Jeffery Salter
November 11, 2009 12:00 AM

Daniel Wright, the first contestant to compete in back-to-back seasons of The Biggest Loser, didn’t want to go home on last night’s double-elimination episode of the weight-loss competition.

“I was getting so close that I was getting a taste of being a finalist,” says Wright, who was eliminated from the show Tuesday. “It was never something I wanted when I went the first time.”

When Wright walked onto the Biggest Loser Ranch for the first time in season 7’s January premiere, he weighed 454 lbs. — then the heaviest competitor in the show’s history. By the finale, he had lost 142 lbs., but still had a long way to go. He continued to shed the weight at home and returned for a second chance on the current season. In all, he has lost more than 226 lbs.

Despite learning how to eat healthy, Wright says he continues to struggle with binge eating, which he kept hidden from the show.

“The Ranch doesn’t have candy bars or fast food sitting around but there are things you can munch on,” he says. “If I was really stressed out, instead of talking to somebody, I would suppress it by going for handfuls of cashews or something.”

Still, the experience has changed his life. Once he reaches his goal weight — he hopes to be below the 200-lb. mark for the finale — he plans on donating his clothes.

“I would like to keep one shirt and one pair of shorts that I used to wear all the time and frame them,” he says. “That way, I can keep them as a reminder of where I’ve come from.” –Elaine Aradillas

For more on Daniel’s struggle to keep losing weight with diet and exercise, pick up a copy of the new issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday

Jeffery Salter

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