Biggest Loser's Sunny Sinclair: I've Taken My Life Back
12/01/2011 AT 03:55 PM EST
The fifth grade teacher, who is back in her native Frisco, Texas, is up most mornings for an early boot camp, which she mixes with sessions with her personal trainer as well as tennis sessions in the evenings. "It is so much easier than it used to be and I enjoy it," she says of working out after dropping from 277 lbs. to 201.
"It's not easy fitting it all in, but I have my husband there to kick me out of bed."
Pairing her workouts with a healthy diet, including favorites like eggs, fish, and her signature cinnamon toast snack – bran crackers, spray butter, Truvia, and cinnamon – Sinclair, 41, says she's "taken my life back."
And she's not the only one who's benefiting.
"My students are thrilled, and every Wednesday after the show we take a few minutes and I answer their questions," she says. "It's important for me to be a healthy role model, which I haven't been since I started teaching 16 years ago."
At home she now goes on bike rides with her family, plays tennis with her husband and enjoys "walking the course with my golfer son."
Not to mention fitting in a little cardio at the mall.
"Now I love wearing a cute pair of jeans or wedges that are a little higher," she says. "And I'm amazed when I try on a medium shirt and it's a little too big. I used to shop in the men's department for shirts. To go from that to shopping anywhere is the best feeling in the world."
Harboring no hard feelings for fellow contestant Becky Comet (who along with John Rhode voted her off the show this week), Sinclair says she understands Comet's stance. "She assumed John would be voting for me and that Vinny would probably vote for me as well, so I think she felt she needed to stick with the majority in order to keep things good between she and Anton. I don't blame her and she and I are still close."
Rhode, however, never seemed to warm up to Sinclair. "I don't really know where it began or the reason John didn't take a liking to me," she says. "But he worked hard and has done well so I commend him for that."
"It's really about determination and I couldn't imagine going back to the weight I once was. Now when I look in the mirror I see a totally different person."