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Bladenboro’s Vicki and Lauren Clark will be part of the cast for the Biggest Loser’s Season 17 that will begin airing Monday, Jan.4 at 9 p.m. on NBC (WECT, Channel 6).

Vicki_Clark_AVicki is a women’s health nurse practitioner and Lauren is a nutritionist. Bladenonline sat down with Vicki for a question-and-answer session that follows. (Bladenonline also interviewed Lauren).

Bladenonline: How did you come to apply to be on the Biggest Loser?

Vicki: My daughter Lauren auditioned with a friend and got a call back, but production was looking for a mother/daughter team and asked that I interview with Lauren.   The rest is history!

Bladenonline: Were you familiar with the Biggest Loser show?

Vicki: I was very familiar with the show — a big fan having watched every season!

Bladenonline: Were you surprised that you were chosen?

Vicki: I was VERY surprised!   Who would have thought that out of thousands who apply, Lauren and I would be chosen!

Bladenonline: What were some of your biggest concerns with being on the show?   Traveling to California?  Time away from family?  Rigors of being involved in the work-outs and challenges?

Vicki: My biggest concern was our grandson/Lauren’s son Caleb. But we prayed that if the separation would have a detrimental effect on him, that we would not be cast for the show.

I WAS concerned about the rigors of the workouts.  I have a spinal fusion as well as an additional slip in the spinal vertebra (spondylolisthesis).   I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to tolerate the workouts.

I went on the show a surgical candidate for an additional spinal fusion, but my prayer is the weight loss and new core strength will facilitate a spontaneous resolution of my current back issues.

And there were financial concerns. My employer could not hold my position in public health.  So Lauren and I both had to resign.

I had never spent more than three weeks away from my family particularly my husband and I was concerned for the separation. But I faced all these things confident in Gods plan for us and His provision for all we would need if cast for season 17.

Bladenonline: What was some of your recent work history prior to going to the Ranch?

Vicki: I’ve worked in healthcare for 25 years. Most recently as a women’s healthcare nurse practitioner.  Part of my motivation for wanting to improve my health, stems from feeling like I’m a poor role model for health care.

I also volunteer with our church and Baptist Association and felt that my lack of control in my physical life was a poor witness for the power of Christ to change a life. I feel like a hypocrite in both work roles.

Bladenonline: So you went with your daughter, the nutritionist, what was that like?

Vicki: It was fun. I felt at times Lauren’s concern for my well-being may have held her back. She was concerned about, “how will Mama do in this challenge, workout, etc.”. I wanted her to be able to just focus on Lauren.  At the same time I wanted her to do well!   We encouraged each other- I was so proud of her, and I felt like even at her size, she was the most fit person on the show.

Bladenonline: Once you got to the ranch, how was your time spent? Work-outs? Other exercise? Diet?

Vicki: We would workout with our trainer several hours everyday, interval training, pool workouts, boxing, etc and then we’d have “homework” that we would complete on our own. The food we prepared was provided and consisted of “whole” foods.  It was very healthy.

Bladenonline: How did you hold up physically? Did it get any easier after time?

Vicki: It was HARD!!   The hardest thing I’ve ever done- physically and emotionally. I had heard folks say ” it gets easier after the first two weeks.”  The routine became more familiar and I became more confident but the workouts got progressively longer and harder. And I prayed through every one of them-  That God would empower me to get through it!  My back hurt EVERY day but has really improved as I’ve gotten stronger!  Praise Him!

Bladenonline: How about the time away from family? How did you work through that?

Vicki: I missed my family — everyone did. It was bad at bedtime, that was about the only time we slowed down enough to dwell on it.   And I had an abscess tooth while I was there. I cried wanting my husband!  He’s an excellent caregiver and always pampers me when I don’t feel well.  That was tough!

Bladenonline: Did you start to notice a difference in your health after you had spent some time on the ranch?

Vicki: I really did.  With the exception of a bad tooth I did not get sick the entire time!   No cold, nothing.   Oh I had aches and pains but no real illness.   And I felt really good mentally.  I felt like my thought processes were clearer and I had a much improved energy level.

Bladenonline: Any highlights or memorable examples from your time on the Ranch that you can talk about?

Vicki: I thoroughly enjoyed the challenges!  They were my favorite. And I enjoyed our team particularly. One of my teammates, Colby Wright from Georgia was a delight and I felt blessed to be able to spend time with him and his wife Hope. I loved everyone but Colby is super special to me!

Bladenonline: How stressful were the weigh-ins and eliminations? How stressful was it with the fact that you and your daughter were involved?

Vicki: Super stressful!  My biggest fear was that Lauren would be eliminated first. But my husband said before I was cast to “do your best, and stay positive”.  I wasn’t always positive but I did feel like I did my best.  And when the day is over my best is always good enough.

Bladenonline: How was the interaction with the other cast members, if you are allowed to talk about it at this time?

Vicki: I enjoyed everyone!   I didn’t have ONE negative experience while I was there.  As noted above some cast were particularly special to me.  The Hernandez twins were great motivators and everyone was encouraging to each other.  The staff was great too.

Bladenonline: How has the whole experience affected your life? Any learnings that have helped you with your diet or work-out regimen?

Vicki: I believe God’s providence allowed the casting producers to choose us for the show.   We are so appreciative to NBC and The Biggest Loser for the opportunity.  I know God had a purpose for our time there and will continue to use it for His Glory.

We’re unemployed now and just excited to see what path God has mapped out for this time in our lives. I hope I never forget how hard this has been — physically — emotionally.  I want to always remember the sacrifices that everyone made to accommodate my absence particularly my family.

I never want to return to a place of feeling like I am a poor representation of the power of Jesus Christ. I’ve learned that changing the plane of my body during a workout is a great calorie burner for me.  And I’ve learned that it’s hard.  Even when doing all the right things it’s still hard.  And I never want to go back to such a poor state of health again.

Bladenonline: What was California like?

Vicki: Sunny and dry!   It sprinkled once or twice and rained once.

The people are very different from folk in NC — very liberal by Bible Belt standards but they are VERY nice.   Everyone I met was extremely nice.   I believe we could learn lessons from Californians about loving each other.   I enjoyed my time there, but there is no place like home!

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