"It was pretty alarming," Sturos told reporters Wednesday of hearing that she and fellow black team member Emily Joy were on the chopping block. "I was getting cutthroat. The gloves were coming off for sure."
Usually the team that loses the weigh-in votes out one of their own, but Sturos, 25, found herself at the mercy of the red team after a twist in the game allowed the winning team to vote out a member of the losing team.
"I spoke to a lot of people on the red team about it," Sturos said. "I was like, 'You really feel like you would put my name down?' And they [said], 'Yes, you're a big threat.' "
The nail in Sturos's coffin was teammate Conda Britt, who told the red team that the other girls on the black team were gunning for a female alliance.
"I'm very close with Emily on my team and Kim [Nielsen] on the red team so, yes, we wanted all our girls to be on top but I'm flabbergasted because [an alliance] was never our intention," Sturos said of Britt's claim.
In fact, had the black team been tasked with eliminating a member of the red team, Sturos says they would have chosen "big time threat" Buddy Shuh, and not Britt's brother Jeremy.
Sturos says she was "sad and distraught" to leave the Ranch and equates it to leaving rehab.
"I could never describe how difficult the Ranch is," she said. "But it started to feel like a haven, your safe place to focus on tackling all these issues. I didn't have to face the real world."
And while she was "scared" to head home to Fowlerville, Mich., Sturos funneled her feelings into energy in the gym.
"As soon as I got home, I told my mom, 'Bring me to the gym,' " Sturos said of getting off the plane from L.A. "I just ran and ran. I ended up doing seven miles which is the longest I've ever done without stopping."
Sturos has since completed her first 10K and now wants to tackle a marathon.
"There are so many workouts I love now," said Sturos, who has lost a total of 81 lbs. "I ice skate a couple times a week. You don't even feel like you're working out and the you feel it later on in the day."
An aspiring writer, Sturos wants to move to a place she once thought she wasn't confident enough to live in – New York City.
"Now, after having lost all this weight, [going back again] felt so unbelievably different," she said. "It felt like all the pieces of the puzzle had come together."