Chalk one up for sheer honesty. Helen Phillips, winner of last night's The Biggest Loser: Couples, is well aware that when a 48-year-old woman loses 140 pounds, there might be some changes to your body that can't be fixed with diet and exercise.
Admitting that there is excess, saggy skin where her fat once was, Helen says, "It does kind of concern me. I've discussed it with [the show's Dr. Rob Huizenga] because my chest area was so big before, and now it's not. Dr. H says I really need to work on toning and stuff. I would absolutely consider chest surgery. I don't think you can tone this area. So, yeah, that would probably be the only surgery I would ever consider."
Helen, from Sterling Heights, Mich., was also well aware that in order to win the title of the Biggest Loser and take home the $250,000 grand prize, she'd have to do nothing but workout, workout some more, eat well and keep her eye on the prize.
Read on to hear all about the lengths she went to to ensure a win and about what she plans to do with her winnings...
How to lose 140 pounds, or 54.5 percent of your total weight:
Step One: During her time home after the show's last taping, Helen literally made losing weight her new full-time job. She had already quit her job at Macy's to be on Biggest Loser, and when she returned home, she didn't return to her job. Instead, she says, she let her husband's job at Chrysler take care of the family. By not having to work, she says it helped her "stay focused when I got home. I didn't want any distractions."
Step Two: She hired not one, not two, but three personal trainers from her son's high school to take the place of her Biggest Loser on-set trainer Jillian Michaels. "It kind of went back to the old-school type of training," she says. "I was running up and down bleachers. I would get up at 4:30 every morning and hit the gym—two hours in the morning, two hours in the afternoon and two hours in the evening." She lost 32 pounds on her own at home in the final stretch of the show.
Step Three: Block out all distractions, including friends. "My girlfriends wanted to go out a lot, but I told them no. If you want to come join me, I'll be at the gym at this time and that time," she says.
Step Four: Learn to love veggies, fish and stevia (a natural substitute for sugar). "I started an herb garden, and I'm growing my own stevia. It's crazy," she says. She also says she learned to enjoy foods she didn't know much about, such as almond milk, whole wheat pasta and fish such as halibut, tilapia and orange roughy. "I really never ate vegetables before; now my body craves broccoli," she adds.
Step Five: Make fitness your life. After planning to take her hardworking, supportive husband to the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas for a vacation, Helen says, "I plan on getting into health and fitness now—motivational speaking. I'm hoping that my daughter and I can open up a spin wellness center in Michigan." (Her daughter, Shanon, was also on the show but went home weeks earlier than her mom.)