Gilroy native Ada Wong has struggled with her weight her entire
Now a contestant on NBC’s
The Biggest Loser,
the 27-year-old is committed to trading the pounds that have
weighed her down for years for a healthier lifestyle.
Watch the full episode by clicking here. Wong appears at the
Ada’s “Biggest Loser” profile.
Watch the full episode by clicking here. Wong appears at the 17:00 mark.
Gilroy native Ada Wong has struggled with her weight her entire life.
Now a contestant on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” the 27-year-old is committed to trading the pounds that have weighed her down for years for a healthier lifestyle.
But the journey that started over the summer has been more than just one of weight loss.
“I feel better about myself, about making better decisions, about finally setting myself up for success,” said Wong, who now lives in Santa Clara.
On the first episode of the show, Wong weighed in at 258 pounds. In a phone interview, she couldn’t talk about how much weight she’s lost as per the show’s rules, but said she’s looking forward to trying some new adventures in the coming months.
“For the first time, I feel like I can do sports,” she said. “I never dared to even think about being an athlete. I was always overweight. Now I can run marathons, go snowboarding, rock climbing.”
As a student at Gilroy High School, Wong tried her hand at badminton but typically steered clear of athletics. She recalled a particularly embarrassing experience during a middle school physical education class that reinforced her belief that she wasn’t cut out for sports.
The teacher became increasingly frustrated when Wong missed pitch after pitch in a round of softball. Instead of throwing the ball, the teacher placed the ball on top of an orange cone for Wong to hit, a move that embarrassed her in front of the entire class.
The only daughter of two Chinese immigrants, Wong felt the constant pressure of achieving top academic success.
“Nothing I did was good enough because they always wanted me to be better,” she said. “I always felt the need to be perfect. I was a decent student but there was a lot of pressure to be a straight ‘A’ student.”
A series of traumatic events added to the strain on Wong’s relationship with her parents. Two of her three younger brothers died when she was very young, one from sudden infant death syndrome and another of drowning. When Wong was 16, she was at the wheel with her third younger brother riding as a passenger when she got into an accident that totaled the car. Though she and her brother emerged unscathed, her parents accused her of trying to kill another brother, she remembered.
“I always felt like my parents loved my brother more,” she said.
In tough times, Wong turned to food for comfort. As a child, the neighborhood children made fun of Wong and her parents gave her a hard time about her weight in front of family and friends.
“At that age, I didn’t know how to diet,” she said. “I would get so mad, it just drove me to eat more.”
Wong tried every diet she could imagine, from the popular Atkins and South Beach diets to weeks of consuming nothing but juice or water flavored with lemon juice.
“I dropped 30 pounds in two weeks but I gained it all back in a month,” she said. “I wanted that easy fix.”
Participating on the show taught Wong lessons about nutrition and exercise that will guide her long after “the biggest loser” is announced, she said.
“It’s all about burning more calories than you take in,” she said. “My whole life, I’ve done these fad diets. I wanted (weight loss) to happen instantly, but I learned that it’s all about hard work. I realized that there is no secret.”
“The Biggest Loser” airs at 8 p.m. Tuesdays on NBC.