Name: Sharif Deen
Lives: Annerley, QLD
Children: Planning to start a family next year.
Occupation: Team leader in call centre
Biggest Loser partner: Teresa (work mate)
“I feel as though this is a chance for rebirth. I’m getting a chance to leave the old me behind with all my bad decisions, bad food and baggage, and start a whole new life.”
Sharif can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t overweight. He ate all day long as a child and weight problems are common in his family. Sharif’s dad has diabetes and his doctors have told this contestant that he is showing signs of developing it too. He has also high blood pressure and reactive arthritis.
Sharif is worried about having a heart attack and doesn’t want his parents to have to go through more grief after his brother died of bronchial asthma when he was 15. This loving husband is embarrassed to hold his wife Fleur’s hand in public and feels pressure from her family to do something about his weight. He promised his father-in-law that he would never become a burden to his wife as a result of any health problems and intends to keep that promise.
Sharif feels bad about how people look at him in public and was greatly embarrassed when he had to be moved on a plane flight when his seatbelt didn’t fit. He is keen to start a family with his wife and worries that his weight will make this difficult.
“We just understand why we’re overweight and talk about those reasons and the impact it has on our lives,” says Sharif of his work mate and Biggest Loser partner, Teresa, who he became friends with after she passed on a message from his deceased brother. “It has brought us closer together as friends because we have walked a similar path.”
Indian and Thai
Fish and chips
Name: Teresa Hamilton
Status: recently separated.
Occupation: worked in call centre with Biggest Loser partner Sharif; now works as night filler.
Biggest Loser partner: Sharif (work mates)
“I don’t know who I’ll be when I walk out but I know it won’t be who I’ll be when I walk in.”
Teresa and her cousin were teased at school because of their size and this turned Teresa into a bully herself as she defended herself and her relative. Taking up running at 18, this contestant got her weight down and then she met her husband. She says the insecurities of being in a relationship made her turn to food and that she was “nasty” in her marriage, a trait she says she doesn’t have when she’s not overweight. “I don’t want to be that person any more,” she says. Teresa’s husband recently left her after ten years of marriage.
Coming from a huge Maori family, Teresa says that being overweight is a normal part of life – having “a massive feed” in her family makes everything better. Her mother, an overweight alcoholic, passed away at the age of 53, five days after Teresa moved to Australia from New Zealand. Her daughter doesn’t want to go down the same path as her mother and wants to inspire her family with her weight loss.
Teresa is a psychic and became close to her former work mate and Biggest Loser partner, Sharif after she gave him a message from his brother who passed away when he was 15. Teresa says Sharif is like family, “He’s like my brother. We’ll give each other a reality check.”
“It’s not just about the weight loss, it’s the full package, the entire journey; it’s life changing,” says Teresa of the Biggest Loser. “I need to fix the emotional stuff not just the physical.”
Special fried rice
Chips ‘n’ dips