Photo Credit: Trae Patton/NBC
Name: Stephanie Anderson
Hometown: Lafayette, CA; currently live in West Hollywood, CA
Occupation: CBS Radio Account Sales Executive
Favorite cheat food: ice cream
Goal for 2010: to weigh 155 pounds
Starting weight: 264 pounds
Elimination weight: 198 pounds
iVillage: What was your big turning point-either during the show or before that made you realize you needed to lose the weight?
I had several points where I look back and ask myself "Why wasn't that the moment I realized I needed to desperately lose this weight?" However, it was January of 2009, when I was about to turn 29, knowing that 30 was just around the corner, and I was miserable at 278 pounds. I felt trapped in my body, like it wasn't even me in there and I was always so tired, sick, down -- my lowest of low. I knew my life needed to start, because up until this point I was not living life, just letting it pass me by.
iVillage: What is one thing you wish you had known before going on The Biggest Loser?
That I always had it in me! I've achieved what I have thanks to all of the resources and tools at the ranch: Dr. H, Sandy, Dr. Cheryl, Dr. Hogan, Bob and Jillian; EVERYONE who cared enough to help me change my life. However I didn't know I was so capable of change within myself, and I am forever grateful to "The Biggest Loser" and to myself for finally believing!
iVillage: Did you think it’s harder or easier to be on the show with a family member as a teammate as opposed to competing by yourself?
I think they come with pros and cons. The pro with family member is the support; the ability to already have a trust with someone you're connected with, the ability to share the experience with someone you love and want to see healthy and successful, too. However, also this journey needs to be an individual one too, otherwise we can get back into old habits that we most likely have with that loved one/partner. So with my Mom as example, I am so blessed to have shared this opportunity with her, for US as mother/daughter, for my Mom as someone I love and cherish so very much, but also for me. With my Mom sadly leaving week two, I was able to experience this season both with a teammate and alone.
iVillage: If you could have done one thing differently during the show, what would it be?
Absolutely nothing! I started with my Mom, worked hard each and every week, fell in love with an amazing human being, never "played" the game or manipulated other contestants to get myself further along or to "win"; was loyal, honest, real; lost 66 pounds in 11 weeks and finally feel I'm not pretending to be that happy girl anymore. I am genuinely happy. In fact, I've never been happier in my life!
iVillage: What's the hardest thing to adapt to while living on the ranch?
Just being in a different environment was a big change. For me I've lived alone for eight years and am set in my routine, so now living with 17 other contestants, including my Mom, whom I've not lived with for 12 years, was an adjustment. I learned to adapt to that change quickly!
iVillage: What is one thing that keeps you motivated?
The promises I've made to myself. The promises I've made to my friends and family. Looking at old photos of me smiling, face up only, of course, to hide my body, knowing I wasn't truly happy, but putting on that brave face. Now my friends and family tell me my happiness radiates from the inside out. How could hearing and feeling something like that not motivate me? I have my hard days like the rest, and must be honest with myself that I may mess up here and again, but the overall big picture is so worth staying on track!
iVillage: What is your favorite workout?
Spinning! I love love love spin classes. I don't know what it is: the music, the sweat, the one-on-one I have with myself when it's me on the bike just going at it. I leave each time after spinning feeling accomplished, knowing I just had a killer workout!
iVillage: What's the best advice Bob or Jillian has given you?
So much! That I am capable. That I am worth it. That it's good to just let go and not be so controlling, things will be okay. Best advice is to love me. Bob and Jillian have both said lovely things about me, my character, the woman I am and knowing that they believe in me helped me to believe in myself. Both Bob and Jillian are quite remarkable individuals. I truly love them both from the bottom of my heart.
iVillage: What is your favorite meal or snack?
Fage Greek yogurt with Truvia and blueberries. Add a bit of Kashi Go Lean Crunch- Yum!
iVillage: What's something viewers at home wouldn't know from watching the show?
Gosh, there are a lot of things that don't make it on the show. But that's because there is SO much film footage and only two hours of TV time.
I'm a quirky girl- and love to laugh. I didn't have much drama this season so viewers didn't get to see a whole lot of me but I always love to smile and laugh. You know it takes more muscles in your face to frown than to smile.
Watch The Biggest Loser on Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC.