03/14/2011 at 04:00 PM EDT
Walking in to the elimination room, The Biggest Loser
contestant Sarah Nitta thought she was safe under the protection of "team mom" Marci. But she was wrong.
Instead, Nitta was sent packing just two eliminations after her mother, Denise, sacrificed herself
after being promised that Marci would "go home before any of the kids."
"[Marci] knew she couldn't give up her immunity, but she didn't really fight the way she promised my mom she would," Nitta told reporters after her elimination. "She is the leader of that team. She has pull and could have gotten the girls to keep me there and she didn't."
Nitta, 27, had been under the assumption that the Black Team would be sending home Jen.
"Everyone else was very close and had promised never to send each other home, and Jen was not a part of that," Nitta said of her teammate who had switched back to the Black Team after a challenge the week prior – a challenge in which Nitta almost switched teams as well. "When they saw that my loyalties were not to either [team] they had to keep someone like Jen who would never write their name down."
After leaving the Ranch, the first thing Nitta did was call her mom.
"She actually was devastated. She felt very betrayed by the Black Team," Nitta said. "She felt it was a really big slap in the face that [sacrificing herself] was in vain."
Having decided to "let it go," Nitta is grateful for her time on the Ranch, especially her final workouts with trainer Bob Harper when she was able to "push through some of the fears that had been controlling my entire life."
"It was a turning point for me," she said. "Had I gone home the week before I think I would have been in a completely different place."
At home in Las Vegas, Nitta is using her newfound "inner strength" to continue the mixed martial arts training she began as part of the Red Team when she first arrived on the Ranch. She is now training with Robert McMullin, the same trainer who has led two previous at-home winners to victory.
"I'm very confident that he knows how to train winners and what to do to help me to get to that point," she said of McMullin, who has her working out three to four hours a day. "So I certainly hope to give him a third win."
In addition to taking long walks with her dogs, group fitness classes and jogs with her husband, Nitta is also planning rock climbing excursions, kayaking adventures and perhaps a family as well.
"My goal going in to this was to get myself healthy enough – not just physically but emotionally – to have a child," said Nitta, who has lost several pregnancies in the past, partially because of her weight. "When I get to my goal weight that's going to be our first goal. If I can't, then we can turn to other options. But regardless, we're ready to start a family."