ARARAT - Mary Reid has had the weight of the world lifted off her shoulders since leaving The Biggest Loser house this week.
"...If I can help someone else out who is close to that weight and show it can be achieved then it was worth it..."
The heaviest female contestant in the Australian program's history said she was relieved to get back to Ararat and escape the glare of the cameras, but despite putting her hand up for elimination she remains determined to continue shedding the kilos.
"I don't think I was really prepared for all the cameras to be watching every move the whole time," Mary told The Ararat Advertiser days after being voted off the show.
"Most mornings I would walk the drive (of the house) to warm up at 5.30am and they would be there filming already and some nights depending on what you were doing they would be there till 11.30pm - there was no chance of escaping it.
"It was scary, mainly because I haven't been away from my husband for that amount of time. We've been married for 19 years.
"I was ready to come home. I was struggling in the house and everyone knew I wasn't dealing with the constant cameras and attention, so I put my hand up."
From the very first moment Mary stepped onto the scales and it was revealed she weighed 181.5kg the eyes of Australia were on her to see if she could turn her life around.
Mary said there was nowhere to hide for her, but if she could inspire others in her situation then the experience will have been worth it.
"I suppose I wasn't really surprised, having always been big I never acknowledged that I was small and if I can help someone else out who is close to that weight and show it can be achieved then it was worth it," she said.
"It was worse having my husband there and stepping on the scales in front of him more than anyone else. You just have to get over it I guess.
"The other thing is it's all about not hiding. If you only tell a few people that you are dieting then it doesn't matter as much if you don't drop as much weight, but when the whole town knows there is nowhere to hide!"
Mary quickly discovered there was no escaping the spotlight during the intense training sessions or challenges in Sydney.
Emotions ran high for the 49-year-old during her time on The Biggest Loser but she said there was always plenty of support from her fellow contestants.
"The training was tough, but it was always doable. You do get emotional however when you are hurting and you just have to try and push through it," she said.
"Shannan gets in your face and he knows if you are not putting in 100 percent. He is very intense and he looks at you right in the eyes and keep on you if he thinks you are about to break down.
"Sometimes you look at a challenge and think you'll never be able to finish it but you just stick at it and surprise yourself.
"One of the proudest moments was when I lost quite a bit of weight in the first week (11.1kg). I was pretty impressed with myself.
"Another one was when the blue team won the 'stairway to heaven' challenge with only four people due to illness. Cam stayed with me and encouraged me the whole way along. He just kept repeating 'you can do this, just keep going'.
"Having said that, everyone was really encouraging of one another. We might have been on different teams, but at the end of the day you'd go back to the same house and sit in the lounge room and it was just like one big family."
Mary is the fourth member of Shannan's blue team to be eliminated following the departures of Rodger Turner, Cameron Brown and Matt Dalton.
She said morale was always low in the house whenever someone was eliminated, but 'that's the name of the game'.
"Sometimes you win some and sometimes you lose. Going into elimination was always hard, but it was hard on the other team too because no one wants to see anyone go home straight away," she said.
"The blue team keeps going down and getting further and further behind which means they have to work harder in training and challenges.
"It was a bit of a relief to come home and recharge. It was great to see my family and friends...everyone has been wonderful, all really encouraging. Since I have been back in Ararat I have had so many offers from people to be my workout buddy.
"My husband doesn't want me to go back to work, he just wants me to use the time I've been allocated to work hard training. I will probably go back to work just before the finale."
Mary said her aim is to lose 35kg by the finale, while her long term goal is to crack the 100kg mark.
Since returning to Ararat Mary has joined Michelle Bridges' secret red team, alongside Rodger and Matt, which was put through its paces at J-Ward on Wednesday night.
"The whole experience has been a real eye opener," Mary said.
"It's not like we didn't have fun in the house, sometimes we had a heap of fun and laughter, but being up there just wasn't for me.
"Overall it has been a worthwhile experience, I have lost a heap of weight and I am working hard to keep it off - so it can't be bad!"
Craig - 22.2kg
Kerry - 19.6kg
Jane - 14.7kg
Caitlin - 15.8kg
Toni - 14.4kg
Cal - 14.2kg
Sharon - 12kg
Natalie - 11.7kg
Katrina - 10.9kg
Shannon - 9.5kg
Kevin - 5.3kg
Mary (eliminated) - 16.6kg