Schultz of ‘Biggest Loser’ shares secrets of weight loss success

Published 5:36 pm Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Do you want to achieve a major goal in life? Persistence and a positive attitude will take you a long way.

Roger Schulz, season 5 runner-up for NBC’s reality show “The Biggest Loser” and chairman of “Scaleback Alabama” in 2009, shared some secrets for being a winning at losing (weight, that is) and succeeding in life at the Greenville Lions Club Monday.

After reaching a high of 363 pounds prior, the gregarious Schulz dropped down to 199 pounds, going from a size 54 to a size 38 pant.

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While few people will share Schulz’s opportunity to spend five months on a reality TV show working to lose weight and “get a life,” he says programs like Scaleback Alabama are “a great way to get people started in changing their lifestyle.”

“There are some things you want to be known for as a state or a nation, but being one of the fattest states in the fattest country in the world isn’t one of them . . . we’ve all made excuses about our weight and we have to stop that. We either need to decide to lose the weight – or choose to be fat and happy,” Schulz said.

The former football player and coach played center for the Alabama Crimson Tide from 1986 to 1990 and also served as a graduate assistant coach on the school’s National Championship winning team, wasn’t always heavy.

He was actually one of the smallest centers playing for the Crimson Tide during his college days.

“I was one of those kids who had to really, really eat to gain weight. I was working out, I was burning lots of calories. And then I quite playing ball, but I didn’t change my eating habits. And I got fat,” Schulz explained.

To lose weight and maintain the weight loss, “you have to make a lifestyle change,” he said.

“You have to re-program yourself. Really want to lose the weight. And frankly, learn how to cook again.”

Keeping track of caloric intake each day through a food journal along with the amount of calories burned are also key, Schulz said.

He also recommended staying away from one of the many fad diets being touted.

“Stick with a balanced diet. And allow yourself one high calorie day a week. Don’t go crazy with it, but don’t deny yourself, either. If you want a Snickers Bar, eat one, but be sure and count it as part of your calories,” Schulz said.

Getting moving and staying moving is also very important to lose weight and keep it off, he said, summing up weight loss success with these words: “Keep track of your calories, keep moving and be persistent.”

Schulz used the acronym P-R-I-D-E (pride, respect, influence, determination and enthusiasm) to encapsulate his life philosophy.

“You can overcome and accomplish a lot just by being a hard worker. People have said they remember me as someone with a good attitude from my days playing college ball,” Schulz said.

“I showed up on time, I did what I was supposed to do and I lived my dream – to play ball for Alabama. Losing the weight was my dream, too. I lost my job when I did the show, but I gained my life.”

Tapping his head, he added: “It all starts up here. You make that decision to do it.”