My Encounter with Bob Harper from The Biggest Loser

I will admit it — I love to watch The Biggest Loser on NBC. The show has its drawbacks — do they really support former contestants for one — but I think it makes for great TV. The constant corporate schilling gets a little old, but overall I really enjoy watching people who clearly need help struggle to lose weight. I feel they also give the contestants the tools they need to continue with a healthy lifestyle for the rest of their lives.

So I am at the Jackson Mississippi airport coming home from a training session with a client in Ackerman and who is there? Bob Harper. I love Bob as a trainer on TV. I think he knows when to push and when to back off of his people. I have always thought it would be cool to meet him. He and I were checking in at the Delta Kiosks together and I looked over and recognized him. He looked just like he does on TV. I said something stupid like, “Hey, I know you” and he smiled and asked if I was a fan of the show and we briefly spoke. I did tell him my wife was in love with him — which is somewhat true.

I thought that was the end of my encounter with him. I made my way to the gate to catch my flight to Atlanta and about 10 minutes later, guess who shows up again? Mr Bob Harper gets to the gate and sits down and is just about mobbed by his fans. I thought it was kind of funny, but I had the same reaction at the ticket counter. They called for First Class to board (I travel a lot and get upgraded about 90% of the time) and who comes and sits down next to me? Mr. Bob Harper.

Unfortunately it was only a 50 minute flight, but I introduced myself and we started talking. I have to admit being a little start struck, but I managed to contain my man crush and talk to him about what I do both personally and professionally. Here is a summary of what we talked about:

1. What I do professionally is important. I work with school districts across the country to help them improve their PE programs through Federal funding. We both agree that for most students, their experience in PE classes may be one of the few places they will get instruction in how physical activity and food choices can impact health levels. With purposeful PE classes, students can and will improve the decisions they make in that area.

2. You can hit your fitness and health goals through small changes. If you want to lose weight, you need to make improvements in the quality of your diet and the amount of physical activity you get. Those changes can be achieved through a small decrease in calories and an increase in physical activity. It really doesn’t take much and you can achieve the goals you set with small changes in behavior. All the changes matter and become cumulative over time.

3. He is very passionate about what he does. Fitness and helping people achieve their goals is not just what Bob does, but I got the feeling that it is who he is. Because he is so passionate about helping people improve their fitness and health levels, he is very good about what he does. We talked about nutrition and how I can go improve my pre race nutrition to improve performance. He really knows nutrition on top of training.

4. Bob is just an overall good guy. You can feel how much he cares about the people he works with. I think this is why before he was on the Biggest Loser he was one of the top personal trainers in LA. He has that charisma that helps people feel his passion and that he cares about their results. That makes people feel accountable to him for their training and lifestyle decisions.

Of the celebs that I have met in my travels, Bob was one of the best. I have a lot of respect for him and this experience only adds to that. I would say most celebs I meet fail to live up to the image that I have in my mind of them. Bob far exceeded my image of him. I really appreciated my conversation with him and all of his insight!

About the Author

I have been participating in running and triathlons for 10 years and love the feeling that training provides. You may not agree with me, but you know you just can't look away...