Believe it or not, there’s still reality TV that isn’t Love Island or Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Whatever your opinion on the matter (just a “guilty pleasure” or self-confessed obsession you have to discuss with your friends over and over), I can bet my life sayings – approximately $20.76, that you’ve spent a horrific amount of time watching reality TV.
The chasm where brain cells go to die, there’s something unidentifiably appealing about watching people wail over botched cosmetic surgeries, or seeing your favorite celebrities go through some sort of ordeal solely for your entertainment (the weirdest, in my opinion, watching celebrities with little-to-no professional ski slope experience attempt to clear deathly alpine jumps).
I have to say however, I do have a soft spot for weight loss programmes. I can even manage to sit through an entire Khloe Kardashian’s Revenge Bod from time to time. Still the best iteration to this day though, is The Biggest Loser.
Way back when in 2006, Australia began its own edition of The Biggest Loser – the TV series that pits a load of overweight people against each other in order to see who can lose the biggest percentage of weight. The winner gets a wicked cash prize and of course, healthy habits and lifestyles to take back into their everyday life. One of the most infamous contestants to win the show was Sam Rouen.
Weighing 154kg when he began the show, Sam lost an inspiring 71kg throughout the series – and it’s safe to say that he has kept up these habits in the 10 years since.
Taking to his Facebook page not long ago, the 29-year-old reflected on the 10-year milestone, sharing an incredible before-and-after post. Now a fireman, Rouen wrote: “Wasn’t sure if I was going to do this post. However, 10 years hey. What a time. So much has happened, good, bad, everything between.”
He continued, “Highest highs and lowest lows. All I know is I’ve got some amazing people in my corner and I’m unconditionally appreciative of that.” In the post, Sam shared a photo of himself when he first appeared on the show at 19 years old. Alongside the photo, the fireman showcased a more recent picture of his physique – looking at the photos, it’s hard to believe it’s the same person.
After transforming his appearance, Sam has embraced his new chiselled physique, so much so that he’s appeared on “stripped off” on the New South Wales Firefighters Calendar. He’s also found love in his partner, Daniella Schot.
Even after this incredible transformation, Sam still gets nervous about taking off his shirt in public, saying, “I still don’t like taking my shirt off — even at the beach. I’m still extremely self-conscious… I just tried to keep in mind that it was for a good cause.”
Funnily enough, Sam now says he’s teased for his new body, but it’s more workplace banter than bullying. “It’s worse now. I’ve been getting a bit of a ribbing from the guys at the station, they’ve been calling me ‘calendar boy’ and stuff like that, but it’s all in good fun.”
He added that he runs a lot and is addicted to working out now, especially enjoying sessions with his brother. It must have been incredibly difficult to dramatically turn his life around in this way and stick to it. It’s safe to say that Sam is no longer the biggest loser.