Jane Peleti
Gabrielle Olya
October 28, 2016 02:15 PM

In 2011, The Biggest Loser contestant Sam Poueu fell off the side of a five-story building, landing him in the intensive care unit of a San Francisco hospital.

Poueu spent five months in the hospital, including 31 days in an induced coma. He underwent multiple surgeries after being left with a fractured tibia and fibula, punctured lung, severed kidney, shattered pelvis and 67 facial fractures. He also suffered a brain injury, and had to undergo two cranioplasties.

“I was depressed,” Poueu, now 30, tells PEOPLE. “I had to learn how to walk again. I was showering with a stool because it was difficult for me to stand upright. I had speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy.”

As a side effect of his brain injury, Poueu also suffered from a lack of motivation. Coupled with his depression, he ended up gaining back 170 lbs. between 2011 and 2014.

“I lost track of who I was and the man that I wanted to be,” says Poueu.

Poueu found his motivation again after looking at old photos of himself.

“As vain as it may sound, [my turning point came after] looking at photos and seeing a Sam that was pre-fall, post-Biggest Loser, and seeing how far I had let myself go,” he says. “It was an awakening.”

He found even more motivation when he found love again with hotel developer Hannah Greenberg after splitting from his wife of one year, fellow Biggest Loser contestant Stephanie Anderson in 2013.

“Hannah has been a role model to me as someone who understands the struggle of being obese,” he says.

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Greenburg, 26, used to weigh 330 lbs. and had already lost 120 lbs. when she met Poueu two years ago.

“The fact that we were able to [work on losing weight] together, and having someone to keep the other accountable has definitely helped the process,” she says. “Since we’ve gotten together I’ve lost another 40 lbs.”

In October 2015, the couple decided to attend Premier Fitness Camp, a weight loss transformation camp, to take their journey to better health up a notch.

Biggest Loser awakened my inner athlete, and I lost touch with that,” says Poueu. “I wanted to go to a fitness camp, and I spent 11 weeks at Premier Fitness Camp working with transformation and behavior specialists.”

And they have both been able to stay on track ever since. Poueu and Greenberg work out together six days a week, doing a combination of strength training, Pilates and cardio.

“We have a lot of time apart during the work day, so we like the workout time to be something we do together,” says Greenberg.

They also stick to an 80/20 rule when it comes to nutrition, and try to meal prep as much of their meals as possible.


The hard work has paid off — Poueu has lost 148 lbs. since last year.

“It’s been an uphill fight, but it’s a fight that I’ve come to appreciate,” he says. “My life is worth fighting for.”

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