Danny Cahill, the 40-year-old land surveyor and father of two from Broken Arrow, Okla., is now the biggest loser – quite literally – of The Biggest Loser. Having shed 239 pounds (more than any other contestant in the show’s history), Cahill talked to EW after the Dec. 8 finale about the milestone and whether his rapid weight loss was safe.
EW: You are truly the biggest loser!
DANNY CAHILL: Yes, no one has ever lost that amount of weight. What’s crazy was that the record was 214 pounds by (season three winner) Erik Chopin and Rudy beat him, and then I beat Rudy! That was two records set in one night. This season, Rudy and I have been a great, friendly, competitive team. We love each other, we push each other, so it’s only fitting that we both set the record the same night.
Before you started The Biggest Loser, when was the last time you stepped on a scale?
Oh, I have no idea. I didn’t step on a scale for forever because I was scared to! I didn’t know how much I weighed, and when I’d go to the doctor’s office, I’d be on the scale and say, “Oh, it’s because I’m wearing shoes” or “I had my wallet in my pocket.” I mean, I was scared.
When you stepped on that scale tonight and it read 191 lbs, were you surprised?
You know, the number was a surprise because I thought it was going to be less than that. I worked hard the last two weeks. I didn’t get on the scale because you know what, I knew I had a number I need to get and I’m just going to get it. So I worked as hard as I could and I didn’t worry about the scale or the number. I knew what I was doing and I knew what I needed to do. If you do the work, the results will happen.
Because this season was so successful, the show invited scrutiny from the New York Times over whether such a rapid weight loss program was unsafe. Was it? Did you take the weight off safely?
I did nothing unhealthy. I ate right and I worked my tail off. I did nothing unhealthy. It was a natural weight loss and you can’t get any healthier than that. I was a couch potato about to have a heart attack seven months ago.
Can you answer the question we’re all secretly wondering? What’s going on with the excess skin under your T-shirt? Are you wrapped in five yards of elastic that’s holding it all in?
I’ve got some skin and you know what? Those issues will be taken care of in time (he laughs). When you weigh 430 pounds, and you had a stomach as big as I did, you’re gonna have some skin. But that’s okay, because you know what? I can run a marathon now, thanks to The Biggest Loser.More Biggest Loser from EW:
Biggest Loser finale recap: The end of the road
Photo Credit: Trae Patton/NBC