I don't know about you, but I didn't see this one coming. I was pulling for Tara and worried that Mike would beat her out but Helen wasn't even in my radar!
Pink is the new 'Green' ($250,000 dollars worth), as Helen Phillips - the show's oldest champion ever - became the 3rd pink contestant in a row to win the title of The Biggest Loser.
"Helen was a 48-year-old, overweight woman who had passed her prime," trainer Jillian Michaels said before the finale. "Everyone's going to tolerate Helen until the time comes to send her packing. And now you have this powerhouse who's kicked everyone's ass."
Helen was almost sent home in Week 7 when she and her daughter Shanon fell below the yellow line. The mother/daughter team, however, decided Helen would stay. Many people hold this against Helen, believing that she should have insisted that her daughter stay at the ranch and Helen gone home instead. I, too, was disappointed she let her daughter go home but I quickly forgave her. Helen is one of the contestants that really grew on me throughout the season. She was the contestant I most remember laughing out loud at. I am happy for Helen though I very much wanted Tara to win. One thing for sure... Helen winning the title at her age sure takes away my excuse for being overweight!
"I've worked my ass off every moment," Phillips said in a taped piece that aired during the finale on NBC. "I've done everything my trainers asked me to do, and it paid off."
Helen Phillips, 48-year-old retired Macy's retail manager and mother of two from Sterling Heights, Michigan, lost 54.47 percent of her weight, enough to beat 19-year-old Mike Morelli of South Lyon, Michigan, and 24-year-old Tara Costa of New York City, New York.
Phillips started the competition last September at 257 pounds. At the finale, Helen weighed in at 117 pounds, for a total weight loss of 140 pounds! Helen went from wearing a size 22 to a size 2! You can watch her winning moment on video here.
Morelli finished second in the finale with a body weight loss of 53.35 percent. His starting weight was 388 pounds. Morelli dropped 207 pounds and weighed in Tuesday at 181 pounds. Mike set an all-time Biggest Loser record of losing the most weight while on the ranch.
Finishing third was Costa -- who set an all-time female weight loss record while at The Biggest Loser ranch and had also returned home as the finalist with the highest weight loss percentage -- had started the season at 294 pounds and weighed in at 139 pounds during the finale, giving her a 155 pound weight loss and a body weight loss of 52.72 percent.
5 pounds: That's what separated Mike from winning the coveted title of ‘Biggest Loser’ on Tuesday night. If Morelli had lost 212 pounds Tuesday night, he would have won. Same thing goes for Tara. If she had lost 160 pounds Tuesday night, she would have won the title. That's how tight the race was... 5 little ole' pounds!
Here is a rundown of how much each of the contestants lost this season.
Contestant: Start Weight - End Weight = Pounds Lost (Percentage Lost):
Helen: 257-117=140 (54.47%)
Mike: 388-181=207 (53.35%)
Tara: 294-139=155 (52.72%)
Jerry: 369-192=177 (47.97%)
Kristin: 360-193=167 (46.39%)
Nicole: 269-146=123 (45.72%)
Ron: 430-238=192 (44.65%)
Sione: 372-226=146 (39.25%)
Dane: 412-258=154 (37.38%)
Filipe: 364-229=135 (37.09%)
Damien: 381-245=136 (35.70%)
Daniel: 454-293=161 (35.46%)
Mandi: 263-171=92 (34.98%)
Estella: 242-159=83 (34.30%)
Carla: 379-251=128 (33.77%)
Shanon: 283-191=92 (32.51%)
Cathy: 293-198=95 (32.42%)
Blaine: 365-249=116 (31.78%)
Laura: 285-199=86 (30.18%)
Joelle: 309-229=80 (25.89%)
Aubrey: 249-194=55 (22.09%)
David: 393-350=43 (10.94%)
After returning home, Phillips worked hard with personal trainers and especially Shauhen Tahrebandi, Warren Mott's High School football coach, who is a former Bally personal trainer. "I couldn't have done it without him at home," said Phillips.
At home, Phillips worked out six hours a day -- two hours in the morning, two hours in the afternoon and two hours in the evening, often at the high school track in Warren. Helen's fitness regime at home included running stairs at stadiums to lifting tractor tires. The reward for all her efforts was an additional weight loss of 32 pounds! I'm not 100% sure about this, but I think once the contestants leave The Biggest Loser ranch, they are on their own at home for 12 weeks prior to the reveal at the show's finale.
Phillips, offers the following advice for anyone trying to lose weight:
• Be prepared. Pack your food so you don't fall into bad habits like stopping at fast food drive-thrus.
• Never make excuses. "It's a priority now to go to the gym or do some kind of physical exercise every day," she said.
• Believe you can do it. "I was tired of doubting myself," she said. "Stop saying you can't and start saying you can."
Helen says that when she first arrived on The Biggest Loser ranch, she could only go 2.3 mph on the treadmill. But before she knew it, she was running on the treadmill!
If interested, you can watch this People.com video of weight-loss tips from the Top 4 Biggest Losers of Season 7 (Helen, Tara, Mike, and Ron).
Winner of The Biggest Loser's At-Home $100,000 prize was Jerry Hayes, a 64-year-old retired engineer and grandfather of five from Wheaton, Illinois. Jerry and his wife, Estella, were the oldest contestants ever to compete on The Biggest Loser. But what amazed me most is that he won the prize after only being on the ranch for two weeks!
Jerry started the show weighing 369 pounds and ended at 192 pounds for a total weight loss of 177 pounds, and a body weight loss of 47.97 percent! You can watch his winning moment on video here.
“I was wondering if I was going to get to my 65th birthday,” Hayes said. “Now I’m thinking, well, maybe 90’s okay! I feel so much better. The whole thing is wonderful. I’m enjoying my grandkids and my family.”
As for how Phillips will celebrate her $250,000 win, she says, “I really, really, really want to take my husband to the Bellagio in Las Vegas! I really want to take him there for a nice break because he has been such a support system to me. I want to lay by the pool, go out to lunch, and be able to go work out in the middle of the day and have a nice salad somewhere and relax!”
Helen and her husband, Russell, plan to open a local spinning and wellness center. In addition to opening the wellness center, Phillips plans to work as a motivational speaker, especially for older women trying to lose weight.
Thanks for reading!
Related Posts: The Biggest Loser - Season 7
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