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…)