A Big Win: Rutgers–Camden MBA Graduate Gains Confidence on TV’s “The Biggest Loser”

Stephen Kmet goes through a fitness routine during "The Biggest Loser." (Photo by Tyler Golden/NBC)

Stephen Kmet goes through a fitness routine during “The Biggest Loser.” (Photo by Tyler Golden/NBC)

No matter what happens on The Biggest Loser this season, Steve Kmet is walking away a winner.

Kmet, a 2002 graduate of Rutgers University–Camden, where he earned his master of business administration, is a contestant on the NBC reality television show, currently airing on Monday nights. He may be dropping pounds, but what Kmet is gaining from the experience is much more important.

“I have a 12-year-old daughter and a 5-year-old son and I wanted to be a better role model for them,” says Kmet, a Hainesport resident. “I wanted to be healthy and active for them. How could I expect them to be healthy when I wasn’t doing it? Your actions speak louder than words. They’re choosing a healthier lifestyle because I’m choosing it. That, to me, is eye opening.”

On The Biggest Loser, now in its 17th season, contestants compete to lose weight, achieve physical fitness goals, and lead healthier lifestyles. During the current season — which began airing Jan. 4 — contestants are grouped into teams. Kmet is paired with his wife, Jacky Kmet, a Mount Laurel native who is also a contestant on the show.

Each week, one contestant is sent home. In the end, the contestant who loses the highest percentage of weight relative to his or her initial weight wins a cash prize.

The show was mostly filmed from September to December and contestants are now preparing for the live finale on Feb. 22. Kmet is not permitted to reveal how much weight he lost or how far in the show he and his wife advanced, but he’s already happy about the results.

“It’s been a transformation physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually,” he says. “I feel more like my old self. There’s much more that goes into it than weight loss. I feel more confident, younger, and more energetic. It’s been a wonderful experience.”

Prior to appearing on the show, Kmet worked in pharmaceutical sales and was later a recruiter within the industry.

“One of my big reasons for going on the show was that I really felt my weight was affecting my career, particularly being in front of people and being a manager having to lead a group of people,” he says. “It wasn’t only my appearance, but my confidence definitely wasn’t what I wanted it to be.”

He says that he and his wife have always been fans of The Biggest Loser and Jacky Kmet even auditioned in the past. In August, she received an email from producers inquiring if the couple would audition together.

Kmet says being on the show with his wife, who he met as an undergraduate student at Albright College, has been a real motivating factor.

“One of the things we struggled with before was that one of us would try a new diet program or join a new gym, but the other wouldn’t like it or would want to do something else,” he says. “I think the biggest benefit has been that we’ve done this show together and we can be accountable for each other.”

Rising to the challenge is a quality Kmet says he attributes in part to his time at Rutgers–Camden.

“I really enjoyed Rutgers,” he says. “I didn’t know what to expect, but I learned so much not only from my professors, but from other students, too. It was challenging and intense, but it prepared me for the business world and for life and it was a great experience.”

The Biggest Loser airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on NBC.

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