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So what finally inspired Erik to take action? Erik says his aha! moment struck when he watched Oprah share her own weight struggles with the world. "I thought it was so courageous and so admirable and inspiring," he says. "I said, 'Wow, I should just reveal this and just get it over with.' Friends and family, neighbors, they're going to see me. But the majority of people don't. They don't know."

Erik says he's also learning how to put himself back on his own priority list. "When we were on The Biggest Loser, we always had to think of an inspirational theme for ourselves, and I always went to the family—and I do. I want to lose the weight and be healthy for my family," he says. "And this time I think, 'You know what? Do it for yourself.'"

Now, Erik's says he's ready to live his best life—and do so in the gym if that's what it takes. Although Erik and Michele woke up at 5 a.m. to work out before talking to Oprah, Erik says working out isn't his favorite thing. "I love it when I'm done, when I get back in the car and I'm covered in sweat," he says.

Still, part of loving yourself is exercising for yourself, Erik says. "Do it for you. And then the family, they're a ripple effect. They'll be affected."
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FROM: Falling Off the Wagon Follow-Up
Published on January 12, 2009

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