If PMB policewoman is the biggest loser, she could be big winner

2008-04-03 00:00

“If it wasn’t for The Biggest Loser, I would never have lost the weight,” says Pietermaritzburg policewoman Phoebe van Staaden, a finalist on the weight-loss TV show.

Van Staaden, who lost a whopping 16 kg during her five-week stay at the Biggest Loser house in Durban, has lost loads more and is looking fantastic.

The shows were taped just over four months ago and the 11-week challenge is currently being aired on e.tv at 8 pm on Monday. Eleven contestants appeared on the show with the same goal — to lose weight.

Since the recording of the show, participants have had the opportunity to continue training and to lose more weight for the reunion show, which will be taped in Johannesburg this Saturday and will air on Monday, April 7. The finale show will show all contestants being weighed and the one who has lost the most weight will walk away with R50 000.

Van Staaden was the fifth member to be voted off the show in September last year, and since then has continued to exercise hard and follow a healthy diet.

Before appearing on the show, she tried many diets for years, but couldn’t lose the 50 kg that she put on after the birth of her now three-year-old daughter.

“Easter was the most difficult for me,” she says, adding that she has a weakness for sweets. “I had to sit there with my carrot and celery sticks while my kids ate their Easter eggs.”

She is also very excited to reunite with the other finalists, who have become like family to her.

“I think everyone is excited to see each other and the progress that we all have made.”

She said that, since losing the weight through gym and healthy eating, the quality of her life has improved dramatically.

“I play with my daughter more often — before I used to say ‘Oh, mommy’s tired’. I cycle with my husband and teenage son and even help to mow the lawn,” she says, giggling. “I think ‘calories, more calories are being burnt’.”

She has also been an inspiration to colleagues and friends. The support received from her husband and friends and family has helped her to continue the battle.

“I never want to go back [to being overweight],” she says.

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