The Biggest Loser
Eliminated October 27: Abby Rike
After suffering the most horrific tragedy imaginable - losing her husband and two children in a
car accident - Abby Rike became an inspiration to millions by going through a healing process on The Biggest Loser. The former teacher from Texas not only lost 82 pounds so far, but more
importantly she's found herself again.
"It's funny because it is a weight loss show, but the physical
changes have been so secondary," she says. "I've rejoined life. I enjoy where I am, I count my
blessings and I take joy from the small things that make up the whole of our lives."
For more from Abby, click here.
How have your friends and family reacted to seeing you on the show - did they know what you were going through?
They probably knew, but it wasn't something that you really talked about because you couldn't put
your finger on it. I've always just really had a love and a passion for life. And that had certainly
waned. What do you say, what do you do whenever someone that you love so much is hurting so
badly? So it has been I think a really healing journey for especially my immediate family. For me to
have something so positive and wonderful in my life and that they see the passion and the love for
life again, I think it's been really good for their hearts as well.
You said that the light was back in your eyes. How much do you attribute that to actually being at
the ranch and how much of it is really that you were finally ready?
I was so naïve when I went to the ranch. I just wanted to feel better. And as I went through and the
relationships developed, I realized that I started physically feeling better. The tears and the sweat
were so healing for me. I was actually in the pool a lot by myself, so I had lots of time for
reflection. And Shay, my roommate, and I spent lots of time visiting and talking. And I guess it
I was feeling again. Even if it was pain, it was feelings. And then it was happiness - I was really
happy for many members of my team, the blue team, too. That ball just started rolling - I think it
was just that whole concept of feeling again. The Biggest Loser served as a great kick-start for
finding that light. When things are really tough and sad, it's hard for people to know what to
say. I get that completely. But whenever something great is happening, people are comfortable
coming up and saying all the things that they thought this whole time. So I think that the Biggest
Loser was just the greatest venue for showing the world that I wasn't just falling apart and that I
was still a part of life.
Shay referred to you as a mother figure. Are you still close with her?
Absolutely. Shay is a person that I just feel like I'm a better person because I know her. She is a
treasure of a human being on this earth. And I feel like I was supposed to know her. The fact is
that we're friends. I have a motherly nature to me. Because I am a mother, I will always be a
mother. But at the same time she was an equal friend and confidant to me. And so there just aren't
enough nice words to say about her, she's just a true blessing in my life.
You used to use food as a coping mechanism. What about now?
I've learned about what do I really want out of life, and it's about feeling good physically for me.
So I choose foods that physically make me feel good. But I also reach out and lean on my support
system. I have made some great new friendships that I treasure. I've joined into fitness classes that
are a wonderful outlet. I think I've just really made it a point to actively engage in my life. And that
is what I use now.
What are your weight loss goals now and how are you working to achieve them?
Physically, I feel so much better. I've put on a ton of muscle; I feel so strong. I think I have about
probably 15 to 20 pounds of fat to lose to be at a super-healthy weight. I just try not to be a slave to
the scale. I count every calorie, I choose my foods very wisely. I eat super-clean, and I work out
What kind of things have strangers been saying to you?
It's just been amazing. Everybody has been beyond supportive and kind and it's just humbling and
overwhelming. A lot of times it has nothing to do with weight loss - that's what's so funny.
I had a girl come up to me and she was just so precious. She told me that she had lost her mother
and her sister in a car accident 15 years ago. I hate it whenever people really get it because it means
they've had an enormous loss. I had another girl come up to me - and again not overweight, no
weight problem - and said that she had just been given a job opportunity and she had watched the
show and she decided to take that because she wanted to start living her life without fears and
taking those chances. It's beyond anything you can ever imagine that would happened.
Who do you lean on at home?
My husband and I were the best of friends, soulmates. And even though I had family and friends
that I loved, he was my favorite person on the planet. So I think I realized that there is no one
person that can fulfill that many roles for me. The beauty of it is that I have learned that I have a
very wide range and support group that I lean on. It's just not one person. I'm blessed to have lots
of people that support me and further my journey. That's a major life lesson that I've learned: it
doesn't make you weak to meet people and to love people and to say, "Hey, I need you."
You've shown an interest in public speaking. What are your future plans?
I've always kind of had a servant's heart. I always wanted to help people and to feel like my life
mattered on earth, that you make a difference. And so getting to travel around the nation and speak
to different people and meet different people - that is where my dream is and it looks like it's
going to happen. That is exciting for me and I look forward to it.