Ararat's Craig Booby: From fat to fit

ARARAT - Craig Booby is almost half the man he used to be thanks to The Biggest Loser: Challenge Australia and on Sunday night 1.31 million people tuned in to watch him win series nine of the weight-loss program and walk away with the $75,000 winner's cheque.

The finale of The Biggest Loser was filmed in October, but with two endings shot, even the contestants were made to wait until this week to see who took out the title

Craig spoke to The Ararat Advertiser hours after being crowned the winner and said it was good to finally see the announcement made.

"I was quietly confident, but didn't believe it till I actually saw it go to air," he said.

"I have always been very competitive, so I thought if I get into the show I'd give it a good shot.

"The money is just an added bonus I guess, changing your life is the bigger reward. I've brought a new camper trailer recently and I am looking to build a new house in Ararat.

"There may be a trip to Disneyland with the kids too, because my niece and nephew are really what I was doing all this for."

The 34-year-old was this year's heaviest male contestant at 183.4kgs, but took out the competition after dropping 79.8kgs or 43.51 per cent of his body weight.

Craig said he was encouraged to audition for the program by his 'best mate' Kym Gannon and once he was awarded a ticket to Sydney he tackled the challenges thrown at him head on.

"The time was right with work and I was ready for a new challenge," he said.

"Just getting my fitness up and achieving what I did in a short time was a highlight for me.

"I sort of really enjoyed the training sessions in the end. At night I would run on the treadmill and would try and push myself further than the night before and that really helped me get to where I have got.

"The first few sessions with The Commando really hurt, but I just thought to myself that not many people get that opportunity and to just keep at it.

"I'm working to continue that attitude and the aim is to get under 100kgs."

Craig had to work extremely hard to make it through to the final four, with an all-girl alliance forming in the final weeks which threatened his spot in The Biggest Loser house.

Craig said he was well aware 'The Awesome Foursome', made up of Katrina Pianta, Toni Stockwell, Sharon Basset and Jane Jantzen, were gunning for him.

"I knew quite clearly that I was on the chopping block and actually in the second last week I had a penalty where I couldn't train with The Commando, so I had to push myself pretty hard because any opportunity the girls were going to get they would have voted me out," he said.

"The only way to stay safe was to stay above the yellow line."

Toni finished runner-up in the competition losing 47.7kgs (38.41 per cent of her body weight), followed by Sharon who shed 40.2kgs (36.61 per cent) and Katrina with 43.8kgs (33.41 per cent).

Craig said one of his main reasons to enter The Biggest Loser was to change the negative behaviours in his life. Now that he has accomplished that, he has set his sights set on finding love and starting a family.

"I have made a lot of changes since coming home, just the amount of time I go to the gym and exercise now is so different and I have completely changed my diet," he said.

"I am also looking to change jobs I have just got a whole new outlook on life.

"It has been an amazing experience, I would do it all again even without the fame and fortune that's come with it.

"Now that it has all gone to air, I'm looking forward to getting back to Ararat and announcing what we can do with the money, which will have a positive impact on the community.

"I just want to say a big thank-you to Ararat for getting behind me and showing me and all the other contestants plenty of support."

See Thursday's edition of The Ararat Advertiser for interviews with the three other finalists.

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