An Iowan who won the TV show “Biggest Losers” is finding it’s changed his life. Matt Hoover of Marion was watching one of those reality shows when he decided he could be a part of the program…and he was right. A year ago at this time Hoover says he weighed 350 pounds, so he says he can deal with being called a big loser for a while, if this what it’s going to entail.
He contacted the show and was chosen to compete on camera against some other American “heavyweights.” “The premise of the show is “a kind of a survivor-type game,” Hoover says, and they see who can lose the most weight. He lost 157 pounds to win. He says he was confident he’d be chosen one of the fourteen contestants on the show. Hoover was a Division-One wrestler in college and wrestled at 177 pounds and 190 pounds. Then he had some injuries, left school, and says he “ballooned up.”
Hoover says he didn’t try real hard to lose weight but knew he’d be able to if he wanted, so when this opportunity came up he says he figures “Why not get paid for it too?” He says this show’s unique, not like some others who see who’ll eat the grossest thing or try and stay alive. He says this isn’t just about losing weight, because people come up and tell him they’ve been inspired to get fit, “which is an awesome compliment.”
Hoover, who grew up in Belle Plaine, had worked in recent years in Marion in sales and construction till he entered the show, and was noticed by other Hollywood producers. Tonight he’ll speak at Coe College in Cedar Rapids about his family’s history of heart problems, and staying in shape. He got in from Los Angeles last night after taping a soap opera and says he’s busy working in television. He’d like to stay in Iowa but for now says he’s got TV offers that are keeping him busy.