"When I look in the mirror I see the Cate that I was always supposed to be," says the booted contestant
Credit: Chris Haston/NBC

Cate Laughlan may have lost the title of The Biggest Loser, but she found something important during her three weeks on the Ranch: herself.

“[My trainer Dolvett Quince] brought out in me that I was worth it,” Laughlan told reporters after the elimination. “I never realized how little I felt about myself until I got [to the Ranch] and got to working with him.”

Laughlan, 28, was the first member of the Red Team eliminated because her teammates believed she had the support system to succeed at home.

The team “had two really great weeks in a row but you can’t pull big numbers all the time,” said Laughlan, who left her elimination vote up to chance and selected a teammate’s photo at random with her eyes closed. “I knew that all of us in our own way [were] strong enough to do it at home.”

And now the newly confident student from Ransomville, N.Y., who says she has struggled with her weight as long as she can remember, has crossed a major milestone: dropping below 200 lbs., and reaching “one-derland.”

“That moment was unbelievable,” Laughlan said of reaching a weight she had not seen since her early teens. “When I saw the scale, it was a wonderful dream come true. I took a picture.”

Most recently weighing in at 187 lbs., Laughlan has found herself in an unusual diet predicament. She is having trouble eating enough calories!

“I never dreamed I’d have a problem eating enough,” said Laughlan, who started her Biggest Loser journey at 237 lbs. “It’s easy to fill 2,000 calories with garbage. It’s not as easy to fill 1,100 calories with good food.”

Laughlan is eating a lot of bright, colorful vegetables and lean proteins like chicken, fish and the occasional pork tenderloin. But there are still healthy dishes she can’t handle.

“I still don’t like spinach and egg whites. I didn’t like it on the Ranch and I don’t like it now,” she said.

To burn the calories, Laughlan is continuing to train for a marathon – a goal she has always wanted to accomplish – and marvels at the woman she has found along the way.

“When I look in the mirror I see the Cate that I was always supposed to be,” she said. “I went from having no confidence to all the confidence in the world.”