Lessons from Losers

UPDATED 09/03/2007 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 09/03/2007 at 01:00 AM EDT


She has lost 8 more lbs.

When this Boston native failed to win the show, her family freaked. Not in outrage over Baptiste's ouster, but because they hardly recognized their svelte relative—who was 215 lbs. on the '04 series debut—when she landed at the airport 56 lbs. lighter. "People must have thought a bomb threat had gone off with all the screaming that went on!" says the 5'8" Baptiste, who went on to lose eight more pounds and now weighs 151 lbs. "I haven't had the moment of weakness where I get back on the horse," says the pharmaceuticals rep, 33. "It feels good to look in the mirror and know I accomplished this." She maintains her weight by running three times a week and working out with a trainer. As for her diet, she always packs herself lunches like grilled chicken and veggies. Still, she's no calorie martyr. "I'm not going to lie. I have Toll House cookie batter in my refrigerator," she says. "If I want cookies, I'll make two—and that's it."


He has gained back 23 lbs.

After dropping from 363 to 217 lbs., is Levine panicked about the 23 pounds that have crept back on since his 2005 Loser stint? Hardly. "If I tried to get to my ideal—which is 190—I would've wasted so much time and energy to maintain that weight," says the Hillsborough, N.J.-based family physician and father of four daughters aged 11 to 18. Instead, the 6'1" Levine, 45, tries to set "realistic goals," which include strength-training sessions four times a week and two-mile runs twice a week. He also eats a lot more home cooking ("My wife will make two dinners on Sunday nights so we have an extra one ready on a crazy day when we might be tempted to do a drive-through," he says) and, when he travels, sticks to hotels that have gyms. "I don't focus on numbers, sizes, pounds; I focus on quality of life," he says. One area of his life that has definitely improved? The romance department. Not only has Levine been able to get rid of the breathing mask he used to wear to bed because of obesity-related sleep apnea, but he says that now when he and his wife swim laps together in their backyard pool, "She says, 'Bathing suits optional!'"


She gained back 26 lbs.; he gained back 21 lbs.

After bonding as "blue team" members, Amy Hildreth, 28, and Marty Wolff, 26, remain partners: Not only have they been dating since the show ended last December (they now share a home in Omaha), but last May they co-founded a weight-loss coaching business. They are also united when it comes to staying fit, which hasn't always been easy. Since the finale—when the 5'10" Hildreth revealed she had gone from 260 lbs. to 154 lbs., and the 6' Wolff from 365 lbs. to 219 lbs.—she has gained back 26 lbs. ("I had to figure out what I could and couldn't eat," she notes), while he is 21 lbs. heavier. But the couple say they are happy to maintain their current weights, which they do with 90-minute bike rides and weight training six times a week. When temptation strikes, they turn to each other, like during a recent trip to the movies, when Wolff craved popcorn. "She just had to ask, 'Is it worth it to you?'" he says. "She took me right back to the [Biggest Loser] ranch."


They're back on diets after having a baby

It took less than a year for this couple to regain some of the weight they had lost—157 lbs. for him, 95 lbs. for her—while finishing first and third, respectively, on the show. Yet it was for a good reason: Only weeks after their Sept. 2006 wedding, the couple learned they were expecting. "Gaining the weight was really hard for me," admits Suzy, 31, who was joined by Matt, also 31, when indulging carb cravings. "I just kept reminding myself, 'This is temporary!'" To get back into the size 8s she was in prepregnancy, the 5'4" Suzy, now a 14, weight trains twice a week and takes a daily two-mile walk, while the 5'10" Matt packs in cardio and weight lifting sessions to whittle his waistline, which had gone from 32 to 36 inches since the show ended. The couple—who eat Fiber One cereal or egg whites for breakfast, ground turkey or chicken for lunch and steak and veggies for dinner—are also determined to instill good eating habits in son Rex, 2 months. "Healthy stuff will be his only option," says Suzy. "I can't wait to pack his little lunch!"


She has gained back 8 lbs.

Before Biggest Loser, this mother of two started her days off with a McDonald's breakfast (sausage, pancakes, eggs, the works) topped off with a Starbucks venti white chocolate mocha. "I was eating 5,000 calories a day!" says Smith, who—after dropping 68 lbs. to go from 247 to 179 lbs. on the show—now eats all-grain cereal for breakfast and keeps a food journal on calorieking.com. Even though she has put on 8 lbs. since last year's finale and now weighs in at 187 lbs., "I'm feeling really good," says the 5'8" Smith, who hopes to get back down to 175 lbs. To counter her sedentary 12-hour shifts as a dispatcher in Martinsville, Ind., she hits the gym at 4:30 every morning and sneaks in strength-training exercises with free weights she keeps at her desk. Still, with all the positive changes, Smith is nervous that her old habits will resurface. "I don't think you could have an eating issue like I had and not have it in the back of your mind all the time," says Smith. "I feel like I could be one situation away from being a fat girl again."

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