04/01/2010 at 12:00 AM EDT
After being eliminated on Tuesday’s episode of The Biggest Loser
, Stephanie Anderson
, the 29-year-old radio sales executive from West Hollywood, still has plenty to smile about. She spoke to reporters Wednesday about finding love with costar Sam
, her total weight loss of 96 lbs., and resolving drama from the show. --Nina TylerWhen did your relationship with Sam begin?
There was definitely a flirtation very early on and we became friends and started hanging out and working out. I was more capable than some of the other contestants at the time in terms of my cardio level and I could never quite keep up with Sam but I always felt that he pushed me to be better. We just had fun together. It was about week three that we were all hanging out, having a little dance party in the rumpus room and then one by one everyone went to bed and Sam and I were just talking and I was like, "I really like this guy but I don’t want to mess things up. We’re having so much fun as friends." Once I realized that I really genuinely liked him, I just decided to let my guard down. Are you surprised that more of your relationship with Sam wasn’t shown on the show?
Sam and I formed a really great friendship and it fell into like, and then it fell into love. The show is not Survivor
. This is not Big Brother
. This is The Biggest Loser
. They don’t showcase a romance because that truly isn’t what this show is about. It’s about our efforts and about our transformations, and about our overcoming obstacles, so we were aware that they weren’t going to showcase Sam and I. Obviously in the beginning-- as a woman who’s never been in love -- I was happy that they weren’t going to show it because it’s very personal. I’m happy now to share with everyone because I am genuinely and truly the happiest I’ve ever been.What do you and Sam do together for fun?
When we get the chance to hang out, we love hiking -- that became a passion of both of ours. I’ve found a new love for the outdoors. I like to be outside with Sam. We love spin class. We just like laughing. That sounds so cliché but I have a blast with Sam ... He’s a genuinely great guy.
Has the drama been resolved between you, Ashley, Koli, and Andrea?
The situation came to light just recently. Watching the show was one of the first times I saw what was happening behind the scenes with Koli and with the girls. Ashley and Andrea have both called to reach out to me and apologize. They both have said they were wrong and that they were sorry and they’re genuine apologies. I believe that they feel that they were misguided and they were. I didn’t know such things that were described of me -- I didn’t throw the weigh-in, I didn’t manipulate the game. I wasn’t playing the game. In terms of Koli, it hasn’t been resolved. I’m definitely looking forward to a chance to have that resolved in the future.How is the balance between time for work and time for fitness?
The balance is really tough. I’m working out everyday. I’m eating on my plan. I’ve had a few slip-ups here and there of just not wanting to go work out or if I don’t write down my calories or keep close enough track and that’s real life. That’s going to happen but then I hop right back on track. I haven’t gotten fast food. I haven’t binged. I haven’t cheated. I mean, have I had a bite of ice cream? Yeah. A quart of ice cream? No. I’m just really trying to stay focused on finding that balance.