Nearly 10 years after winning American Idol, Ruben joined NBC’s The Biggest Loser at 34 years-old and weighing-in at 462 pounds. Unlike his experience a decade earlier, Ruben did not “win” the competition, but he did win a new outlook on life.
Now, over 120 pounds lighter, Ruben is back stronger, more fit and ready to help people make the same commitment – to change your life through healthy habits and exercise. Hear directly from Ruben on how his life has changed, and how his experiences led to his new album Unconditional Love.
BFT: Tell us about that moment of self-reflection and why you made the decision to commit to restoring your health?
RS: My moment of restoration may have come later than most people expected. It was when I was on the Biggest Loser ranch and I was given a jersey with the number 462. This represented not only my weight but how far I had allowed myself to go…I vowed at that moment to never be the same again.
BFT: After successfully winning the nation’s heart with 24 million votes on American Idol on FOX to becoming a contestant on NBC’s The Biggest Loser, did you ever feel like you let your fans down or did you look at it as an opportunity to let people see that you¹re actually human and go through real things like everyone else?
RS: I never felt like I let my fans down. I felt like I let myself and God down. Being unhealthy is not the way you give God the best of you. On the other hand I feel like He used me to show people that no matter what status you have or what stage of life you are in, you can always make positive changes in life.
BFT: Throughout your journey to better health, have you received any resistance from family, friends or fans who didn¹t want to see you lose weight?
RS: I haven’t received any resistance from family, friends or fans on this journey to a better me [because] I think the people who genuinely love and care for me want me to be the best me I can be.
BFT: Have you experienced moments when you thought about quitting because you thought your goals might be unattainable? What has kept you going?
RS: I have never really been a quitter. I’ve always been the kind of person that continues to press toward my goal through adversity…listen, I wanted to be a professionally singer when I was 10 but that dream didn’t become reality until the age of 24. [I believe] anything worth having is worth working for.
BFT: Did you ever fear that you would lose a sense of your identity or damage your brand as the “Velvet Teddy Bear” by slimming down?
RS: I felt that way when I was younger but now that I’m older and more mature. I understand that the nickname ‘Velvet Teddy Bear’ is not of my girth but it’s about the smoothness of my voice.
BFT: We watched you recently on The Wendy Williams Show and you noted that your goal is to be at your best physically by your next birthday. What would you consider optimal health to be for you?
RS: To be completely honest I don’t know where that place is. I’ve been overweight since I was 11 years old. I feel like if I continue to workout and eat right everyday the best me will show up along the way!
BFT: Lets talk about your new album Unconditional Love. On the song ‘Meant To Be,’ — which was featured on season finale of The Biggest Loser why was it important to you that your fans celebrate their successful weight loss journeys on the recently released lyric video for the song?
RS: It was important because we all share similar experiences on our journeys to [become] our best. I felt like giving other people who have also had amazing personal triumphs a place to shine, would be something to inspire others to press forward.
BFT: We can imagine recording an album to be very time demanding and requiring intense focus. How did you balance creating the Unconditional Love project while also focusing on losing over 100 lbs?
RS: Music is what I love and I never let the two paths get in each other’s way. I set separate times for both — mornings belong to my body and afternoons and evenings are for my girlfriend named ‘Music.’
BFT: For the person who is at the fork in the road and may be thinking “well losing weight had to be easy for Ruben, he’s a celebrity, he was on The Biggest Loser, he has a trainer, etc., I don¹t have that.” What advice do you have on how they can begin the journey to better health?
RS: I would tell that person that we all have obstacles or mental blocks that may stop us from moving forward. Just know no matter how many trainers I may have or the fact that I’m a Celebrity doesn’t change that I had to make a personal choice to change. Gyms don’t use themselves, trainers don’t train themselves and it’s up to us to get up and get moving.
BFT: How can fans stay connected and continue to follow your weight loss journey and career?
Get Ruben’s new album “Unconditional Love” for $4.99. This exclusive offer is for a limited time only! Click here and enter code: ULOVE50 to get a copy today.