fD Interview


fD Interview: Bill Germanakos

July 04, 2008
by Sushene S. Leitch
FindingDulcinea’s weekly feature offers interviews with intriguing people on the cutting edge of business, the arts, technology and journalism. This week, we talk with “The Biggest Loser’s” Season 4 winner, Bill Germanakos, about what it’s like to lose half of your body weight and how he’s paying it forward.

At 40 years old, Bill Germanakos weighed 334 pounds. By the time he emerged victorious on NBC’s hit reality show “The Biggest Loser,” he had reduced to a healthy 170 pounds. In conjunction with his twin brother Jim, who also appeared on Season 4 of the show, Bill has been touring the country to promote their brand, Weight Loss Twins, and to motivate others who struggle with their weight. During the show Bill’s mantra was “to become half the man, so that he could be twice the man,” and now he’s living that statement every day of this life. 
fD: What projects are you currently working on?

BG: Right now, my twin brother, Jim, and I are establishing the brand of Weight Loss Twins LLC. Through appearances, public events, and charitable work, we hope that Weight Loss Twins will soon become a household name.  My full-time job is as Director of Corporate Wellness Initiatives for Quest Diagnostics. I support a program called “Blueprint for Wellness,” which is marketed to Fortune 500 companies who are interested in the improved health of their employees.

fD: What did you eat for breakfast today?

BG: I made a rather large omelet, containing 12 egg whites, a tablespoon of olive oil, one green bell pepper, one red bell pepper, and half of a small yellow onion. That entire breakfast is 389 calories. In the old days, my breakfasts would be half the size and quadruple the calories!
fD: What is your opinion of the Internet?

BG: I wouldn’t know what to do or where to go without it.

fD: Tell us about your Web site, Weight Loss Twins.

BG: On our site you can learn about our experiences as champions of “The Biggest Loser,” view pictures and videos of us, participate on our message boards and ask us questions. You can also purchase Weight Loss Twins merchandise, and you will eventually have access to the diet and exercise plans that made us so successful. We are also planning on adding professional health and fitness links, as well as creating areas where our fans can post success stories, before and after pictures, and even post bulletins and initiate support blogs.

fD: Is Jillian, your fitness trainer on “The Biggest Loser,” really as mean as she seems on TV?

BG: In real life, Jillian cares for each of her contestants as if they were her own children. The public must understand that being tough in the gym is just her job, and believe me, she is as tough off-camera as she is on-camera—that is how she built her reputation as the best fitness trainer in the world. What people don’t see on television is that she is one of the most generous and caring people that they might ever meet. I simply call her my guardian angel.
fD: Who’s stronger, you or your twin brother, Jim?

BG: While Jim might be able to bench-press more than I can in the gym (he can bench about 360 pounds), I can do 100 push-ups in a row, and he can’t. That said, the simple answer is (although I hate to admit it) that Jim is stronger.

fD: Do you ever worry that you’ll gain the weight back?

BG: I’m actually doing a very good job of maintaining my weight. Believe me, it is not easy to get to the gym 12 to 15 hours per week, but it is much easier than the 40 to 50 hours per week that I worked out while on “The Biggest Loser.” As for the diet, I don’t even consider it very difficult, as I now simply know and concentrate on which foods I can eat. For instance, I no longer eat white bread or pasta.

fD: Now that you’re a celebrity, are you using your fame for good or evil?

BG: I don’t know if I will ever get used to the term “celebrity,” but what I will tell you is that now that I’ve been blessed with this awesome experience and such a valuable education, my goal is to pay it forward and help as many people as possible. I guess that means that I’m using it for good, eh?

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