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It’s an understatement to say that Joelle Gwynn didn’t exactly have the easiest time on the Biggest Loser ranch this season. During her six-week stay, she endured confrontations with just about every other contestant, and most notoriously with her trainer, Bob Harper, who often lost his temper in frustation with the 41-year-old.

But for Joelle, looking at herself now — 75 pounds slimmer, with 75 more to go before achieving her goal of losing 150 pounds by October — it was all worth it.

We understand you had some medical complications before arriving at the ranch.
I found out three weeks before I started the show that I was diabetic. I had to go to the emergency room, and they were yelling at me, "You have to fix your life!"

How much did you weigh when you started the show?
I was 309 pounds; a size 28 was tight. I like shopping, but I could no longer even shop at plus-size stores. It was a bad time for me.

What kept you going after you left the ranch?
At the ranch, there’s a mantra to believe in yourself, trust the process and change forever. It took me a long time to believe in me. This is proof-positive that it works.

What was a piece of clothing you couldn’t wait to get into?
There was an old pair of jeans. I let out this scream of jubilation when those pants were too loose.

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What’s a typical workout for you?
A lot of cardio. I do intervals on the treadmills. I kickbox and I work out with a trainer. I found a trail around my neighborhood, and I’m starting to get that runner’s high. It feels good.

Does Bob know how hard you’ve been working since you left the show?
About six weeks ago we had to go back to campus for a boot camp. He was really impressed with my growth and I was really pleased to show him that I had improved. He said, "Oh, you look like you have a shape now!"

Are you dating anyone?
There is a gentleman who has been absolutely fantastic and supportive of me from day one. Is there a Biggest Loser finale wedding for me? No! [laughs]

Who do you think is going to win The Biggest Loser this season?
I think it’s between Tara and Mike. She’s defied odds for a woman, but Mike is strong and determined and has more weight to lose. Whoever wins would be a wonderful example of leadership and what Biggest Loser should be about.

By Delaina Dixon

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