Weather Forecast


Hudson woman loses big after 'Biggest Loser' experience

Shots from NBC's "Biggest Loser" of Lisa Rambo from Hudson, before and after.1 / 2
Lisa Rambo of Hudson, Wis., in front of the Biggest Loser Gym in California. Photos submitted2 / 2

HUDSON -- For Hudson native Lisa Rambo, her journey toward being a contestant on the popular reality television show "The Biggest Loser" started in 2009, when the show held a casting call at the Minnesota State Fair.

This year she realized her goal, but not after a few ups and downs. After the second time Rambo was turned down by the show for Season 11, she decided to tackle losing weight by herself. She was successful, losing 40 pounds.

"I gained all my weight back," Rambo said. "There was something I just wasn't getting."

So she decided she needed to try one more time and traveled to Chicago for the casting call for this season of "The Biggest Loser." More than 900 people showed up, but Rambo made it through.

"I knew my dream had come true when I was on the ranch," Rambo said.

"When she left I was determined I was going to cut some pounds as well," said Tony Rambo, Lisa's husband. He lost 25 to 30 pound during the five weeks Lisa was at the ranch. "When she came back she brought a lot of tools with her, and I ended up losing a total of 70 pounds."

During the five weeks at the ranch, Lisa lost 37 pounds. Her starting weight was 246. She was eliminated from the television competition when she came home in mid-November.

"I knew I had to keep going, so the first thing we did was clean out all of the cupboards," Lisa said. "We were going to be clean eating. There is no junk food in our house."

Lisa's calorie budget at the ranch was 1,200 a day. Each cast member has a different one.

"When you get to the ranch you meet with the doctor first and then the nutritionist for the show," Lisa said.

"The first workout was long and crazy," she said. "Especially for someone who has never been in a gym before. I had to keep my head in the game and keep moving."

The contestants worked out four to six hours a day.

The team members prepared all their own meals from a kitchen that was fully stocked.

One episode on the show is equivalent to one week on the ranch.

"It was fun and hard all at the same time," said Lisa, who admits she is more than a little competitive and enjoyed the challenges the most.

"Now looking back I realize the only focus was yourself," she said. "While on the ranch there is no Internet, no TV, no news, you are taken away from everything."

At the end of the fifth episode, Lisa was sent to her home team.

"It was really nice to come home to my family and this amazing supportive community," she said.

"First we cleaned out our kitchen," Lisa said. "We made our house a safe zone for clean eating. We decided as a family this was going to be a safe place including the kids."

"Treats actually became treats again," Tony said. Lisa and her family continued to eat exactly the way they taught her at the ranch.

"You can win it in the kitchen" became a motto but the workouts had to continue as well. Lisa went back to work full time at her job as an education assistant at Hudson High School and worked in time to work out a minimum of three hours a day. Most days she managed to squeeze in five hours. In Hudson, local trainers Kay Jordt at Riverfront Athletic Club and Eric Tostrud at Victory 4 You took over Lisa's workouts.

"You can do it while you are working," Lisa said.

Tony lost an additional 40 pounds after Lisa returned home. The couple used a device called the Body Media, which was provided by the show. It tracks everything -- movement, hours of sleep and calories -- and reports it to Lisa's phone.

"We were unaware of how many calories we were consuming a day," Lisa said.

Lisa returned to Los Angeles for the show finale, which was March 18.

"The finale was the end, but it was the beginning of the rest of my life," she said. "I was there to celebrate. I walked out on that stage confident that I had done everything I could have done. That I could hold my head high, knowing there wasn't anything else I could have done. I was so proud."

Lisa lost a total of 108 pounds in five and a half months.

"I have to offer huge kudos to everyone who stepped in in a big way to help me be successful," Lisa said. "We are forever grateful.

"I was given a gift, and if I can give it back to other people, that is what I want to do," she said. "I am still figuring out what the next step is. I know it is going to be exciting."

She is settling back into a new routine at home, exercising 60 to 90 minutes a day, six days a week. She is adding strength training, and the family plans to participate in a variety of runs and events.

"Our kids are super excited and looking forward to what this new mom will be like," Lisa said.

One thing Tony and Lisa know for sure is that Lisa will be starting a blog. It will be, and she will have a Facebook page as well.