Matt Hoover and Suzy Preston, who shed a combined 252 pounds on the NBC show, are dating

By People Staff
December 13, 2005 01:00 PM

It’s official: Matt Hoover and Suzy Preston, who together lost a combined 252 pounds as contestants on NBC’s The Biggest Loser, tell PEOPLE they’re a couple.

“I think it’s going to be great,” says Hoover, 29, a former wrestling coach. “She is awesome.”

The way they met was anything but normal. Suzy was a bespectacled 227-lbs. and Matt was a burly 339. “I saw him at his worst, absolutely,” says Preston, 29. “And he saw me at my worst. He saw me sweating and passing gas.”

Hoover thinks their shared experiences as finalists on Loser (he won the $250,000 grand prize, and now weighs 182 pounds; she took home $25,000 as second runner-up, and weighs 132 pounds) gives their romance a unique foundation.

“We have a lot in common. Going through something like we went through is life-changing. We are not the same people we were before all this and we are both at a point in our lives where we know what it’s like to be fat and miserable – and what it’s like to be happy and healthy.”

Hoover, who lives in Iowa, said he is contemplating a move to be closer to Preston, a hairstylist, in Seattle.

Read more about this story in the Jan. 9 ‘Half Their Size’ issue of PEOPLE.