Danny Cahill achieved fame when he lost 239 pounds in six and a half months to become the Season 8 winner of NBC’s "The Biggest Loser." Over 15 years, Cahill estimates he’s lost at least half a ton — lost weight and regained it, that is. "In the long run, it would be better to lose the ‘quit.’" he said. "Lose Your Quit" has become his message for success in weight loss or any other venture.
Cahill, who lives in Broken Arrow, Okla., spoke Saturday at the Crest Theater in Great Bend, encouraging audience members to lose regrets and give life their all. He spoke to the Great Bend Tribune earlier in the afternoon, when he dropped in at Club 1 Fitness, the main sponsor of the program, for a quick workout. Club 1 owner Caron Zager said the fitness club, located at 3806 Broadway, sponsored the program to promote its annual Community Challenge, which starts March 12. (Registration and weigh-ins must be completed by March 9. More about that later.)
The Tribune, Eagle Radio, Rocking M Radio and KSN were also sponsors of the program.
After dropping from 450 pounds to 191 and setting a record on "The Biggest Loser," Cahill knew he had to continue his journey of self discovery if he was going to keep the weight off.
"It wasn’t over for me," he said. "I know this is going to be a lifelong struggle."
The two questions Cahill says he gets asked most are, "Is Jillian really that crazy?" and "What did you do with the extra skin?"
The answer to the first question — about Jillian Michaels, a trainer on "The Biggest Loser," is "yes," Cahill said. He found her intimidating, but inspiring, as were the other trainers. They led him through a grueling three and a half hour workout his first day at The Biggest Loser Ranch in 2009. "My 40th birthday was the day of the Last Chance Workout with Jillian."
As for the second question, Cahill underwent skin removal surgery after losing 55.58 percent of his weight to win the $250,000 grand prize.
"I completely kept the weight off for two and a half years," Cahill said. But when his father died last December, he gained 30 pounds in 47 days. Now he’s back on track and has taken off more than half of that weight gain, he said.
"Everybody stumbles, but as long as you get up, you’ll continue on your journey."
Zager said she saw Cahill on the Joyce Meyer show and invited him to come to Great Bend. Cahill has written a book and launched a website, www.TheDannyCahill.com.
Club 1 Fitness has offered its annual Community Challenge for about a decade, Zager said. Although there is a fee to participate, it isn’t just for club members. Participants receive group personal training sessions, access to the club equipment, classes about healthy eating and other topics, and a chance to win prizes during the eight-week challenge. They receive points for meeting various challenges, which goes beyond weight loss.
Zager said a study shows Kansas ranks 26th among the states for overall health, but only ranks 36 in terms of obesity. "We need to concentrate on getting healthier," she said.