After a season of intense game playing the December 14 finale of The Biggest Loser came down to a battle between 28-year-old Patrick House and his closest friend on the ranch, 43-year-old Alfredo "Frado" Dinten. With an impressive loss of 181 lbs, House, who started out at 400 lbs, nabbed the Season 10 victory by losing just 1 percent more body weight than his competition, and claimed the $250,000 prize. Just moments after he stepped off the giant scale one last time, we spoke to the no-longer-unemployed sales representative from Vicksburg, Mississippi, who beyond reclaiming his health now feels like he has reclaimed the rest of his life as well.
TV Guide Magazine: Was there any point when you though the victory was in the bag?
House: I never was completely confident I had it in the bag. I knew I worked hard. Still, I had no idea until I got on the scale and saw the number that I was going to win. But man, what a night!
TV Guide Magazine: Did you keep in touch with Frado while you were at home?
House: Yeah, Frado and I got really close during the show. We talked every couple of days, checking with each other. "What's working for you? What's working for me? What foods are you eating?" This was not so much of a competition as two friends working towards the same goal. And we really helped each other out. We'll be friends for life.
TV Guide Magazine: So what if it had swung the other way?
House: Oh, had it gone the other way, I'd be just as excited for Frado as he was for me. When I got to talk to him right there at the end, he told me how excited he was for me. Had he won and I'd been in his shoes, it would have been the same feelings reciprocated.
TV Guide Magazine: But that victory must feel good.
House: The money feels great. 2010 was a rough year for me; losing my job in January and having to borrow money from my family and friends just to make it through this year. So winning this money not only means that I can pay them back, but it's going to be putting my family back on its feet and moving forward in our life.
TV Guide Magazine: What are you going to do with the money? I assume there will be some left after you pay your family back.
House: Oh yes ma'am. There's money left over and I've been so fortunate that I've been given an opportunity in January of 2011 to go to South Carolina and work at a school called Mindstream Academy. It's a boarding school where they focus on overweight teens. We work on helping them overcome their weight issues.
TV Guide Magazine: So you're going to move?
House: We're going to move and it's such a great opportunity. It will be my chance to really pay it forward. Childhood obesity is such a major, major problem in America and I'm going to be on the forefront of that, helping these kids out.
TV Guide Magazine: How would the old you have celebrated?
House: The old me would have celebrated with a huge cake or pie or something, and gone out to dinner and had wine and beer. I'm going to appreciate this victory. I love this. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity — but I'm still going to keep my boundaries and know what got me to 400 lbs and what got me to 220 where I am now. I'm going to stick with 220.
TV Guide Magazine: What was the hardest challenge?
House: The hardest challenge for me was being at home. It's tough eating at home. And the Biggest Loser meal plan really helped me out. To have portion control and the food already separated out and know exactly what I'm eating and putting in my body. That helped me on days when I was really tired and didn't feel like weighing out food and all that.
TV Guide Magazine: Did you get enough for the whole family or do they watch you eat this meal while they're eating something else?
House: I had it for me, but I would share it with the family because there were nights when I would cook fish and vegetables and I would have extra left over, so it worked out great. It was fantastic.
TV Guide Magazine: Of the physical challenges you did on the ranch was there one that was particularly memorable?
House: Definitely the challenge where I won the car. Having Brendan and Ada step up like that to help me out not only speaks of their character but how quickly we built relationships on that show. Ada and Brendan stepped away from a brand new car for me to get that. That means a lot to me and is something I would never forget.
TV Guide Magazine: If I'd told you six months ago what I know now, what would you have thought?
House: It would have been really hard to believe. I knew going in that I could do it, and Bob told me, day one, that I had what it takes to win. But at 400 lbs it's so hard to see the confetti and see the finished product.
TV Guide Magazine: When did you start to visualize that?
House: I started to see it about halfway through. I could see the picture of me on the scale with the confetti coming down, and that excitement kept me fuelled, especially when I got home. That's what got me up in the morning. I wanted the confetti raining down and I got it.
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