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Erik says his weight gain hit home when his scale read more than 300 pounds. "When I finally saw it, a little bit of depression I had got even deeper and I sunk into pretty much a deep depression," Erik says. "I just didn't want to face life. I just felt like staying in bed. Like, 'I did this to myself again. What's going on?'"

Now, Erik says he's realized food is his drug of choice. "When you're on the wagon, you've got your 'drug' in control. When you start coming off of it, you go in the other direction," he says. "I was looking to the food to heal myself, to feel better about something."

Still, Erik says his weight struggles have taught him an important lesson. "When you're going on that kind of a journey [on The Biggest Loser], there's a finish line," he says. "Beyond the finish line, I'd heard from so many people maintenance is the hardest thing. [I used to think], 'Try losing 200 pounds.' But maintenance really is a lifetime."
FROM: Falling Off the Wagon Follow-Up
Published on January 12, 2009