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'The Biggest Loser''s Jesse Atkins on the Betrayal That Ousted Him

ETonline, Tuesday, November 16, 2010, 5:05am (PST)

It was a shocker when Jesse Atkins and his weigh-in partner Aaron Thompkins fell below the yellow line on last week's "The Biggest Loser," but when they were voted out -- it was a bigger betrayal!

Jesse had been assured by his roommate and friend Patrick that he would not write down his name. But Patrick did, sending Jesse and Aaron home. Now, ET talks to the 28-year-old law clerk from St. Paul, MN to see if he has forgiven Patrick and how he is doing with his weight Loss.

ET: Jesse, you commented that you were proud of everything you did on the ranch, but that you didn't feel that everyone could say that. Can you expand on that? And did it have to do with all the game play?

Jesse Atkins: Yes, I was referencing the game play and, you know, particularly at that moment I was feeling pretty stunned by what had happened, having gone into the elimination not thinking that there was any way that Aaron and I would go home because Patrick had promised me that we wouldn't. I do also understand that there is a game involved and so, I don't think anybody committed any heinous crimes on season 10 of "The Biggest Loser."

ET: Can you talk about how your relationship is with Patrick today?

Jesse Atkins: Patrick and I had a chance to chat recently and talk about things. I think the conversation and how our friendship is today is pretty well summed up by the end of our conversation, which is where I told him, "Listen, I think there are two signs of quality traits in a person. One is somebody that can own up and apologize for something stupid and not make excuses but really say, 'I screwed up.' On the flip side, somebody that can forgive a friend for having done something that maybe was a hasty decision or what they thought was a stupid decision. They can forgive them for it and move on."

We were able to basically say, "Let's go back to being friends," because Patrick was so supportive of me while I was on the ranch, and we were really -- I mean we were roommates -- good friends while we were there.

ET: How much do you think game play negatively impacted the overall goals of the ranch?

Jesse Atkins: Game play may have negatively impacted some goals in terms of personal growth at the ranch. But I don't think game play got in the way of weight loss. At least for me, a lot of it was about maturing and realizing what my role is in terms of my weight. That I often found excuses or made it somebody else's fault but that it's not. It's within my control. And that goes into other walks of life, including facing problems and facing my issues, such as nearing my completion of law school but not completing law school.

ET: How do you feel about being sent home when Lisa said she didn't want to be there?

Jesse Atkins: I did get frustrated with somebody saying that they wanted to go home so often. But my frustration I don't think was as much with Lisa as it was with other people. Somebody saying they wished to go home, and somebody else saying they wished to stay and keeping the people that wish to go home, simply because that improved their chances of moving on in the game, at the time frustrated me. In hindsight, I think things tend to happen for a reason. I think everything worked out really well for me. So I wouldn't go back and have changed any of it. But at the time, yes, it was frustrating.

ET: Now that you are home, how do you stay motivated to keep up with your weight loss?

Jesse Atkins: Now, I look at how much happier I am, and I just think, "Man I put in hard work for a few months and I gained so much from that." I have to remind myself of that sometimes on those mornings that I wake up and really don't want to go for a run that early in the morning. That's what I need to remember: This pays off and the payoff is way bigger than anything that I have to put into it. And so that's how I continue to motivate myself on those days when I maybe need a little oomph.

ET: You started at 369 pounds and today you weighed 232 pounds, a 137-pound loss. How much more weight do you plan to lose?

Jesse Atkins: Probably around 50 pounds, but the truth is, I won't know my goal weight until I get there because it's just a number. At some point, I'll look good and I'll feel good and I'll say, "You know what? I've reached it."

ET: You've talked about law school, are you going to go back?

Jesse Atkins: Yes. Since I've been home, I've talked with my law school and they've been very supportive of me. We're working on a plan to get me to finish my degree. And I've sat for all of the credit hours that I need. So I'm working with them on completing any unfinished business and getting my degree, and moving on and starting a career as a new, skinnier, happier me. So that's that the plan right now.

"The Biggest Loser" airs Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. on NBC.

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