Biggest Loser runner up encourages others to make life changes

Hannah Curlee

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - America's obesity epidemic isn't getting any better, that's according to numbers released this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the CDC, more than one-third of adults and almost 17 percent of children were obese in 2009-2010.

Biggest Loser runner-up Hannah Curlee is no longer a part of that statistic. The self-professed food addict lost 120 pounds, and since the show ended nine months ago, she's maintained her new healthy weight.

At a seminar in Myrtle Beach, Curlee explained how she was able to accomplish her goal.

"It was all about learning how to believe in yourself again. Learning that you can be empowered, and you can have a new life. You can change," says Curlee. "When I really started seeing myself in a different way and learning to love myself, as cheesy as that sounds, that's when the weight really started to come off, once I changed my mind. I never knew that was a weight loss secret. It really is."

Curlee reluctantly joined the show with her sister Olivia Ward who ended up winning by just two pounds. Curlee says the thought of losing 120 pounds was too big of a mountain to climb, but with support she was able to.

"When you take it one day at a time, one step at a time, one calorie at a time, one meal at a time, all those steps add up to something big, and that's what happened with me," she explains.

Curlee is just like many others who have gone on the show and lost a lot of weight. Today, she's working hard to not be a part of the 70 percent who gain all their weight back within six months of leaving the show.

"I can't work out 12 hours a day, don't have that kind of time. But I can do my workout in the morning and also before I go to bed, and I do that six days a week faithfully, and it's just become a part of my life now," she adds.

Hannah suggests to anyone who wants to lose weight to start with small steps, "Get off the soda, do a 30 minute walk throughout the day. If you want to do 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes at lunch, 10 minutes at dinner that's fine."