A year ago, sisters Olivia Ward and Hannah Curlee couldn’t imagine showing off their beach bodies. But that was before season 11 of The Biggest Loser, which Olivia won by shedding an awe-inspiring 129 pounds. Hannah, who placed second, lost an amazing 120 pounds. In an exclusive new shoot and interview with OK!, the svelte sisters put on swimsuits and revealed how their entire lives have changed.
Is this your first time wearing a swimsuit?
Olivia: Yes! I would say in the last five to 10 years, yes, this is the first time I’ve worn a bathing suit. In high school I wore something with a skirt on it, ruffles. And in college, I always wore shorts and a T-shirt on the beach.
Hannah: I always wore a tent, basically. A lot of my friends have pools. It’s hot, everyone wears bikinis. I remember last year I would never go. My friends were always begging me to come out and I just wouldn’t. So this feels great.
How does it feel?
Olivia: It’s like when you put on a bathing suit — first, you look at it and think, “It’s never going to fit me.” And then you put it on, and you’re like, “Oh, it fits!” It’s a great feeling. I’ve never been able to wear strapless stuff because I was always embarrassed of my arms and I was always like, “I can’t wear that.” So for me to wear this is really fun.
Hannah: I think it’s the first time I tried on bathing suits and felt good in every single one of them.
Olivia: How many people can say, “I used to weigh more than 248 pounds and now I can wear a string bikini?”When I saw Hannah come out, I almost cried! It’s amazing to me. Bodies by Bob and Jillian: They’re the best!
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Have you kept in touch with your Biggest Loser trainers?
Olivia: We talk to them all the time. We’ve been to their homes, played with their dogs.
Hannah: We do a lot of texting. They send us pictures from their shoots. They ask, “How it’s going? Any trouble?”
Olivia: That’s the thing we love so much, continuing to grow those relationships. It’s not like they write you off. Bob and Jillian... I know Hannah and I could call them any time, day or night. If we needed anything, I know they would be there.
Hannah: That’s been a relationship I will definitely keep.
What’s your favorite body part?
Hannah: I do love my arms. I feel they’re muscular and strong. I am also fortunate to have somewhat of a flat stomach.
Olivia: Doesn’t her stomach look amazing? I want your stomach! I think my arms and legs are my favorites.
Least favorite body part?
Olivia: My stomach! I just try to focus and accentuate the things I love, though.
Hannah: My thighs. Someone’s got to come out with a cure for stretch marks!
What makes you most proud of your sister?
Olivia: I am so proud of Hannah’s confidence. She had lost that. She had no confidence in herself as a person or physically. Even when she was 248 pounds, I looked at Hannah and saw the most beautiful person, inside and out. I remember at one point Hannah would duck into bushes and hide behind cars to avoid people from high school. To see her feel confident now and really own the beautiful person she is… it makes me joyful beyond belief.
Hannah: I always looked up to Olivia. Even though she was heavy, she always had confidence. She is this mega-talented opera singer. She’s a great wife and great friend, but she never went for things. And now I know she will get everything she wants, because she knows how to go for it. She realized she can do it. I have a whole new respect for her.