From PEOPLE Magazine Click to enlarge
230 LBS. 5'5"

MICHELLE GREENLEAF, 32

A few years ago this Los Angeles resident couldn't imagine exposing her arms in a tank top. "I thought, 'Oh, it's ugly. I'm ugly. My arms are fat and big,'" she recalls. "I realized that was no way to live." To boost her confidence Greenleaf joined a local chapter of Big, Beautiful Women (a social group with clubs across the country), which she credits for helping her to "bust out and have fun." Now, however, this photographer wants to settle down. "I'm really ready to find someone to spend my life with," she says. "I want someone who loves me for me."

235 LBS. 5'10"

AMANDA SLAYTON, 23

On Love "I learned not to be so hard on myself for my physical appearance."

220 LBS. 5'6"

MELISSA BOWMAN, 21

Before the show "I had never been on a date! I really liked getting all dressed up to go out."

225 LBS. 5'5"

KRISTIAN ALLBRIGHT, 26

The best part of her 2002 gastric bypass? She lost more than 100 lbs. and "can shop anywhere!"

279 LBS. 5'10"

NATALIA JACKSON, 28

"I'd like to be a little more toned, but keep the butt and boobs—I'm good with that!"