Contestants wed after show, change lifestyle

The good news far outweighs the bad for Matt and Suzy. No pun intended.

The Hoovers, who met on the second season of “The Biggest Loser,” got married and have since welcomed two children, Rex and Jax. Competitive fire from the hit NBC series has been replaced with family bliss.

The somewhat unfortunate byproduct of all that joy is a lack of energy and opportunity to work out. As a result, the Hoovers have put back some of the pounds they lost. Considering that Matt lost 157 pounds on “Biggest Loser” but now says he is “40 pounds heavier than I want to be,” and that Suzy originally dropped 95 pounds, put 65 back during her first pregnancy, lost 45 of that, and then got pregnant again and gained much of it back, both are still ahead of the game.

“My mindset is completely different now,” Suzy says. “My value in myself is not about a number anymore. I’m a lot healthier. I wanted to be a comfortable, more manageable me, inside and outside.”

“The Biggest Loser” has seen a cavalcade of sizable contestants barrel across its campus since season one aired in 2004 all the way through the 100th episode, and most have strutted off lighter and happier — especially those who scored the six-figure prizes.

For Matt Hoover, who won the top prize of $250,000 in season two, the experience itself was equally transformative, which he didn’t expect.

“I was probably one of the few contestants who came out and said, ‘I want to win the money,'” says Hoover, who now runs a business and website along with his wife dedicated to health, wellness and weight loss. “I didn’t say, ‘I want to make a life-changing transformation.’

“It just happened. Meeting Suzy. Having kids. It’s been an amazing ride.”

Ali Vincent became the first female winner of the show by shedding 112 pounds. Not only has she kept all the unwanted pounds off, she travels the country encouraging others to do the same as a spokeswoman for 24 Hour Fitness.

“It’s very liberating,” she explains. “I want people to know I’ve been there.”

And, she says, there are some in her circle of friends who haven’t embraced the new, leaner Ali.

“It’s interesting. Some of my friends prior to the show have been friends for years,” she notes, “and others just wanted to be my friend in a certain arena. After my whole lifestyle changed, I had hard conversations with them. I said, ‘I can’t live like that anymore.’ Some were resistant, and I don’t spend that much time with them anymore.”

Michelle Aguilar, the big winner on the just-completed season six who dropped 110 pounds, became engaged in early January. She didn’t meet her fiance on the show — she and Micah Whitehead had been friends for four years, she reports — but the two had dated for four months before he proposed.

She says she has kept the weight off and now is concentrating on firming up and getting stronger. But the most important change, she adds, came from within. She says her future husband just wanted to make sure she was at peace with her new self.

“His biggest concern was the changes on the inside,” she explains. “Everybody looks at you differently. He was concerned about the emotional changes. He was happy to see I had made miles upon miles of progress and I came home a stronger and more confident person.”

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