Pittsburgh 'Biggest Loser' contestant drops 100 pounds, strives for balance

| Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Before Murrysville native Jessica Limpert competed on the 12th season of “The Biggest Loser,” her weight had reached nearly 300 pounds, and she was spending many hours on her feet as a nurse. The strain took its toll on her.

“I got to the point where I didn't want to get out of bed,” says Limpert, now 28, who struggled with feelings of depression and lack of energy. “You make plans with friends and, at the last minute, cancel ... because you don't fit into clothes.”

Now, two years and more than 100 pounds later, Limpert's life is a “light year's difference,” says the 2003 graduate of Franklin Regional Senior High School.

“I feel so good now that I never want to go back to that girl I was,” says Limpert, a happy size 10.

She lost a total of 112 pounds, 80 of which happened while on the show.

It isn't just the dramatic weight loss Limpert experienced while competing on the hit NBC show, which kicks off its 15th season at 8 p.m. Oct. 15.

It's the dramatic lifestyle changes she made for after the show — the period that lasts for a lifetime, rather than several weeks. Limpert and her boyfriend — Ramon Medeiros, another “The Biggest Loser” contestant — now run their own business, Maxx Movement, which began in Los Angeles. They travel around the country, bringing their 5-week Priority Challenge to people in various cities.

The couple — when they met and romantic sparks flew — seemed to match perfectly. Only they met on “The Biggest Loser” rather than on ABC's reality dating show “The Bachelor,” a situation about which they joke with each other.

“We met at our worst time,” says Limpert, who was eliminated on the seventh week of “Biggest Loser.” “We were kind of thrown into a setting when we met backwards. That's why we do well. We can help each other.”

Limpert worked as a counselor at The Biggest Loser Resort Niagara for a year-and-a-half after the show, then moved to California, and went back to nursing, her original profession. Limpert now is taking time off from nursing to focus on Maxx Movement.

Her weight struggle has been a long one. Although Limpert says she grew up as a girl often bigger and taller than her peers, her struggle with weight really began in college.

“I wish I learned about the Freshman 15,” she says. “I gained the freshman 80.”

Limpert was so preoccupied with studies and the college social scene that she quit playing softball and quit going to the gym. Over the course of four years, she gained 135 pounds from inactivity and a food addiction.

“That pleasure sense we get: We're so happy and warm inside when we get that food,” Limpert says.

A food addiction can be especially hard to cope with because, unlike with alcohol addiction, you can't completely abstain from food. You need a balance, she says.

Maintaining weight in the real world, post-“Loser,” is difficult. In the real world, with jobs and other responsibilities, no one has time to work out for 8 to 12 hours a day, as contestants on the show do. Limpert now exercises for one-and-a-half hours a day.

“It is a difficult transition to come home,” Limpert says. “You come home and you've got to figure it out for real life. When do you eat, and how do you eat? I think I found the balance now.”

For information about Maxx Movement, which plans to come to Pittsburgh in January, visit www.maxxmovement.com.

Kellie B. Gormly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at kgormly@tribweb.com or 412-320-7824.

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