Locals line up to be 'Biggest Loser'

LAWRENCEVILLE - Candea Aarons' breaking point came a couple of weeks ago, when she stepped on the scale at her doctor's office.

She weighed 288 pounds.

The Lawrenceville resident, who is 5 feet 8 1/2 inches tall, worried the nurses were thinking, "How did she ever get that big?"

Although Aarons is frequently told she doesn't look that heavy, she knows she needs to lose the weight before she develops diabetes or high blood pressure.

"I have been on 21 diets," said Aarons, who has a 24-year-old daughter and an 18-year-old son. "I might lose five or 10 pounds, but I gain back 25 pounds. ... Losing this weight is freaking hard."

Aarons was one of 550 people who want to lose at least 100 pounds who auditioned Saturday for NBC's "The Biggest Loser." The open casting call at Dave & Buster's in Duluth was one stop in the reality TV show's 15-city search for contestants.

For Aarons, the draw to audition wasn't just the chance to win $250,000.

"Losing this weight is like winning the lottery," she said. "That's my Mega Millions right there."

Venesha Williams, of Lawrenceville, said she lined up to audition because she needs the motivation.

"I like the show because ... they don't want you to give up," she said. "It's a reason to keep going when you want to give up."

Without a support system like the one the show would provide, Williams said it's too easy to give in to her greatest temptation: Little Debbie snack cakes.

Williams said it really hit her that she needs to drop the pounds when her son was looking at old pictures of her. Politely, but directly, her son told her she needed to lose weight.

Williams tried to explain to the boy that she gained weight when she was pregnant with him.

"He said, 'But you had me seven years ago,'" she said.

Williams said she wants to be healthier. She wants to better her life for herself and her children.

"I want to around for my kids' kids," she said.

Call-back auditions for those who participated in Saturday's open casting are being held through Thursday.