reality tv

In 2012, Margie Cummins won The Biggest Loser. Then she barely left her house for years.

Margie Cummins is a strong woman.

Seven years ago, Cummins lost almost half her body weight to take out the title of The Biggest Loser: Singles. The show’s viewers loved her, and she built up a big social media following.

But along with the fame came a vicious campaign of trolling and stalking that affected her so badly that she barely left her house for years.

“It was almost, I guess you could say, emotional suicide for me,” Cummins tells Mamamia. “I stayed indoors and became a bit of a hermit.

“I didn’t handle it and I couldn’t handle it.”

Things I say when I binge-watch TV. Post continues below.

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Cummins gave up a lot to go on The Biggest Loser. She owned three pizza shops, but sold them so she could devote her attention to losing weight on the show.

“When you’re carrying a lot of weight, you just feel like you’re in this hole and you cannot get out,” she explains. “I thought I needed to go away, go on the show and just be pushed.”

Once she was in The Biggest Loser house, Cummins realised it was up to her to “put in the hard yards and train your bum off”. Having represented Queensland in both rugby league and rugby union when she was younger, that was something she knew how to do. She lost 73kg to finish at 85kg.

Not only did she take home the $220,000 prize money, Cummins gained the confidence to ask out a woman she was keen on, Kat.

“I didn’t have enough guts to approach her prior to Loser, but then you get a little bit of something something when you’re feeling good,” she says. “I approached her and the rest is history.”

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Cummins got into powerlifting and won a national competition, then decided she wanted to focus on helping other people lose weight. She started an online support group and wrote a weight-loss plan eBook, Rock Bottom, which sold 20,000 copies. But the trolling became relentless, with “horrific” comments being made about her online. The trolling developed into stalking. It went on for three years. The police got involved.

“I was out of my depth,” Cummins remembers. “I had to stay indoors. I couldn’t go into shopping centres because I would have anxiety attacks. I had to go see a doctor and a psychologist. I gained some weight back. I probably gained back just under half of what I lost.

“It’s been a big, big bloody deal, to be honest.”

What got Cummins through was the support of her partner Kat, her best friend and manager Caroline, and her family and friends, as well as her followers on social media.

“I’ve had so much kindness from all my followers, and I’m just really, really grateful,” she says.

Even random comments from strangers have given her a boost.

“I haven’t felt the best and I’ve been shuffling along the footpath and a car will stop and a lady will get out and will be like, ‘Oh, can I have a photo, Margie?’ And it’s like, ‘Sweet!’ Inside I’m dying but they said something positive and that really helps.”

 

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Last year, when Cummins found out her nephew Nick – aka the Honey Badger – was going to be the new Bachelor, she was afraid for him.

“I thought maybe Survivor would have been more his thing,” she admits. “When it all started happening, it was a bit of a trigger. I was getting online and I was battling these people that were assuming they knew Nick and were saying some horrible things. My brothers and my sisters and even Nick were like, ‘You need to remove those comments and don’t get on social media.’ I had to do that because it was just making me feel so angry.”

But this year, things have been good for Cummins. She’s getting out again and feels like she’s back to her “old self”.

Margie and Kat. Image: Supplied.

She’s reworked her weight-loss eBook and is planning a relaunch, and has some other projects in the pipeline. She’s losing the weight she gained. And, of course, she has Kat, “the most perfect partner”, by her side.

“Hopefully we’ll have our ceremony and we’ll have some children down the track,” she says. “She goes above and beyond for me. Especially during the s--t times, she’s just been amazing. So I’m really happy.”

Cummins says her goal now is just to help as many people as she can.

“Over time I’ve realised that helping people and getting people out of their rut is something I really like doing. If I’m able to help them through what I’ve been through, then that makes it all worthwhile. You’ve got to leave your footprint on this earth and I’m glad I can do that with them.”


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