Stephanie Anderson didn't become the The Biggest Loser — she was sent home after Koli convinced her friends that she was manipulating them — but she did change her life and find love with contestant Sam Poueu, which means she's still very much invested in what happens next. Stephanie, who has been giving In Touch readers exclusive insight into every episode, will now be weighing in on life at the ranch from a new perspective. This week, Suze Orman advised the contestants on how their financial well-being is related to their health — and made a prediction, based on money management, that Sunshine would be the ultimate winner. "I have a good FICO score, so I wondered whether if I had been there, she might have said me!" Stephanie tells In Touch. "People might say, 'What does Suze Orman have to do with losing weight?' but I can definitely see the correlation. I've kept my finances more or less good. I pay all of my bills on time, but I'm horribly disorganized when it comes to paperwork — and that's a reflection on my unorganized life in terms of my health and nutrition."
For more on what Stephanie has to say about this week's
episode, click here.
Suze Orman got Koli to admit he doesn't count calories. Was that a surprise?
Stephanie: No. Sam and Koli didn't do Bodybugg ever. Sam never wrote down his calories. I never saw Koli write down calories, either. Maybe it was confidence, cockiness, maybe past experience. The weeks were obviously working. Maybe sheer determination.
Did Jillian know?
Stephanie: Jillian knew. I would always rag on Sam and Jillian would, too. But Sam was losing weight. And even when he lost zero pounds this week, you saw his arms — he was gaining serious muscle. At the end of the day, as much as I'm a proponent of a piece like the Bodybugg, week two I was so meticulous, and I added up my calorie deficit, and it was 25,000, which is more than 7 pounds. And I lost 3 pounds that week, and that's the week my mom went home. There are so many things you can't account for. The Bodybugg is also on your arm, so the spin bike, the StairMaster, or anything where your arms aren't moving, it doesn't record properly. And then the machine you saw Sam and Koli on a week ago — it's kind of a sit-down elliptical that you move your arms back and forth — John used that the week he went home. We stopped using that because it did an inaccurate reading of your calorie burn. You can't rely on just one thing to lose weight.
Victoria had trouble discovering what got her to this weight until Jillian pushed her — could you relate to that?
Stephanie: Jillian was right when she said people were having these realizations that it's more than just physical, it's mental early on. We all are constantly being pushed to new levels. Everything we have learned — for me, it's been
20 years — is to brush it under the rug and put a smile on your face, and she had that same attitude. As a viewer, I was talking to the TV: "Oh come on, girl. Jillian's going to get you." So many of us can relate to each other. A lot of us who have struggled with our weight have felt not good enough at some point, no matter how great everything seems. I definitely saw her overcome some of that, and that makes me optimistic for future weeks. It might be too late, though. For me, I had my "aha" moment late, because I was sweeping it under the rug. That was the part of the problem with Drea, Ashley and Koli, and why they weren't sure they could believe me. Koli was very in-your-face about things he didn't like and for me, it was "Everything's fine" — instead of being devastated, which is the way I was with myself and with Sam and in my letters home.
Sam really helped out Victoria in this episode, which eventually worked to his benefit when she didn't vote for him to go home later. Did he do that a lot?
Stephanie: Sam does that. When Drea talked about finally believing that she can be first, that was after a talk with Sam. He had talks with Ashley. He obviously had a lot of talks with me. He helped drive Koli. Sam was a driving force of encouragement, both physically, in watching him as a jock in the gym, and emotionally. He's a guy's guy, but he's also very open to communicating. He was definitely a rock for myself and the majority of the house.
Are those kinds of talks planned?
Stephanie: He might have started the conversation and they were like, "Can you take this downstairs where we can film it properly?" But there are so many things that aren't shown, like the Drea talk or when Victoria first arrived, he was giving her tips. I saw some CDs, so he was probably putting some stuff on his iPod. And actually my birthday was after I left the ranch, and he got me an iPod Nano and put a bunch of our favorite songs on it and two videos telling me that he loved me. I think he was probably doing it then! He's so thoughtful. What lady doesn't want that?
It was interesting that Sunshine voted for Drea and Ashley voted for Sam at the end.
Stephanie: I always thought, before I left, not that it was an alliance, but that we were in a boat, the four of us had each other's backs. First I got the whack, now Drea got the whack. There was no boat. It's a game. At this point, it's clear to me that O'Neal, Koli, Sunshine and Sam are all real tight. They formed a connection very early on which was much deeper than I realized. I can see it now. As "Melissa" as it sounds, I loved Sam's comment about how he's not going "the Melissa route" — hello! There is a strong solid four of two teams. As fabulous as Sam is, he's a dominating force, and he's never going to vote for Koli — and Koli is one of your biggest threats.