After losing 214 lbs., Erik Chopin — who started off at 407 — was crowned the winner of Biggest Loser season 3. But after the reality show was over and the trainers had gone home, the deli owner from West Islip, N.Y., slowly gained the weight back.
“I came from such a high of winning then the reality sets in of not being on the show and not being accountable, then I went into the real world and it all started up again,” says the husband and father of three, who got back up to 368 lbs.
Chopin spoke with PEOPLE before a Discovery Health documentary, Confessions of a Reality Show Loser, addresses his fall from grace.”I felt so proud about what I had done,” he says, “but I feel like I’ve let down but gaining a lot of the weight back.”
Chopin didn’t simply revert back to greasy foods and overeating, but he admits that he started “procrastinating” and lost his sense of drive. “I thought I knew how to lose weight better than anyone,” he says. “I felt a lack of purpose. That’s why I gained the weight back.”
After getting on the scale one more time and realizing that he was within 30 lbs. of his 2006 weight, Chopin was spurred into action and determined to lose the weight again — this time with a renewed fervor. “I’ve thought about new ways of working out and what would excite me, like boxing.”
The one-hour documentary airs tonight (9 p.m. EST) on Discovery Health. –Amy Elisa KeithTrae Patton/NBC, Courtesy Discovery