Lindsey Treffry | Argonaut
Three out of 10 college students are overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
This was the case for University of Idaho graduate Courtney Rainville, before she was a contestant on season 12 of “The Biggest Loser,” which premieres at 8 p.m. Tuesday on NBC.
Rainville graduated in 2009 with a degree in communications and now works as an Internet marketing specialist in Scottsdale, Ariz. She was born in Lewiston and has struggled with weight since she was a young girl.
“I’ve always been aware that I was overweight,” Rainville said.
At 270 pounds, she said there were many moments throughout her day when she couldn’t fit comfortably in clothes and couldn’t cross her legs. She said she is 24 years old and had never had a boyfriend or gone on a date. According to an NBC press release, her father had a heart attack two years ago, as did her grandfather who died. So she applied to be a contestant on “The Biggest Loser.”
“The first time I applied, I was a senior at UI and kind of had help from my sorority sisters to help make a video and put myself out there,” Rainville said. “It was more on a limb to try and see if I could get a call back, what I never thought could happen.”
Rainville said words could not describe her reaction to her call back. Although she was a fan of “The Biggest Loser,” she said she had a hard time watching the show because she was envious of the people who had a chance to lose weight. She also said for those who watch the show at home, there is a misconception that contestants are overweight and lazy, and that viewers themselves can do the same work.
“It’s harder than anyone expected — physically and mentally,” Rainville said.
Depending on the day, Rainville trained an average of six to eight hours. Trainers like Bob Harper, professional tennis player Anna Kournikova and fitness expert Dolvett Quince intimidated Rainville initially, but she was excited to meet Harper, the veteran trainer.
“I was a little celebrity guru and all giddy and nerdy about it and he was fantastic,” she said.
Jill Carmen, “The Biggest Loser” and NBC publicist, said production of the show already finished except for a shoot in October and the live finale.
Rainville gave some wisdom to those trying to lose weight.
“Push yourself with that friend,” Rainville said. “Try something you enjoy doing: riding a bike, classes, basketball, something that’s going to give you activity.”
Rainville said to also take advantage of the UI Student Recreation Center, even though she did not.
“If you think that you can’t (keep going) or you want to give up, you can go that extra mile or an extra 30 minutes,” she said.
“The Biggest Loser: Battle of the Ages” runs at 8 p.m. every Tuesday on NBC and episodes can be viewed online at nbc.com, after the episode’s premiere. Rainville’s first interview can be viewed at nbc.com/the-biggest-loser/video/meet-courtney/1354605/.
“Tune in every week to watch and root me on,” Rainville said. “I love the support I’ve gotten from the university already.”
As seen in the Sept. 20 issue of The Argonaut.