While former Biggest Loser contestant Fiona Falkiner went on the show to lose weight, the 34-year-old has said it was time away from the cameras that taught her what it took to become truly healthy.
After losing around 30kg while on the show in 2006, Fiona expected her life to fall into place and all her issues of self-esteem and acceptance would disappear.
But the goal Falkiner had been working towards – being skinny – hadn’t brought her the happiness she thought it would, she shared while sitting down with Jules Sebastian on her YouTube interview series, Tea with Jules.
"I was struggling with self-acceptance, low-esteem, I was really just not a happy person, and I blamed all of that on my size. I thought that if I was skinny, life would be perfect."
"I was skinny for the first time in my life... But I wasn’t happy at all, because I hadn’t dealt with the reasons I was the way I was in the first place."
The model and TV presenter said not addressing the underlying issues was why she regained the weight "quite quickly" after the show.
Falkiner told Jules that she went to a "really bad place".
"I was in such a miserable place, it was horrible. I was so unhappy, and life shouldn’t be about being so unhappy – I’m sorry, it makes me so emotional thinking about it," she said, tearing up.
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In the end, it was not weight loss that taught Falkiner her self-worth and helped her reach a place of acceptance and peace.
"I made a pact with myself that I'm going to take the pressure off myself... I'm going to find out in life what are the things in my life that make me truly happy," she said.
Falkiner told Jules that focusing on other aspects of her life, like spending time with friends and family and pursuing the career she wanted, helped shift her mindset.
She also began practising positive affirmations - something she still does every day.
"I would take five minutes every day to give myself a pat on the back for everything I’ve achieved in life, be grateful and thankful for everything I have. I’d tell myself that I was strong, incredible and that I could achieve anything," she said.
Now, instead of seeing her curves as a flaw, she realises they have made her who she is.
"If I’d never struggled with my weight and if I’d never been tall and curvy, I would never have lived the life that I’ve lived, which I’m so blessed and so thankful for."
"It’s funny that what I thought was the bane of my existence... now I celebrate it."
If you lost a significant amount of weight, did it make you happy?