Life long friends for finalist

ARARAT - Finalist Katrina Pianta said she has made life-long friends thanks to her time on The Biggest Loser: Challenge Australia.

The mother of two lost an amazing 43.8kgs on the weight-loss program, but told The Ararat Advertiser it was the bond she formed with fellow contestants and her trainer that she cherishes the most.

"One of the best things about being in the house was developing friendships," she said.

"Going in I knew a few people, like Toni, Stocky (Kerry Stockwell), Fish (Rodger Turner) and Mary (Reid), but I didn't know everyone and there are friendships that were formed that we have now carried on since the show finished.

"Also getting to know Shannan Ponton he has such a positive energy about him it's hard not to pick it up.

"He was always there to push me and to meet him at the start and develop that friendship all the way through was definitely a highlight."

Katrina said it was her husband Gary (Spanner) that first suggested applying for The Biggest Loser.

"Spanner brought home two applications, one for himself and one for me, they sat on the kitchen table for about three days and I'd walk past and think 'no I don't want to do that, I don't want to put myself out there', but eventually I decided what have I got to lose?

"It was a sort of pinch-me moment when I got through and then it all hit me that I was going to be away from home and out of my comfort zone and it was almost surreal and a bit daunting."

While Katrina received the opportunity of a lifetime, Spanner was left to his own devices back in Ararat.

Katrina said she was proud of her husband's efforts in losing more than 16kgs while she was away.

"Even though I was disappointed that Spanner missed out on a spot during the boot camp I think they left the right person at home," she said.

"He really relished the challenges and was a great advocate for Ararat. I think most of Australia probably liked him more than they like me."

Some of Katrina's favourite challenges included the 'Gravel Pit' and 'Stacks on Challenge', where she became the first female in Biggest Loser history to hold 125kgs on her shoulders.

Katrina said maintaining a positive attitude and just enjoying the ride has been what has got her to where she is today.

"It is not a celebrity status or anything, but to touch a lot of people and to have people come up and say I saw you do those crazy challenges and thought if she can do that then I can get up and walk around Chalambar, that is something I'm proud of," she said.

"It has been hard being in the spotlight and people walking by at the supermarket and looking to see what you're buying or asking if you are still exercising and going to the gym, but that negative stuff is balanced out by hearing that you have motivated someone to get moving.

"You've got to expect both positives and negatives, it can't all be one way. It has been one wild ride, lots of ups and downs, but I would definitely do it all again.

"I need to thank Spanner, Aaron and Josh and the rest of my family for their support.

"Also my awesome bunch of friends that made up the 'Trine Team' back home. They did a lot of stuff to support me while I was in the house and since I've been home too. Their support has been invaluable.

"There were times in the house where I would be tired or hungry or feeling low and I would just think of them back in Ararat doing their best and it would give me a lift.

"I feel so lucky to have had the support both in the house and in Ararat."

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