After losing a challenge and spending a tough week at home, Dina Mercado insisted that she wasn’t ready to leave the ranch yet. But the mom from Commerce, Calif., had no choice when her team chose to send her home for good instead of Daniel, who actually gained a pound. “I have to say I wasn’t too surprised,” says Dina. “Ultimately, my team chose to stick with friendship rather than keeping the team strong, and that’s pretty much all I can say about that.” Still, with the help of
her 9-year-old son, Dina has succeeded in losing a total of 75 pounds so far.
Click here to read more about how Dina is doing now.
The Biggest Loser
Eliminated October 20
When you went home for the week, you seemed frustrated that those around you were continuing to eat unhealthy foods. Has that changed?
Dina: Honestly, it’s a huge struggle because I am trying to so hard to get my family to join on board. One of my sisters is doing great. She has lost 27 pounds since I’ve been home. And that’s been a lot of support for me. It’s still difficult with my dad and my other sister, to visit them and constantly have these foods that I can’t eat. Because it is tempting still. Unfortunately, I can’t say everybody is
on board. When I visit, I try to take everything that I think of that I might want to maybe possibly eat or snack on with me that is healthy for me. Because when I go to, let’s say my brother’s house, while they’re snacking, I can pull out my carrots or almonds. I love popcorn. And it’s not all that bad for you if you buy the really good organic, no butter, no salt popcorn. And a lot of times I do avoid going to places because I know I will be tempted.
Does your son still participate in your fitness routine?
Dina: Yes, I do incorporate him into my workouts. We rollerblade together. I go to the beach quite a bit and do beach workouts sometimes with my trainer, and he also comes along. We do a lot of outdoor activities. That way, I can still spend my time with him and still get a decent amount of time working out in. I do go to the gym alone while he’s at school.
How does he compare to Bob and Jillian in terms of getting you motivated?
Dina: This is so funny because he’s just like them. He is always pushing me, and pushing me, and pushing me. He tries to be just like them. He tries to yell at me, and so I have to remind him that he is my son! And he just inspires me because of how proud he is. I want to make him proud.
Could you see him doing that as a career?
Dina: Possibly. When we go work out, on the back of my trainer’s shirt it says "Real Big Trainer." And one day, my son brought me a piece of paper and had me write "Trainer in Training," and he taped it to the back of his shirt while he "trained" me. I see a lot of positive things coming out of this for him. It
was very difficult when I got home because he went through a lot of mental and emotional things. He didn’t want to eat anything, everything he ate made him sick. We had to go over it and I told him that eating food is not bad, it’s picking and choosing. He’s doing well now. We talked and I educated him quite a bit on it and he understood a lot.
You struggled with jumping onto the foot-high box the entire time at the ranch, and you finally mastered it at home. How did you do it, and what went through your mind the first time you did it?
Dina: I came home, and I found a trainer right away. And one of the first things I mentioned was that I couldn’t jump onto this box. He said I wasn’t ready yet. So I kind of put it on a timeout. But I had to face it, and I wanted it so bad, so we worked on it really hard. And actually, he had me jumping about three
to four inches higher than the box, but when I came to the box, I still couldn’t do it for probably a couple of weeks. And he was like, “Dina you’re jumping higher than the box.” Finally he mentioned that I had to commit: “Every time you come to this box you have no commitment to yourself, and everything that you want to do.” That big word, “commit,” stood in my head and I said, “He’s right. I’m not committing to myself. Why am I choosing not to make this commitment?” Ultimately, when I did get up on the box, it was kind of like me committing to my future and committing to myself that anything was possible. That I can be unstoppable as long as I commit. And that was awesome.