'Biggest Loser' Contestant's Tragic Past
By PopEater Staff Posted Oct 28th 2009 10:45AM
Life & Style interview given exclusively to PopEater, 'The Biggest Loser' contestant Abigail Rike reveals she faced more challenges than just losing 82 pounds during season eight. After her husband and two children were killed in a horrific car crash in 2006, Rike turned to food to ease the pain. Now three years later, Rike admits focusing on her weight loss has helped her regain purpose in her life. "Losing weight is kind of like shedding the sadness and hurt and emerging stronger. My life will matter again," Rike said.
Before the accident, Rike was a devoted wife and mother. "I wouldn't have traded lives with any human on the planet because my life was the best." But that dramatically changed when a speeding driver crashed head-on into the family's Nissan minivan, killing her husband Richard Rike, 33, Macy, 5, and Caleb, just 2½ weeks. Abby wasn't in the vehicle.
"After the wreck, all my roles were gone. I wasn't a wife anymore. I wasn't a mother anymore. I was broken and falling apart inside.There were pieces of shrapnel where my heart used to be -- it was shattered."
To deal with the pain, she started emotionally eating and struggled with depression -- watching the weight pile on. "You can't bury your two children and the love of your life and think, 'Oh, I'm just going to be okay,'" she said.
Her life turned around when she decided to audition for 'The Biggest Loser.' As the pounds started to come off, she realized the process helped her "heal from the inside out" as she channeled her pain into her workouts. Starting at 247 pounds, she lost an average of 4 pounds a week and now, after being eliminated, the 5-foot-4 contestant is down to an impressive 165 pounds. "You can't help what happens to you, but you can choose how you respond to it."
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