<p><span></span> <strong>Abigail Rike</strong> faced more challenges than just losing weight on season eight of <em>The Biggest Loser</em>. But even while hampered by a stress fracture of the knee, the 247-pound contender soldiered on, losing an average of 4 pounds a week. Now, after being eliminated in week seven of the reality competition, the 5-foot-4 Abby is down to an impressive 165 pounds. </p>
Dropping the weight, though, was easy compared with the nightmare she's endured since 2006, when her doting husband and two children were killed in a horrific car crash. On Oct. 21, during an exclusive photo shoot in NYC, Abby sat down with Life & Style to talk about her amazing journey from sorrow to success. "Losing weight is kind of like shedding the sadness and hurt and emerging stronger," Abby, 35, tells Life & Style. "My life will matter again."
Before the accident, "I wouldn't have traded lives with any human on the planet because my life was the best," she remembers. "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."
"You can't bury your two children and the love of your life and think, Oh, I'm just going to be okay," she says. Still, she began to realize, "you can't help what happens to you, but you can choose how you respond to it." Enter The Biggest Loser. "My journey was more about finding out where I fit into the world," explains Abby. "For me it was truly about healing from the inside out."
For more from Abby on how The Biggest Loser changed her life, pick up the latest issue of Life & Style, on newsstands now!
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