Interview with Holley Mangold

I am so, so incredibly excited for today’s blog post.

So a few years back, Holley Mangold was on an episode of True Life entitled I’m The Big Girl.  I loved the episode, and after seeing it premiere, I decided that I wanted to get in touch with Holley because she seemed like SUCH a cool girl.  In the episode, as a bigger girl training for the Olympics, she navigated what it was like to be a bigger girl, but the entire episode, Holley carried herself with such a confidence that she radiated beauty.  Big or small, she seemed like a beautiful girl.  So I reached out to her after her stint on “The Biggest Loser,” and she and her sister were so gracious that they let me interview her, and offered to keep in touch with me!  Yes please!  Huge fan over here!  So without further ado, Holley Mangold! (And shout out to Kelley for being awesome and letting me email her like a million times!)


First off, what did you eat for dinner last night? (We’ll start with the fun stuff).  

I ate one of my pre-made modPaleo meals. It was seasoned chicken and veggies.  I love the simplicity of being able to have healthy food in my freezer that I can just heat up. Now that I eat mostly organic, free-range food, there’s really no going back. I just feel so much better.

 Like I said, I’ve been following you since you were aspiring to be an Olympic weightlifter.  The entire episode [True Life] was based on the fact that you were “the big girl” and you seemed pretty confident in that.  What made you want to make a change?  Was it for your health?  Was it for confidence?

I have always been confident at any size. I really wanted to take my lifting to the next level and my coach kept wanting me to get some of my weight off. I decided that the biggest loser would help me to be healthier than I was and would help me get the weight off faster than I could on my own.

 You talked a bit about dating in your MTV episode of True Life.  Has any of your dating life picked up?  Or are you too busy for boys right now? 

MTV really wanted me to focus on that for some reason? Maybe a drama factor but I’ve never really been one to get tied down to a place which makes it hard for dating. I’m happily content with someone right now who’s understanding of my traveling-training lifestyle.

I could be wrong, but during your episode on MTV, it seemed like there was some tension between you and your brother?  Is that true, or has he been supportive of your journey?

There was a lot that my brother and I had to work through while making our own names for ourselves but really, he’s a big brother like any- he wants the best for me and I want the best for him. He’s the one that made me want to get into football and was really the start to this crazy journey that I’m on.  I love being able to spend so much time with him and his family while he’s home for the off season.

Now that you’ve lost a really considerable amount of weight, and you’re still lifting incredibly well, what are your plans?  Are you happy at your weight, or are you hoping to lose more? 

RIO 2016 is my main focus. I came up a little after finale but am happy staying right around 270. I really just want to keep building my strength.

 Do you feel like your weight loss has affected your lifting?  Are you currently enjoying any other types of exercise? 

Coming back to weightlifting after being on the ranch was hard- I lost a ton of my strength. It didn’t take long to get back to close to where I was. But seriously, If I wasn’t training non-stop for RIO, I’d be soul cycling every day. I fell in love with it in LA but it isn’t great for my lifting. I also am obsessed with Hot Yoga- its perfect after a hard workout!


 I have worked the past few summers at weight loss camp which has been an incredible experience.  I have loved seeing folks make huge transformations.  What was your experience on the Ranch?  Did you love it?  Was there any point that you hated it and you wanted to go home?  Would you go back (if that was a thing?)

That’s an awesome idea! Weightloss and being healthy is not easy- it must be so cool to see people go through that transformation. It’s really changing your whole lifestyle. The ranch was kinda like rehab for big people. I’m used to being away from my family for long periods of time for training so for me it really wasn’t as hard for me as it was for other people. The cardio was crazy but my team was so awesome. The best part of my journey is how many amazing people I’ve met along the way- blue team especially! I am not a huge fan of Hollywood politics and drama so there were definitely points that I was ready to go back to real life. After I was brought back on the show, I had already felt what it was like to be home and back to weightlifting so I was ready to just get into my own routine, in my own house, at my own gym. Now, I still keep in touch with my blue team friends and would do a reunion with them if it came up.

 What do you feel like was one of the most important things you learned for weight loss while you were on the ranch?   

I lost a little bit of weight between years in grad school, and from losing that weight, there are some things I definitely will not touch, one of those being Coco-Cola.  Do you have anything like that that you won’t touch?

And to this second, how much total weight have you lost?

Congrats on the weightloss! I’m thinking that overly processed foods are things that I stay away from. Because of our extreme dieting, dairy doesn’t really agree with me so anything extra dairy filled stays out of my diet too. I really like to live in moderation and not get too mad at myself if I try some crazy food- I just get back on track with my modPaleo food. On the show, I lost 96 pounds but I’m steady at about 80lbs lost.

And finally, I’m sure you’ve gotten so many questions about this.  Can you tell me anything about the situation with Rachel?  I know you can’t necessarily speak on if she is healthy or not, but how was it seeing her at the finale?  Any thoughts on some of the comments from the cyberverse on her condition?

Yeah, It’s hard to say really- Biggest Loser is set up as a competition and Rachel is super competitive. It was hard to see her so skinny but I know that she’s back up to a more healthy weight now. I really hope all the best for her and all the contestants. Long-term weightloss is hard and an everyday battle (I’ve watched my mom go through it).

And finally, as you embark on a journey toward the 2016 Olympics, what do you want people to know about you? 

I think that I want people to know that I try to do everything honestly and whole-heartily. I never want to pretend that I’m somebody that I’m not. I love teightlifting, I love seeing people be happy and feeling strong; empowered to do anything that you feel like doing. And, I want them to know that I’m not retired- I’m working as hard as I know how to represent USA in the best way I know how!

 And with that, we signed off!  Holley has a new fan, and was incredible to talk to and work with!  Let me know if you have any additional questions for her and I will pass them her way!


7 thoughts on “Interview with Holley Mangold

  1. Woohoo! What a great post Cheri! The Olympic Lifter Ladies totally rock my world. They’re so strong, and so humble, and they stay so positive! Holley is a great role model, and I’ve been following Sarah Robles since before the most recent summer games too. Their focus and drive to achieve their goals is truly inspiring.

    1. I totally agree. These women are awesome, and Holley was no exception. She totally exudes so much confidence that you don’t always see in a lot of women.

  2. I love how humble she was even in an interview about her! So glad we have these role models for women 🙂

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