December 18, 2006 12:00 PM



When you see contestant JENNIFER EISENBARTH on the NBC reality show’s Dec. 13 finale, don’t expect her to joke about her weight. “Retraining my inner voice that wants to make a snip about myself has been hard,” says Eisenbarth, 33, a full-time mom in Shakopee, Minn. “I realized in grade school that if I made everyone laugh by announcing the size of my butt before anybody else, no one else [would joke about it].” So her punishment for a negative thought is 10 push-ups—no matter where she is. Now just 9 lbs. away from a 100-lb.-loss milestone thanks to daily one-hour workouts including weightlifting four times a week, the former plus-size beauty queen says, “I feel like a true butterfly. I’ve gone through a huge metamorphosis.”



Size does matter, thought AMY HILDRETH when she arrived at the Loser ranch toting a pair of size 12 jeans. “I said, ‘My ultimate goal is to fit in these,'” recalls the 27-year-old marketing executive turned nanny, who started out as a size 22. To maintain her momentum after being ousted in June, “I took 20 bags of clothing to Goodwill,” says Hildreth, a Baltimore native. “By doing that, I knew I’d never go back to that size again.” Shopping for her sexy new shape is plenty motivating as well. “I love having clothes fit better, and I’ve had to hold myself back in the stores,” she says. “My ideal outfit now is a cute formfitting halter dress!”



“I will never, ever eat a normal potato again,” swears MARTY WOLFF, 26, a Kansas City, Mo., high school theater teacher who replaced his once-favorite starch with the more healthful sweet potato. “Before, I never gave eggplant or squash any recognition. I was so addicted to fat, sugar and salt.” The staunch calorie counter now kicks off his day with egg whites and oatmeal, then eats every three hours. (A snack favorite is asparagus.)

Since being on Loser, Wolff has lost 142 lbs.—and his love of junk food. “Stuff like pizza doesn’t even taste good,” he says. But he’s gained an appetite for tough workouts that alternate sprinting with jumping rope and spinning, and after moving to Chicago, he aspires to be a trainer himself. “[In the past,] if something bothered me, I’d get a Big Mac and supersize fries,” he says. “Now I’ll say, ‘Let’s think about it while on a bike ride.’ Exercise is now my way of coping with life.”

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