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Everything I Learned Can Be Summed Up in One Idea

Everything I learned during my 8 month journey on Biggest Loser can be summed up by the only tattoo that I have: What You're For Strengthens You!
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Believe in Yourself: What You’re For Strengthens You!

Back in October, I wrote an article titled “The Lessons I Learned On a Reality Show” and for this “Weigh In Wednesday” article I want to share with you “The Lessons I Learned AFTER a Reality Show,” as in 4 days it will be 4 years to the day since our Season 11 Biggest Loser Finale.

Everything I learned during my 8 month journey on Biggest Loser can be summed up by the only tattoo that I have, which I got during the 6 weeks Jenny and I were at home getting ready for the final weigh in on May 24, 2011.

During a really rough stretch towards the end of time on the show, while we were in New Zealand, Jillian pulled me to the side to have a heart to heart. She wanted to find out why I seemed to be giving up on my self.

In true heartfelt Jillian style, she keep digging into my thoughts to try to reveal what was behind my actions. Why did I seem to be giving up on myself?

After being on the show for almost 6 months, and Jennifer having been sent home a few weeks earlier, I felt alone, tired and weak. This wasn’t my dream to be on this show, it was Jennifer’s, and she was gone. So I started to have my own internal pity party and Jillian wouldn’t have it.

“What’s wrong with you, what happened to you, where did you go?” said Jillian. “Look Jill, let’s face it, I’m not the youngest, the fastest or even the strongest person here.” I said.

“Why do you say that?”

“Well it’s true isn’t it!”

And after about 5 minutes of Jill’s inquiry I finally got her point. “Look, this is why you got to 400+lbs in the first place, you started to give up on yourself, you started arguing for your weakness, coming up with a whole list of excuses and reasons of why you were where you were, and unless you right now let go of that thinking all of the success and weight loss you’ve experienced here will be lost, and trust me, you’ll gain back every pound you lost, and put on even more!”

For me that conversation was a turning point in my life, and it’s the conversation that still rings true for me now almost 4 years later and I know it’s what will keep me mentally and physically fit for the rest of my life.

So to mark that moment I ran through my long list of favorite quotes looking for one that would be the North Star to keep my head in the game of wellness for life.

What you’re for strengthens you, and what you’re against weakens you” was the quote that marked that moment, and what I intended to mark on my body for life.

And I did.

Except I have to say wisely my wife Kim said “you might not want to have the words “against” and weakens” permanently inked on your body.

Great advice, and so you can see what I ended up with along with our finale date, May 24, 2011 in Roman numerals as I saw that day, that moment as a door opening to a whole new life lived well.

That was a lesson, I learned on a “reality show”, but more important, it’s a lesson I live “after” a reality show everyday.

The weight loss was great, losing -181lbs, and the lessons I learned about what to eat and how to exercise, but the gift was what I took away from the experience mentally, now that was priceless.

Picture of a tattoo on Jay Jacobs arm, promoting the idea 'Believe in Yourself'

So here are a few other things I learned after a “reality show.”

You never know, so never give up…

Here’s a picture of Jen, Kim and I with Ali Vincent, the 1st woman to win Biggest Loser, at a Health & Wellness show in NYC at least a year, maybe two, before Jen and I made it on the show.

Jen was determined to get on the show. She tried out for Season 9 and didn’t make it. She tried out for 10 and didn’t make it. Without going into all of the details, Jen stuck with it until out of over 250,000 people who audition each season, she and I made it against those odds to make it onto Season 11.

Never give up!

Jay Jacobs meeting with Ali VIncent - Believe in Yourself

Yes, the “Last Chance” workouts are real, very real. And most of the challenges are not only challenges, most are pretty scary!

But the big lesson I learned on the show that I live “after” the show is that we all are so much more capable of doing things than we give our selves credit for.

Push yourself and your mind and body will open up to a whole new world of possibilities.

Jay Jacobs pushing himself on Biggest Loser - Believe in Yourself

Jay Jacobs and Jillian Michaels on Biggest Loser set. - Believe in Yourself

Yes I learned many more things while I was on the show, but if you can remember and maybe surround yourself with people who will remind and support you on these three things, you’ll not only live life well, you’ll live a life you love.

1. What you’re for strengthens you.
2. Never give up.
3. You can do so much more than you can imagine

And as always, each Wednesday (ok, I didn’t share it last Wednesday) it’s “Weigh In Wednesday” video time. If you don’t know my BHAG that I’m declaring for my 58th birthday on July, 26, 2015 watch the video because it’s in there.

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