going back to commercial diving. The ranch is – when I’m home I help out on the family farm and ranch and stuff but there is no question about that. But my primary income was as a commercial diver. So I’m hoping to take more time off from that to spend at home with family and stuff.

And how do you think the diving will go now, I mean seeing how you’ve lost all this weight and you’re so much more fit?

Lance Morgan: I have got passed over several jobs because I was too big to do penetration dives, go up into pipelines and stuff like that. So it’s going to be enough to make me more valuable to the industry.

Getting back to farming and ranching, I’ve got horses now that haven’t been ridden in over probably a couple of years. I had to have somebody else break the horses because I was too big to ride. So now I can get back to doing more stuff. Riding horses – I’m anxious to get back and get saddled up and get on a horse. I haven’t been on one in probably five or six years.

I want to know how did you eventually get over the distractions at home to get back on track with working out?

Lance Morgan: We just did it. We got up and hit the gym. I mean I didn’t want to. I wanted to stay home and spend time with the kids and all. But we did and that was a lot of motivation once again for Melissa. She’s like, “We need to go work out today. We need to work out today,” and it was something I didn’t really want to do but we got up and did it any way.

Was it extra tough not having a gym close by?

Lance Morgan: Yeah. I mean it’s awful nice to be able to jump up and just drive around the corner to a gym. But at the same time it’s a little more motivation when you have to drive an hour. You want to make the best of it. You can because it’s just not something that you do every single day. So it’s tough like I said before. There are a lot of distractions at the home so it’s stuff that you have just got to get your mind set that you’ve got to get it done and make it happen.

I wanted to know why were you the one to go when Daris had the last amount of weight loss?

Lance Morgan: I honestly can’t answer that question if it was game play. I would love to be able to give you an honest answer about that but I can’t. I mean I think Daris is the only one that actually could fess up and say it was a little bit of game play, because I was a tough competitor.

I mean the red team kicked butt and if we didn’t win we were right there snapping at their heels. So Koli didn’t think my head was in the game and I don’t know. I mean something happened back there that I can’t answer.

When you put down Michael’s name were you wondering, during the vote, why Daris wasn’t being mentioned?

Lance Morgan: You know, a lot of it is who you like and who you get along with. It’s not necessarily an alliance but for me I mean Daris is like a brother to me and I couldn’t vote for Daris. I just couldn’t. I love the boy to death. He was probably one of my best friends on the ranch, and same with O’Neal and Sunshine. I mean I got along great with them. And not saying that I didn’t get along with Koli and Michael but for me it was just I liked them, they’re like close family to me.

And so that’s the reason I debated whether or not to go with Michael or Koli and that was my whole theory behind it.

Could you expand a bit about how you were telling us that Melissa and you enable each other? And I have experienced that before with my roommate when we try to lose weight together we’ll be like, “We’ll just have a piece of cake or we can just do this and we won’t tell anyone.” Can you give a specific example of something that you guys do together both to enable each other and then both to like motivate each other to stay on task?

Lance Morgan: How we enable each other – we did enable each other one time. In particular in my mind we went to – we were both craving some Italian food and so instead of making something a little healthier at the house we were out. We were actually 50 miles away at the gym and we just had had a great work out and we were both – Melissa said, “Well, what do you want to eat? Like do you want to go to the salad bar or you want to go to Subway? What do you want to do?”

And she was like, “Oh man, I’d love to have some Italian food,” and I was like, “Well, let’s go.” We were both starving at the time and it was right there close. So we went. But the good thing that we did when we got there is we shared a plate instead of ordering a meal a piece and then having an appetizer or something. We went in and we had water and we split the meal between us and then we got up and left. So I mean we definitely enable each other a little bit but at the same time it’s very, very well controlled, very – we don’t – it’s not like we go out and binge on donuts or chocolate candy bars or something. But if we do fall off the wagon a little bit it’s minor. I mean we know now to control it.

And then what do you do to make sure that you’re keeping each other, holding each other accountable?

Lance Morgan: Not going to eat Italian food every time we go to Abilene.

We talk a lot about – because sometimes we don’t work out together, so we talk about workouts. We talk about the food we eat. Like for myself I actually log my food online and it’s – Melissa logs hers online too, so if we just absolutely want to be sneaky about it I mean we know each other’s passwords. We could go in and check on each other if we wanted to. But for the most part…

Do you do that?

Lance Morgan: No, no, no we don’t. We just – I’m saying we could. But no, we do not keep track of each other’s food. I don’t go up and tell her, “I also had half a dozen almonds in between meals,” or whatever. It’s nothing like that.

I mean it’s a lifestyle now. And like I said it’s not like we’re just parading ourselves out or whatever to each other. Honestly the main thing is like, “Listen, today I made a pizza out of Ezekiel tortillas with low sodium marinara, ground turkey, spinach and some mushrooms.” And that’s what I had today. And I’m like, “That sounds good. Well, I had this today.” We kind of discuss our foods and we’re really trying to experiment with different healthy foods.

What advice would you have for somebody out there thinking about auditioning for the show?

Lance Morgan: Thinking about auditioning for the show – be yourself man. Have fun with it. I mean you have got to go. There is a lot of sitting around waiting. Bring something to entertain yourself.

But when the time comes just be yourself. Be honest. That’s probably the best advice I could give. If you’re a funny person don’t go in and try to act all serious. If you have got emotions let them out. Just be yourself. Be honest about it.

Was it a surprise for you to get voted off? Were you expecting it?

Lance Morgan: When you have got teams like that it’s anything goes. I mean I really wasn’t expecting to go home but I knew there was a possibility that I could go home. People – obviously with the black team they didn’t send the lowest percentage people home. So I knew it was possible for me to go home as well. I mean it was a shock for O’Neal and Daris when they voted for me. That kind of shocked me. The first two votes didn’t shock me at all with Koli and Michael. But when O’Neal and Daris both voted for me it was like, “Oh man.” It was a shock. It was.

I’m curious to know what your biggest challenges were on the ranch and now what your biggest challenges are off the ranch?

Lance Morgan: The biggest challenge on the ranch – that is a tough question to answer. The biggest challenge on the ranch I would have to say for me was when Melissa went home was for me to try to keep motivated. The week after she left it was pretty emotional for me and I was a little upset that she was gone. I mean she had been there for me all the time and to get over that, that was my biggest challenge was getting over that first week after Melissa went home.

The biggest challenge now that I’m home is continuing the weight loss. I mean I really want to get back kind of to a normal life and I can’t. I’ve still got to focus on getting the rest of the weight off.

And I’m not really concerned about the finale or anything. I’m just concerned about getting down to the weight I need to be at to get back to regular life, go back to work off shore and all. So that’s my biggest challenge is trying to stay motivated to keep going forward.

I know that you lost your job because of your weight. I was wondering if you experienced any other situations where you felt weight discrimination and have people treated you differently now that you have lost so much weight?

Lance Morgan: No, I really didn’t feel discriminated against because of my weight other than my job and that was a safety factor, the reason I couldn’t dive any more. Being a commercial diver is strenuous work and there is lots of physiology involved and being fat, obese or whatever just makes it a higher risk. And that’s the reason that they have those standards is to avoid problems. But as far as everything else, it was more personal limitations than it was anybody else limiting me. I mean I could do anything that I wanted to pretty much well.

And you have mentioned that you have been overweight since you were a child. Is there anything, now that you have lost weight ,that you hadn’t even thought of doing before that you have been able to do?

Lance Morgan: Lots of crazy stuff. Just for some reason I have never had the urge to jump out of a perfectly good airplane but for some reason skydiving here lately has just been like, “Baby, you want to go?” She’s like, “Are you crazy? Have you lost your mind?” I said, “Pretty much.”

More or less I’m just ready to get back to normal life. Like I said, I’m ready to get back home and get crawled up on a horse and just leave. I want to kind of get away from everything for a while. But yeah, skydiving. I don’t know why I do – I got this crazy idea one day and decided I want to go.

Yeah. That will take a lot of guts.

Lance Morgan: Well, I like going in the water so I figure up is next.

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