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Losing it: Even without 'The Biggest Loser,' 100 pounds or bust

Dane Patterson competes on "The Biggest Loser." Contestants need to be at least 100 pounds overweight, but Jody Genessy plans to lose that even without the show.
Dane Patterson competes on "The Biggest Loser." Contestants need to be at least 100 pounds overweight, but Jody Genessy plans to lose that even without the show.
Trae Patton, NBC Universal, Inc.

Have to admit I did something recently that hopefully will never happen again.

Make a public announcement of a crazy goal?

Well, I thrive on that pressure and public scrutiny, which is why in my last column I let the world know that I'm doing an Ironman next year.

Spice up a restful afternoon of fishing by bringing my 3-year-old girl and 5-year-old boy?

Yep, did that too, but I actually enjoyed it. My son caught his first fish (even hooked one before anybody else in our party) with a 3-foot-long Cars pole, which is amazing considering it seemed probable all the fish had been scared away to the opposite side of the lake.

Agree to change all of our baby's stinky diapers or actually weed my yard?

Yes, that is my wife's laughter you're hearing.

OK, try out to be a contestant on "The Biggest Loser" weight-loss reality show?

Yeah, right. LOL!

No, really. That's right. Go ahead and LOL. I actually auditioned to be on "The Biggest Loser."

This wasn't the first time, either. A few years back, I stood in line for hours outside of an Italian restaurant in Salt Lake City to get a chance to make my case to be tortured by trainers Bob and Jillian, to hit my goal weight and to be sprinkled with confetti and cash at the grand finale.

I didn't even get a callback after my first interview.

Even worse, I didn't get any free Italian food at the restaurant where they held the auditions, either.

Fast forward to a couple of Saturdays ago, and I once again found myself sitting with other Biggest Loser hopefuls hoping to do whatever needed to be done to get on the pain program with Bob and Jillian.

My friend, Steve, had invited me to try out after he saw a Facebook post of mine in July when I told a tidbit of a chat I had while running the Deseret News 10K race. To make a short story longer, about four miles into my race, I caught up with a slowly shuffling older man with long, wispy silver hair. Our brief interaction went something like this:

Him (teasingly): You're not going to pass up an 86-year-old, are you?

Me (trying not to sound overly cocky for finally passing somebody): "Yeah, but you'll probably pass me up soon!"

Him (sounding frank like my grandpa): "It'd help if you lost 100 pounds."

Me: "That's why I'm doing this."

So knowing that I still had some pounds to (re)lose — according to the scale and Grandpa Grumpy — my buddy asked if I wanted to give "The Biggest Loser" a shot.

Though I indeed have the requisite minimum of 100 spare pounds, I didn't feel too confident about being picked this time. I didn't really want to put my current exercising and weight loss on hold, either, but decided to give it a shot for a few reasons:

1. To support my friend, who wants to do a triathlon with me and who would make an awesome pound-shedding pal.

2. To make sure a certain 87-year-old in 2011 tells me I only need to drop 10 pounds or so.

3. To see the look on the face of the interviewer when I informed her that I had already signed up to do an Ironman.

I soon realized No. 3 didn't earn me any points. Her response? "Oh, cool. Do you lift a lot of weights?"

After my group helped her distinguish the difference between an Ironman triathlon and buff people at the gym who "pump iron, man!" I saw the writing on the wall.

It read: "Sorry, but Bob and Jillian will not be the ones whipping Jody into shape for his 17-hour Ironman adventure, which will include a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run on June 26, 2011."

By the time I'm done with myself, even without time on the Biggest Loser ranch, I hope to never come close to being eligible for that show again. I also hope to heed the advice received during the 10K and lose the extra 100 pounds I'm packing around.

That process has begun. I'm swimming, biking and running/walking/waddling several times a week again, and I've regained self-control and sensibility in the eating department. That's helped me lose about 15 pounds and gain fitness in the last month.

It certainly isn't easy, though. My motivation gets attacked all the time by self-doubt, laziness and intimidation.

But I'm determined and inspired to accomplish this. As I told the interviewer at the audition, the finish line of the Ironman race will be as far away as I can possibly get from obesity.

Even if I don't make it on a show, that's a place this 262-pounder definitely wants to be.

The difficult part, as we all know, is that the last 100 pounds are the hardest to lose.

Sports writer Jody Genessy chronicles his weight-loss fitness/race rage/reality TV show adventures in this column every other Thursday.