09:36 AM EDT 08/01/2014

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Alison Sweeney

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Alison Sweeney: I Left Days of Our Lives For My Family

Alison Sweeney Quit Soap Stardom to Put Family First

Originally posted 07/27/2014 03:20PM

No one can question Alison Sweeney's work ethic.

For the past two decades, the actress, who plays fan favorite Sami Brady on NBC's Days of Our Lives, was up at 5 a.m., often clocking 12-hour days five days a week on the show's Burbank set.

And that was just her day job.

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Credit: Austin Hargrave
Alison Sweeney: Life After Days 'Feels Crazy'

Alison Sweeney: Life After Days 'Feels Crazy'

Originally posted 07/24/2014 08:30AM

Ever since she was 16, Alison Sweeney often logged 12 hour days, five days a week on the set of Days of Our Lives.

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Inside Alison Sweeney's Surprise Days of Our Lives Retirement Party

Inside Alison Sweeney's Surprise Days of Our Lives Retirement Party

Originally posted 06/03/2014 05:15PM

Crying on cue isn't hard for a soap opera star. But for Alison Sweeney, who celebrated her last day on set of Days of Our Lives last week, not crying was the issue.

After nearly 22 years playing fan favorite Sami Brady, Sweeney officially retired from the show last week, but not before one last scene.

"All of a sudden I'm walking out on stage and there's this huge crowd of people," Sweeney, 37, tells PEOPLE of the surprise send-off members of the cast and crew put together for her. "I realized they were gathering for me. It was so amazing and so touching and special."

And it was emotional. After seeing some cast members she'd worked with back when she started the show as a teenager, "It was hard to keep it together," says Sweeney. "My kids [Benjamin, 9, and Megan, 5] were there, so I feel like that helped me avoid the ugly cry. But I totally had tears streaming down my face."

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Alison Sweeney Remembers The Biggest Loser Finale's Special Moments

The Biggest Loser

Alison Sweeney's Biggest Loser Blog: Remembering the Finale's Special Moments

Originally posted 02/05/2014 01:50PM

Alison Sweeney is the host of NBC's The Biggest Loser, the award-winning star of Days of Our Lives, and author of The Star Attraction and The Mommy Diet. She's also a director, producer, wife and mom. Like she has for the past three seasons, Alison will blog each week about the latest episode of The Biggest Loser. Follow her on Twitter: @Ali_Sweeney.

What an incredible night! I am so proud and thrilled for all The Biggest Loser contestants – and their families!

I tell the contestants during rehearsals that this is just a big party, a celebration for what they've all accomplished, and it's true. The wave of love coming toward the stage from the wonderful audience of family, friends and fans just blows me away every season. So whether you were cheering at home or in the theater, thank you! And your support was felt by all on stage.

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Credit: Paul Drinkwater/NBC; Trae Patton/NBC
Alison Sweeney's Biggest Loser Blog: See Rachel's Jaw-Dropping Makeover

The Biggest Loser

UpdatePosted 01/22/2014 11:15AM

Alison Sweeney's Biggest Loser Blog: See Rachel's Jaw-Dropping Makeover

Originally posted 01/22/2014 10:15AM

Alison Sweeney is the host of NBC's The Biggest Loser, the award-winning star of Days of Our Lives, and author of The Star Attraction and The Mommy Diet. She's also a director, producer, wife and mom. Like she has for the past three seasons, Alison will blog each week about the latest episode of The Biggest Loser. Follow her on Twitter: @Ali_Sweeney.

It was makeover week on The Biggest Loser Tuesday – the episode that every contestant dreams of reaching and one that moves me to tears every time.

By the time I saw the contestants this week, they had been with Tim Gunn and Ken Paves and they each looked stunning. Marie's hair change was genius! She looked so breathtaking and clearly her husband was shocked. I'm so glad she was willing to trust Ken's vision.

When Rachel walked out, my jaw literally dropped and I could have never dreamed on day one that she would look like this. Her smile lit up the night and to have her parents then tell her how great she looked was just such an incredible moment.

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Alison Sweeney Leaving Days of Our Lives After 21 Years

Alison Sweeney Leaving Days of Our Lives After 21 Years

Originally posted 01/21/2014 09:40AM

The days of her life suddenly became years. And after spending 21 of them as Sami Brady on the soap opera that made her famous, Alison Sweeney is getting ready to say goodbye.

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Credit: Tyler Golden/NBC
Alison Sweeney: Team USA's Winter Olympians Are Inspirational

UpdatePosted 01/16/2014 04:45PM

Alison Sweeney's Biggest Loser Blog: Meeting Winter Olympic Athletes Was Inspirational

Originally posted 01/15/2014 12:00PM

Alison Sweeney is the host of NBC's The Biggest Loser, the award-winning star of Days of Our Lives, and author of The Star Attraction and The Mommy Diet. She's also a director, producer, wife and mom. Like she has for the past three seasons, Alison will blog each week about the latest episode of The Biggest Loser. Follow her on Twitter: @Ali_Sweeney.

Are you all getting excited for the Winter Olympics? I have to say, the week we spent in Park City, Utah, was so incredible. To meet the athletes, to see where they are training and to watch their intensity and focus was inspirational. I personally loved meeting the U.S. Women's Curling Team and the U.S. Women's Bobsled Team and I loved traveling with the contestants, trainers and the Biggest Loser crew.

As much as the travel week is nerve-wracking for contestants, I could tell it was also reinvigorating for them. During the challenge, when the contestants started curling, it was pure comedy but they quickly got into their competitive spirit – Jay wanting to not win and have a greater target on his back and the rest wanting to win the $5000 prize. The competition was so exciting and Rachel coming from nowhere to win was particularly impressive. You have to give Rachel credit – she's willing to put the target on her back to keep focused on the life-changes and competition instead of the game play.

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Credit: Paul Drinkwater/NBC
Alison Sweeney: 'New Health Regimes Are a Great Way to Start the Year'

Alison Sweeney's Biggest Loser Blog: 'New Health Regimes Are a Great Way to Start the Year'

Originally posted 01/08/2014 04:30PM

Alison Sweeney is the host of NBC's The Biggest Loser, the award-winning star of Days of Our Lives, and author of The Star Attraction and The Mommy Diet. She's also a director, producer, wife and mom. Like she has for the past three seasons, Alison will blog each week about the latest episode of The Biggest Loser. Follow her on Twitter: @Ali_Sweeney.

Happy New Year! I hope all of you had a great holiday! I was able to take time off to be with my family and we had a blast skiing and snowboarding. Then I rang in 2014 by riding with the Medieval Times horses in the Tournament of Roses Parade. What a fun way to celebrate the New Year!

It seems like everyone is joining up with the Biggest Loser contestants at the start of 2014 – new health regimes are a great way to start the year right. But the contestants never take a holiday from their continuing quest for health. We are now back to finish their journeys with them. Watching the recap of the season so far once again made me so proud to be part of such a rewarding show.

When we left off in December, I'd just brought the eliminated contestants back to the weigh-in room – and now one player was going to earn a spot back on the Ranch.

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Credit: Tyler Golden/NBC
Alison Sweeney's Biggest Loser Blog: The Competition Heats Up

The Biggest Loser

Alison Sweeney's Biggest Loser Blog: The Competition Heats Up

Originally posted 12/18/2013 12:30PM

Alison Sweeney is the host of NBC's The Biggest Loser, the award-winning star of Days of Our Lives, and author of The Star Attraction and The Mommy Diet. She's also a director, producer, wife and mom. Like she has for the past three seasons, Alison will blog each week about the latest episode of The Biggest Loser. Follow her on Twitter: @Ali_Sweeney.

There are some really pivotal moments each season on The Biggest Loser, and one of those is when the contestants go from teams to singles.

When I announced to the contestants that they had made it to singles, you could see how excited they were to reach such a huge milestone in their journey.

Then I told them about the triathlon at the end of the season, which will assure its winner an automatic spot in the finals. Immediately, the competition jumped into high gear.

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Credit: Paul Drinkwater/NBC
Alison Sweeney: How to Balance Work and Workouts

The Biggest Loser

UpdatePosted 12/11/2013 05:35PM

Alison Sweeney's Biggest Loser Blog: How to Balance Workouts with Work

Originally posted 12/11/2013 09:00AM

Alison Sweeney is the host of NBC's The Biggest Loser, the award-winning star of Days of Our Lives, and author of The Star Attraction and The Mommy Diet. She's also a director, producer, wife and mom. Like she has for the past three seasons, Alison will blog each week about the latest episode of The Biggest Loser. Follow her on Twitter: @Ali_Sweeney

I know it's wrong but I love to surprise the Biggest Loser contestants with new and unexpected challenges.

When we got to the diner, I knew they thought we would be having a pop challenge and then return to the ranch, but when they learned that instead some of them would be working at the diner for the week, the gravity of the situation was realized.

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