At the Biggest Loser 7 finale, a fit and trim Filipe Fa walked out on stage next to his teammate and cousin Sione Fa and performed a rousing Maori Haka, a traditional war dance from their native Tonga. Filipe made it through 17 grueling weeks on the infamous ranch, ultimately sweating and beating 135 pounds off his frame. But the ranch and home are two very different places, and the years since Loser have put Filipe back where he started.
“In the last few years, Filipe’s put the weight, plus some, back on,” said his cousin Sione Fa, who is now a personal trainer at the Biggest Loser Resort in Ivins, Utah. Since his finale, Filipe has gained 155 pounds, twenty pounds more than he’d originally lost.
“It’s difficult to admit,” Filipe told us. “But it’s not that you can’t see it!” He’s hung back from alumni events like finales and given up speaking opportunities because he felt “embarrassed, inadequate.” He explained that nothing tragic happened, he gained weight like a lot of people do. First, it was 10 or 15 pounds and you think you’re OK, and then he explained the days turn in to weeks, turn in to months, and you’re back at your starting weight..
“I feel like it’s my time to lose weight again,” Filipe told us, as he talked about his new partnership with Walgreens, the Biggest Loser Resort, and his trainer Sione.
Without the pressure of the cameras, Filipe visited the Resort last October with an attitude that he was ready to start over. Walgreens, an on-going sponsor of the Biggest Loser television show, got word of his efforts and wanted to help. With the cousins they launched a web series, so far with eight episodes, that captures Filipe’s personal journey back to health. (more…)
Tara Costa first caught our hearts during The Biggest Loser season 7, and she’s gone on to do some great things, including training for her first Ironman. Her favorite part of the grueling race? “It’s definitely the camaraderie amongst the athletes. Ever since the first race I participated in, I realized how giving and inspiring all the athletes are,” Costa said. “I am so blessed to have the opportunity to participate and be pushed by elite athletes.”
If you would have told her a few years ago she’d be competing with world class athletes, Costa wouldn’t have believed it. She sees the race as a testament to how far she’s come. “I also love when I see the finish line. Each time I have the finish line in sight, I realize that I am doing something that I would never have been able to do years back. The finish line reminds me of how far I have come and how you can do anything you set your mind to do.”
Aside from continuing to push herself physically, Costa’s been hard at work creating her own foundation Kicks4Kids. This program, designed to supply under privileged children with new sneakers and a playbook, will provide the child different exercise games/activities to help them achieve the daily 60 minutes of exercise that is currently recommended. Kicks4Kids is set to launch in Hawaii in October, coinciding with the Ford Ironman World Championship that Costa will run.
Now in its eleventh season, Biggest Loser has had individuals compete and teams of two, but ever more than that. Unless you count season seven. That’s when Ron Morelli and his son Mike Morelli competed as the brown team, a team of three if you count honorary member Max Morelli, the youngest son in the family. Ron and Mike went on to the final four that season, but Max watched from home; at 17 he was too young to join the show. However, the trio lost astounding weight together at home and continue to support one another today.
You can hear all about the impressive story of this family’s journey to health in their upcoming book Fat Family, Fit Family, a group effort that includes contributions from Becky Morelli, “the mom,” who also has her own weight loss success story to share.
In the meantime, we caught up with Ron and Max during a recent stay at Biggest Loser Resort. It was Max’s third trip, and a first for Ron.
First, catch-up with Max, a young man we’ve had the privilege of watching grow and transform into an inspiring, healthy and smart “kid.” Since 2009 he’s lost more than 150 pounds, mostly during his stays at the Resort but also from a lot of hard work at home.
The Biggest Loser season 7 live finale, which aired Tuesday, May 12, delivered its customary brand of awe-inspiring transformations, this time with 22 contestants who had shed a record breaking amount of weight, 2,744 pounds for the season. One thing’s for sure, this season delivered truth to the fashion statement that you can look fabulous at any size!
For one of the most spectacular finishes in Biggest Loser history, this season’s contestants were impeccably styled in fabulous designer clothes, the hottest colors of the season and figure flattering silhouettes. (more…)