Young Brits Ali Yildirim, Frazer Danbury, Judy Lockhart and Louise Crossland on race day in Arizona
Louise, how did you first hear about the programme?
I was browsing the BBC Three website looking for a new series of Family Guy, when I stumbled across the Be on a Show section. I looked through the programmes and read about Are You Fitter Than a Pensioner? and thought 'oooh I'll give that a go'.
Did you know what was involved when you signed up?
Not at all, it just asked if I was looking for a lifestyle challenge with super-fit people from a different country.
What did you first think when you arrived in Sun City?
I thought it was all very surreal, it sort of reminded me of the Desperate Housewives set; all pretty houses, everything looked perfect, but there were no young people anywhere! Ha ha ha!
Young Brits Judy Lockhart and Louise Crossland with their American hosts 76 year old Norb Matelski and his 60 year old wife Mari.
Yeah I did get on with Norb and Mari, they were really lovely people. I didn't expect to have such a good relationship with two complete strangers. I felt quite homesick at first but built a good relationship with them. I was worried about staying with them as I had never met them before and didn't know anything about their daily routine or anything. It was all very surreal and weird but, I must admit, I enjoyed it after the initial shock of it all.
It was probably going to the gym. I felt out of place, unhealthy and like I shouldn't be there. The other three seemed to get on with it and didn't find it hard. But mentally I found it difficult as I have always been big and never actually been to a gym. It was when Norb asked me to go on some weird machine I'd never seen before in my life that I started to doubt my physical ability. Judy could do it no problem but when it was my turn I gave up. I got really upset and went to the toilet and cried, I felt awful and never felt like that before in my life. That was the moment I realised I needed to change, physically and mentally.
A healthier, happier Louise Crossland
Yes I have, I don't eat as much junk food anymore, I eat more fresh food now and I have taught myself to try new things and not be scared. I don't drink as much anymore, maybe once a month instead of 3-4 times a week. I've dropped a couple of dress sizes as well, so my confidence is high high high. I love who I am now and enjoy it every way I can.
What's the most important thing you'll take away from filming the show?
Don't worry about being different, you can exercise no matter what size you are. And people shouldn't judge you on your appearance.
You can see Louise Crossland in Are You Fitter Than a Pensioner? at 8pm on Thursday.
- More information about Are You Fitter Than a Pensioner?
- Apply to take part in BBC Programmes on our Be on a Show website
- BBC Health website
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