The Biggest Loser's Tanya on Week 12: The Craziness of Being at Olympic Village

Tanya feels fitter than she ever has and continues to play the game by following her heart

Week 12 was our travel week at the Olympic Village in Park City, Utah and it was amazing, yet challenging. We were finally off the ranch and with "civilians" and the availability of tempting airport food was my first challenge. I used to travel frequently for business purposes and historically gained at least 5 pounds because of water retention from the flight alone, not including the poor food choices I normally made while traveling. But for the first time in travel history, I resisted my normal airport indulgence of fast food restaurants, desserts, sweet coffee mixtures and candy stores. Instead, I burned calories walking around the airport and found enjoyment in people watching. We boarded the plane and the reality of our transformations finally hit us in an exciting and emotional way as many realized they no longer had to use seat belt extensions. Although I’ve never had to use one, it felt great to see how much smaller my seatbelt was and how much more comfortable and roomy my seat felt from losing 64 pounds.

From the moment we stepped foot at the Olympic Village, you could literally feel the electrifying "spirit" of the Olympians in the air. I never imagined being surrounded by so many amazing athletes. Watching them train and hearing their journeys of family sacrifice, past failures, and hopes of gold, silver, and bronze were heartfelt and empowering. Training with the Olympians in their gym truly inspired the "inner athlete" in me. For the first time in my life, I felt physically fitter and embraced the reality that underneath this body lives an "athlete." Me? An athlete? Absolutely, and I welcomed her.

Weigh-in was just as tough as expected for most of us, but I was pleasantly surprised with my 3 pound loss considering, as I said, I normally gain weight while traveling. My 3 pound loss kept me safe this week, but put me in the position of voting off a team mate for the first time. As difficult as it is to vote off a team member, it’s also a process that saved me from the prior week’s elimination. As witnessed last week, some use their vote purely for the sake of “game play” by sending home the biggest threat. Instead, I followed my heart and voted to keep Bobby on the ranch due to my concerns for his emotional and physical health. Although it was sad to see Jay leave, it was also comforting in knowing he has achieved amazing results on the ranch and has proven he can be just as successful at home. As for me, I survived another week on the ranch and have lost a total of 67 pounds. The journey continues…..

Read Tanya's Scoop on Weeks 1-10

Week 1 and Her Crush on Dolvett

Week 2 and Losing Her Roommate

Week 3 and Letting Go of Emotional Baggage

Week 4 and Dolvett's Workout Dungeon

Week 5 and The Beat Cancer Boot Camp

Week 6 and Getting Ruben Back

Week 7 and a Life of Thanksgiving

Week 8 and the "Real World"

Week 9 and Her Fast Food Chain

Week 10 and Going it Alone

Week 11 and Being a Mom

Follow Tanya on Facebook and Twitter @TanyaWinfield for behind the scene pictures, live chats, recipes and more.

The Biggest Loser airs Tuesdays at 8 EST/7 central on NBC

Jillian Michaels outranks Weight Watchers on Diet in Review's Most Popular Diets of 2013 list.

Read about Bob Harper's, Jillian Michaels' and Dolvett Quince's different approaches to exercise in their most recent books.

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