'The Biggest Loser's Megan Hoffman on Self-Worth, Losing Weight for the Right Reasons, and Life After the Show
- Megan Hoffman is a 35-year-old California resident who joined The Biggest Loser at 290 pounds, wanting to stop putting limitations on her life.
- The contestant works as an Operations and Retention Director at a gym, and is also a plus-sized model.
- Megan was eliminated in Week 6, in the episode airing March 3, 2020.
It seems The Biggest Loser happened to Megan Hoffman at just the right time. The Simi Valley, California native already had a background in health and fitness from working at a gym, but wasn't able to truly embark on her own wellness journey until she learned some self-love. After trying out for the competition series twice, Megan got into modeling, something that helped her change her perception about herself and weight loss in general. After realizing that she didn't need to weigh a certain number in order to be valuable, she was ready to get healthy for herself. And after that third audition, she got a spot on the rebooted version of The Biggest Loser. Although she was unfortunately eliminated in this week's episode, her time on the show was an incredible experience.
Floor8 spoke with Megan exclusively on self-confidence, lessons learned on the show, and how she's doing today.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Floor8: Prior to joining The Biggest Loser, you’ve worked as a plus-sized model. What lessons of self-confidence and self-love was modeling able to teach you that you then brought onto the show?
Megan: I think the biggest thing is learning that I am worthy just the way that I am. The number on the scale doesn’t define me, and it's really about how I feel about myself and the work I’m willing to put in to make myself happy. And I think that’s where self-confidence and self-worth comes in. The number on the scale doesn't define me, but I still wasn’t happy with that number. So I knew from that point on, what I decided to do with that number, that would define me. I could either choose to sit and do nothing about it, or I could go after what I really wanted.
Floor8: This wasn’t the first time you auditioned to be a contestant on The Biggest Loser. Why do you think you were chosen this time around and why was this the ideal time for you in your life?
Megan: This was actually the third time [auditioning]—third time’s the charm! I’ll be honest with you, I don’t why I was selected this time, but I can tell you that for me in my life, it was the best possible time that I could’ve gotten on the show. Before, I was really lost and felt like losing weight would give me everything I wanted, and losing weight would make me feel better about who I was as a person. I think I had a misconception about weight loss. Not going on the show back then allowed me the opportunity to start figuring stuff out and that’s actually when I started modeling. I think that was such a beautiful marriage once I finally got on the show, because I had my self-worth, knew my value, and then I could focus on the things I really wanted, which was weight loss. I was tired of living a life full of modifications, like, I had to modify a workout, or a hike with friends, or paddleboarding. That’s when I was like, this is why I want to change—not because I wasn’t good enough the way I was, but because I didn’t want to have to modify things and wanted to enjoy life fully.
Floor8: Throughout the show, you and your fellow contestants became super close. Did you expect to become a family the way that you did?
Megan: I did not, to be honest with you. I did not expect the instant bond that we all had, like, you can see it portrayed on the show, but there's a real closeness between us, and it happened so quickly. I think you can see it during the elimination time, because nobody’s excited for anyone to go home, and that paints the true picture about how we felt about each other. It’s funny, because you are in competition, but our group was so unique in that we got so much joy in seeing each other succeed and achieve the goals that we had. It was such a unique blend of people.
Floor8: What would you say you’re most proud of during your time on the show? You guys had some grueling physical activities—was there one exercise or challenge that stuck out to you?
Megan: I think everyone else feels this way, too, but flipping those tires. In the pouring rain, that was crazy. It was like, they’re 150 pounds, plus the mud, and the water residing inside the tire, and it’s like, you’re flipping and flipping and flipping, and there’s this magical moment of when it finally just happens, and then it’s like a rhythm. I could just keep going and going and going, and it was this cool adrenaline knowing that my body was capable of doing that. Those moments really made me think like, wow, I wonder what else my body could do if I tried.
Floor8: I imagine it was so hard being away from your family and friends while you were on the show. How did it feel to video chat with your brother—did it give you more motivation to keep going or did it make you want to go home at all?
Megan: I would say a little bit of both. My brother has always been my inspiration, and he is so selfless in every way, and is someone I try to be like. So being able to hear, [viewers] didn’t really get to hear this part, but he was really motivated by me, like, he had started walking every morning and had been down 10 or 15 pounds. So to hear that I inspired and motivated him to start making changes in his life was unreal, because it was like, wow, I just inspired the most inspiring person in my life. How cool is that? Just to hear him tell me to keep going gave me the boost I needed for that week.
Floor8: What was something you’d say surprised you the most during your experience on the show?
Megan: I think the thing that surprised me the most was realizing that I had a really hard time asking for help. That was something that we really worked on, just learning that it doesn’t show vulnerability to ask for help, but it is valuable and almost essential in moving forward and progressing.
Floor8: So post-Biggest Loser: When you called in after being eliminated during this week’s episode you looked and sounded amazing. What challenges did you initially face after going home?
Megan: Well, I hate losing [laughs]. I think the biggest thing, and it was all in my head, but there was this fear that I was about to step back into this atmosphere where I wasn’t allowed to live how I used to, feeling like I had changed so quickly, more inside than outside, to be honest with you. I thought, are the people I’m about to encounter now, the people back at home, are they going to be able to see the change? And am I going to have trouble maintaining what I just learned?
[Coming home] was honestly pleasantly surprising. My first week back, I visited my family in Las Vegas, and I was shown immediate support. Right away my brother was waking me up early for his morning walk, so the first week I had him as my support. I came back [home] and partnered with my trainer who has been with me the entire year, and the crazy thing is that, since I was learning how to ask for help, on days when I felt like I was exhausted and didn’t know if I could do it anymore, having them to remind me there was still another challenge to complete [was helpful]. I never would’ve heard those words of encouragement to keep going had I not asked for help.
Floor8: What advice would you give people who want to lose weight and get into fitness but might not have the right motivation or even the confidence to start?
Megan: I would say small beginnings. Whether it be starting with something small like a walk around the block, or a couple minutes in the park, or whatever you can do to get your body moving, once you start moving your motivation will come. Once you start going out there it’s going to change everything, and I would also tell them if they can go to the gym, get a trainer, because they will come up with a workout. You literally don’t have to think about anything, you just get there, somebody’s going to help you, and then you leave, and it’s done. And you feel so accomplished.
USA Network’s reboot of The Biggest Loser airs every Tuesday at 9/8c.