02/14/2013 at 08:20 PM EST
Michael Dorsey says he turned to The Biggest Loser
because he was tired of committing a slow "suicide."
"I don't understand why I was so willing to sacrifice my life when it was something I could fix," Dorsey told reporters of weighing 444 lbs. when he began the show. "I realized that my headspace wasn't right."
On the ranch, Dorsey, 34, was able to make the mental shift necessary to begin losing weight and became a frontrunner for the title of The Biggest Loser – a circumstance he feels ultimately led to being voted out by his housemates
, including roommate and alliance member Jeff Nichols.
"Jeff and I are in a good place. We have talked and he has his reasons for what he did. And even without his vote I was still going home," Dorsey said. "I guess some would argue that they would have been stupid for not voting me out because I was a big threat."
But in the week before he was sent home, Dorsey spent 24-hours with his wife and baby son, "Little" Mike, on the ranch as part of a prize gifted to him by fellow contestant Dannielle Allen.
"I was blessed that my wife got to spend a day [on the ranch] because when I got home it made it much easier [because] she understood, 'Yes, you've got to get your burn. You've got to eat by a certain time.' She's really caught the vision," Dorsey said.
Now 124 lbs. lighter and back at home in Baltimore, Dorsey is continuing on his weight-loss journey but is embarking on another adventure as well – rollercoasters!
"I'm trying to ride rollercoasters all over the country," he said. "This is an exciting moment for me because it's something I haven't been able to do for several years."
And while he considers himself a contender for the $100,000 at-home prize at the season finale, Dorsey is more focused on being a happier, healthier husband and father for years to come.
"On the show you have two choices: You live for the show or you live for after the show," he said. "And you know what, I [am] living for after the show."