Ruben Studdard’s 130-lb Transformation: “Nobody can Shake My Opinion of Myself”

After leaving The Biggest Loser ranch, American Idol veteran Ruben Studdard didn’t leave his hard work behind. He still has his eye on an at-home weight loss win, as well as a far more important prize: his health.

When Studdard started the show, he weighed 462. He dropped 39 pounds on the ranch, and afterward lost 104lbs, but in an recent interview, he revealed that he’s now lost a total of 129 pounds. Studdard admitted that his four weeks on the ranch was the hardest part.

“It was 10 times harder than I expected,” Ruben shared. “You know, it wasn’t the working out that was the hard part. It was all the other stuff that goes along with being on the ranch — not being able to talk to your family and that stuff. It’s very mentally challenging. Hopefully I can continue to keep that downward trend going.”

And keeping up with the trend of losing weight he has. Now, it hasn’t been without its challenges of gaining weight then losing it again. But all in all Ruben is healthier than ever.

This isn’t the first time the American Idol champ has shed a significant amount of weight. A decade ago, he adopted a vegan diet and lost 100 pounds, but wasn’t able to keep it off. This time, he feels things are different – because he’s different. Studdard’s weight-loss and lifestyle changes have been crucial in managing his health – which is more important than ever before, given his recent diabetes diagnosis.

“The only cure for that is diet and exercise,” he said. “That’s what I’ve been doing. The last time I lost weight, I was still young — I was 25,” Studdard explained. “And it really wasn’t as much for me as it was to prove people wrong. This is a lot different. I have a completely different set of circumstances now that affect the way I approach it for my life. So I have to take it a little bit more seriously — not a little bit, a lot more serious.”

“My trainer Dolvett is amazing. The good thing about him is that he isn’t one of those people who does a job and walks away from it. He and I developed a friendship that I didn’t expect. … A lot of times people say, ‘Oh, we’ll keep up,’ but they don’t mean it. Dolvett has most definitely been true to form, guiding me through my process for the whole entire time the show went on. And it paid off.”

Another positive is that he has a lot of support now. In addition to his friends from The Biggest Loser ranch, Studdard’s family has joined him in his weight-loss efforts.

As Studdard continued along his at-home competition journey, he considered himself a winner where it counts.

“I’m not disappointed, because I went into the house with one goal — to change the way I thought about healthy living, and I did that.”

“Being on the “Biggest Loser” was definitely a time and place for a lot of self-reflection. To think about your accomplishments, mistakes, all the things that have made you who you are; about being on a reality show to get your life together. Starting out, I was this wide-eyed, immature 23-year-old with a slight direction as to where I wanted to go.”

At the end of the day, Ruben is still Ruben.

“I just never let anything bother me, man. I know myself really well. Nobody’s opinion of me can shake my opinion of myself.”

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