05/03/2012 AT 11:30 AM EDT
On Jan. 3 we started quite an emotional journey together with season 13 of The Biggest Loser
. It seems like only yesterday that I was welcoming the players onto the Ranch, each of them having a look of excitement and fear on their faces, all of them having sadness to them and a desire to make a change.
Since the premiere, these contestants definitely struck a nerve with many of you, and with all of us. During Tuesday's finale
, I was caught off guard by my emotions when I saw Buddy and Mark in the audience rather than on stage weighing in. They both had left their families, committed to the time on the Ranch, gone to the White House and Hawaii, opened up about their struggles and were so close to the finish line that it just hurt my heart that they quit the show. I had such a lovely conversation with Mark's wife. She and I shared our thoughts about Chism, what a great guy he is, and how wonderful it is to see how he has changed through being a part of The Biggest Loser
It was a fast-paced finale! The show stylist hooked me up with a gorgeous Donna Karan dress (it definitely won the popular vote on Twitter) and some fabulous jewelry, so I was ready for the night. And before the show, when I went on stage to welcome the audience, I loved looking out and seeing my dad, my husband Dave and for the first time, my son Ben in the audience. It was so awesome to see my family out there and for me to share the experience with Ben.
I thought each of the contestants really showed a dramatic transformation from start to finish. They were all more confident and lost an average of 100 lbs. Such an impressive statistic for the season!
During the show, Emily's hand was shaking while holding mine as all the other contestants weighed in. And the crowd cheering Gail on – how special was that moment? Things like that make me so proud to be part of this show. I loved the excitement Mike had when he won the $100,000. I loved the insane enthusiasm that all the contestants had when Jeremy won the $250,000
. As Mike said, it's a family – a dysfunctional one but still a family.
I personally love being part of this family. Sitting around the table at the after party with more than 20 Biggest Loser
alumni chatting until after 10 p.m. Thank you, Frado (season 10) for treating me to dinner, since I rolled up with no wallet! It was a blast to catch up with all the contestants and their families. Stephanie gave me a sneak peek of her gorgeous photos from her wedding to Sam
last weekend. I am in awe of their strength, overcoming such adversity
and finally celebrating their love last weekend during their wedding.
What did you think of the season? Do you have anyone you'd want to cast for next season? If so, go to thebiggestlosercasting.com
. And if you want to keep up with what I have going on during the off-season, follow me on twitter at @Ali_Sweeney or online at Alisonsweeney.com