Many reality and competition shows focus on weight loss, like NBC’s Biggest Loser, ABC’s Extreme Weight Loss, and TLC’s My 600-lb Life. In many cases, participants end up gaining weight back after the show. But these people continued to succeed. Some now work with overweight teens, and others are weight loss coaches. If you want to get inspired to lose weight, read their stories.
Rachel Frederickson Shed 60% Of Her Body Fat
In 2014, Rachel Frederickson won Season 14 of Biggest Loser. She went from 260 pounds to 105, shedding 60% of her body weight. Unfortunately, Frederickson received backlash for going below a healthy BMI.
Since appearing on the show, Frederickson has gained 20 pounds and maintained her healthy weight. “I was there to get my life back,” she told Today. “I knew if I worked hard every day and prepared my meals to fuel my body, I could do it…It was hard listening to the voices that tried to bring me down, but I was determined to never give up.”
Patrick House Now Helps Overweight Teens
At the start of the 2010 season on Biggest Loser, Patrick House weighed 400 pounds. At 6’2″, he was obese. But he lost 181 pounds throughout the show, dropping 45% of his body weight. And he kept it up. By 2017, House had run ten marathons.
“It quite literally saved my life,” he told SunHerald. “I know what a difference exercise can make for people.” Today, House spends time working with overweight teens to share the joys of exercising. He also published a book, called As Big as a House, that tells his story.
After Losing Weight, Milla Clark Is Now More Body Confident
Since Milla Clark appeared on Season 4 of My 600-lb Life, she has become one of the show’s most successful participants. She started the show at 751 pounds. During her update episode, she revealed that diet and multiple skin removal surgeries brought her down to 155 pounds. That’s 596 pounds lost!
Today, Clark is not bothered by society’s perceptions of weight. “I know the world says 36″ 24″ 36″, but I don’t mind being 46″ 34″ 48″ at 50 years old,” she said in 2019. She was simply “grateful to God for keeping me around another year.”
Meet The New Weight Loss Guru, Olivia Ward
In 2011, Olivia Ward was known as the woman who won Season 11 of Biggest Loser. Today, she is known as the weight loss guru on the Dr. Drew Show. She started the show weighing 261 pounds at 5’10”. By the end, she weighed 132 pounds.
Along with her sister Hannah, Olivia Ward worked through internal struggles she had with her weight and self-esteem. “It’s not just about “beating the fat out” through exercise, but really taking the time to figure out what got me to this weight in the first place,” she said. Today, Ward and her sister run the weight loss company myFitspiration.
Amber Rachdi Is Now An Instagram Model
Amber Rachdi had struggled with obesity since childhood. When she appeared on My 600-lb Life, she weighed 660 pounds. She said that she felt like a “nasty, yucky monster” and wanted to change. Five years later, she lost over 400 pounds.
Rachdi’s inspiring weight loss journey has made her an Instagram celebrity. As a plus-size model, she shares some of her workout regimens and edible garden and encourages people to stay healthy. “I was REAL fat. Now I’m just normal-fat,” her bio jokes.
Bruce Pitcher Is Now A Weight Loss Coach
When Bruce Pitcher went on Extreme Weight Loss in 2014, he weighed 410 pounds. He told People that being on the show was “like a miracle.” Today, he spends one to two hours at the gym daily and follows the macro diet. He lost 200 pounds.
“[Before losing weight] I had no integrity for myself; I didn’t care about myself,” Pitcher said. “Now I keep my promises to myself…A lot of it is mental.” He now works as a motivational speaker, trainer, and weight loss coach.
Sarah Neely Lost Over 300 Pounds
Sarah Neely appeared on My 600-lb Life when she weighed 642 pounds. During the update episode, Neely had shed 260 pounds. Over two years later, she lost over 300 pounds. She also decided to be completely sober.
On Instagram, Neely has reported how much better her life has been. Before, she could not carry a child because of her weight. But in late 2020, she gave birth to a daughter. She has also used her platform to motivate people not only for weight loss, but also for breaking addictions.
Matt And Suzy Hoover Married After Losing Weight
Matt and Suzy both competed on Season 2 of Biggest Loser. Matt was initially 340 pounds, and he lost 157 pounds, winning first prize. Suzy won second place by losing 95 pounds (from 270 to 175). The best part? They’re married now!
Matt and Suzy Hoover contacted each other after the show ended, and they motivated each other to maintain their new weights. They both eat six small meals per day and follow a strict exercise routine. After developing this system, they called it the Body Evolution and shared it with others online.
Biggest Loser‘s Heaviest Contestant Now Builds Muscle
When Michael Ventrella went on Biggest Loser, he was the heaviest contestant yet. He started the show at 526 pounds, and by the end of it, he weighed 262 pounds. “I’m living, not only with my body but with my life,” Ventrella told Chicago Magazine.
After the show ended, Ventrella went back up to 289 pounds. But he focuses less on the scale and more on building muscle. “I started paying more attention to my needs rather than my wants,” he said. Now, he works as a motivational speaker and exercise trainer.
Sara Murphy Overhauled Her Diet
After Sara Murphy went on Extreme Weight Loss in 2013, she lost more than half her body weight. At 4’5″ and 245 pounds, Murphy could barely handle short walks. She challenged herself to run a full marathon in Honolulu. After training for four hours, five days a week, she did it!
“Before, I would eat 3,000 calories a day — fast food, processed frozen dinners, that kind of stuff,” she told GCU. “Now, I eat about 1,200 calories a day. I eat five times a day, fresh veggies, healthy carbs, and fats.” Today, her weight is a healthy 109 pounds.
By Losing Weight, Olivia Cruz Got Her Dream Job
Olivia Cruz went on My 600-lb Life because she weighed 578 pounds. She lived in her mother’s basement and could not shower without help. But after the show, she dropped almost 400 pounds, reaching a weight of 200.
According to Cruz, she has a hard time budging from 200 because of medical problems. But she has lost enough to land her dream job, scoring two chef positions within a few years. “I’m so excited that my dreams are not just hopes for the future, now,” she said.
Jackie Rodriguez Also Learned To Forgive
When Jackie Rodriguez appeared in Extreme Weight Loss, she weighed 266 pounds. Her weight gain stemmed from grief after a babysitter gave her son shaking baby syndrome. With the help of Olympic swimmer Amy Van Dyken, she dropped to 144 pounds after one year!
Rodriguez also went through the painful process of forgiving that babysitter. “I truly believe that forgiveness was the key to my weight loss transformation,” she said. “It began from the inside out. It wasn’t until I stepped outside of my comfort zone and faced my past that I became lighter both physically and emotionally.”
Ann Jeanette Whaley Kept Losing Weight After The Show Ended
In 2019, Ann Jeanette Whaley appeared on My 600-lb Life while weighing 679 pounds. On the show, she ended up dropping 274 pounds, putting her at 405 pounds. But fans who stuck with her learned that she lost an additional 150 pounds after the show ended!
Now at 255 pounds, Ann Jeanette has posted on her Instagram account about her success and working through hardships in her life. Today, her social media is set to private. But previous posts indicate that she might have broken up with her volatile girlfriend from the show, Erica, and that she is doing much better.
Jacqueline McCoy Could Finally Have Children
Jacqueline McCoy appeared on Season 2 of Extreme Weight Loss. She weighed 365 pounds, and because of her weight and polycystic ovary syndrome, she feared that she could not have children. After the show, her diet and exercise regime dropped her to 148 pounds.
“The dream of having children one day was my constant motivation,” McCoy said. “I went through a lot of trial and error and mental work, but after awhile I found focusing on nutrition and movement (and ignoring the scale) kept me healthy.” McCoy now has three daughters, and she works with Shaklee to help others reach a healthy weight.
Despite Many Hardships, Hannah Myers Succeeded
At 310 pounds, Hannah Myers knew that she was too overweight to become pregnant. But she wanted to start a family, so she went on Extreme Weight Loss. After one year, the 5’7″ woman shed almost half her body weight, dropping to 159 pounds.
But her journey was not without hardship. Halfway through the boot camp, Myers broke her foot. And when she went home, she relapsed into poor eating habits. But she never gave up. She told Women’s Health that eating “five small, healthy meals a day” was pivotal to her success.
How Helen Phillips Stayed Healthy After Biggest Loser
When Helen Phillips appeared on Season 7 of Biggest Loser, she was the oldest participant on record. Nobody expected her to hold the record for losing the most weight–but she did! At 49 years old, she lost 140 pounds and 54% of her body weight.
After the show, it took Phillips a while to find a reasonable diet and exercise routine. “We eat fresh, unprocessed food that grows on trees and in the garden, plus chicken, fish, and lean meats,” she said about her family. Today, she works with nonprofit organizations to end childhood obesity.
Christina Phillips No Longer Weighs 700 Pounds
At 22 years old, Christina Phillips weighed 708 pounds. She decided to change her life by going on My 600-lb Life. Because of Dr. Now’s strict diet, she lost 267 pounds. During an update episode in 2015, she revealed that she weighed 183 pounds.
“The simple things in life are enjoyable to me,” she said, “like taking [my nephew] to the park, or going shopping or driving.” Although Phillips has kept a low profile, she occasionally updates social media about her health. For instance, she ran her second 5k marathon in 2019!
John Rhode: From “Loser” To Crossfit
John Rhode won Season 12 of Biggest Loser. He dropped from 445 to 225 pounds, shedding 49% of his body weight. After winning, he said, “Losing the weight wasn’t so difficult. Keeping the weight off, that will be the true test.”
Although he gained a bit of the weight back, Rhode has maintained a healthy lifestyle. He runs marathons and does Crossfit regularly. He is also a Crown Speaker who travels across America and talks about self-doubt, setting goals, weight loss motivation, and more.
James Jones Lost Weight To Inspire People
If you watched Season 2 of My 600-lb Life, you likely saw James Jones, who weighed 728 pounds. By the end of the episode, he got down to 352 pounds. After the show, he continued to improve; by 2020, he weighed 250 pounds.
Although Jones has a family history of obesity, he was determined to beat it. “I went on the show to inspire people,” he told Starcasm. And inspired people he has! He has a new job, new relationship, and more confidence than ever. Although he keeps his life private, Jones still wants to motivate people with his story.
Bill Germanakos Now Trains People To Lose Weight
Bill Germanakos won Season 4 of Biggest Loser. At 5’8″, Germanakos started the show with 334 pounds. That put him at a risk of heart disease and diabetes at the age of 40. He became motivated to change, and ended the season at 170 pounds.
Germanakos’s mantra on the show was “To become half the man, so that he could be twice the man.” Despite being a motivational speaker, he admits that “every day is a struggle.” With dedication, Germanakos has remained at a healthy weight well after he left Biggest Loser.