Viewers chose to give Amanda Arlauskas a chance to change her life during last season’s Biggest Loser finale. Now a member of the formidable Pink Team, the 20-year-old nursing student will be giving InTouchWeekly.com readers all the exclusive behind-the-scenes dish every week! In the sixth episode of season 8, the Blue Team won a sand-digging challenge and decided to send the Black Team home to their families for a week, which wasn’t as exciting as it sounds. “When we first found out, it was shocking,” Amanda tells In Touch. “It was definitely a wakeup call.”
Click here to read more about what you didn’t see on this week’s episode of The Biggest Loser.
Did you have any time to talk to Jillian or anyone else before you had to fly home?
The challenge ended at one in the morning and my plane was leaving at six in the morning, so there was no talking to Jillian or anyone but my own team. Some people were nervous; others were excited. When we sat in the van together on the way back to the ranch, we were like, “We have to be each others’ support and call each other every day.'”
Did you know your whole family was going to be there to welcome you home?
I was actually worried because I knew it was the weekend of my cousin’s wedding and my parents were supposed to be out of town!
Did they skip the wedding?
I came home on Friday and they left first thing Saturday morning. Everything that could have gone wrong the day of traveling went wrong. I actually didn’t get home to my premiere party until 2:30 in the morning. It was a disaster. Having that horrific travel day was the first struggle I had going home. I lost a whole day working out and all I could think of was the blue team back at the ranch working out six, seven, eight hours. And I sat on a plane all day.
Were you able to do anything at the airport?
The only thing I could do was walk around. I would check to see if the flight was delayed, then go walking again. I kept thinking, “Just move as much as you can.” But it’s not nearly as much as what you’d do if you were at the ranch or in a gym.
Your struggles continued when you worked out at a gym at home.
All of the equipment was so different from what I was used to. Instead of going to the gym and walking right up to the machine I know, I had to try to figure it out, see how it works and then start. It was very frustrating to me. Then Jillian called and I said, “I’m not comfortable. I’m feeling anxiety because I just wanted to do well at home but there were so many crazy distractions.” I needed her to tell me that it can be done and this is how to do it. She guided me in the right direction. All of a sudden I felt like, “She’s right. It has to be done at home, so if I have to learn it now, let’s just do it.”
Aside from the new gym and preparing meals, why was it so difficult?
When you get home, you’re back in the environment where your family and friends are around and you have your cell phone, TV, the computer — things to do. It’s like, “Do I want to go to the movies or should I be at the gym?” It’s hard knowing there are so many other options other than working out. All you want to do is spend time with everybody. But realistically, I knew I couldn’t do that.
Other people seemed frustrated that their friends and family were ordering unhealthy foods when they went out to eat. Did you experience that?
One of the first things I said to my friends was, “Don’t think you have to change for me because I know that for the rest of my life, I’m going to be around food that’s going to tempt me and I can’t expect everyone around me to change their eating habits because I am.” From day one, I understood that when I did come home, I was going to come back to a world that’s completely the same, but I would be the only thing that’s different. At the restaurant, I told them, “If you want that cheeseburger, get that cheeseburger, because I have to be okay with you eating that cheeseburger next to me and knowing that’s not what I want.” I think my friends actually made healthy choices that night, but I can’t expect people to order the way I want them to. I have to have enough self-control to know that that’s not what I want for myself.
You lost six pounds during the week and the rest of the team did well, except for Daniel. Why do you think he gained a pound?
I don’t really know what happened with Daniel. We were all just shocked. I felt bad because he’s just so far into his weight loss and he must have just hit his plateau. I spoke with him every day on the phone at home and I know he was working out and we talked about what we were eating. I really have no explanation why he didn’t lose weight that he should have. Unless he wasn’t doing what he said, but I don’t believe that was the case. Daniel’s a fighter and he wants to do well.
Why did you vote for Dina to leave?
I was completely honest with Dina. I love Dina and she’s a very good friend, but I was closer with Daniel, Shay and Abby. In order for me to guarantee myself more time on the ranch, I couldn’t vote one of them off. But because Danny was the biggest loser of the week, I couldn’t vote for him. I had to think about who was going to save me in the long run, and unfortunately, I felt like Dina could end up sending me home in the future, so I decided to send Dina home.
Have you talked to her since?
Yes, I just spoke with her recently and she’s doing so well. She knows that it wasn’t anything personal. We had a good relationship on the ranch and it was nice to talk and know that there were no grudges. I’m glad we’re able to have a good friendship now.