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The Weight of Success
Story by Christine Whitton

Though you might recognize her name now, Arizona native Ali Vincent hasn't always lived the glamorous life. Growing up in Mesa, this season five winner of NBC's "The Biggest Loser" has struggled with weight since her initial five-pound gain "I knew I was unhappy; I just didn't know if I was unhappy because I was fat or fat because I was unhappy," says Vincent. Now this former champion synchronized swimmer aspires to motivate others.

Looking back, Vincent's eating habits consisted of fast food; sugary iced, blended coffee drinks; and quick, calorie-packed snacks. Those extra calories tipped the scale. It wasn't until the last year and a half that Vincent attempted several diet and exercise plans, to no avail. "What I realized was that I had quit setting goals and quit having opportunities to have success and win. Without a win, I didn't have a reason to celebrate who I was," Vincent says. It wasn't until the season-three finale of "The Biggest Loser" that she realized the show's true potential and submitted an application.

On Aug. 11, Vincent got her chance. Partnering with her mom Bette-Sue, the spirited duo attended an open casting call at the Mesa Arts Center and were quickly awarded a spot on the following season's biggest loser campus. As the newest member of the pink team, Vincent's first weigh-in was 234 pounds. As for the glare of the cameras on her personal struggle, "It was the price I had to pay for this opportunity," Vincent says. After four grueling weeks of day-long workouts, Vincent was eliminated and sent packing.

Back in Phoenix, Vincent was determined to be a winner and had one final chance to commit. (The rules state that two eliminated contestants who had lost the most off-campus weight could return in the final weeks to compete for $250,000.) Hitting the 24 Hour Fitness gym, Vincent found new confidence and determination of "why not me."

"It doesn't matter the course you take as long as you get there," she says. Working around the clock between her job and the gym, Vincent was tired and exhausted but never lost hope. In the end, Vincent secured her spot on "The Biggest Loser" campus for the remaining six episodes. Vincent's live finale weigh-in was 122 pounds—112 pounds less then when she started. She became the first female to win "The Biggest Loser."

Today, Vincent eats what she likes in moderation and attends the gym in her free time. After all, "you can't eat the whole chocolate cake at once; you have to go one bite at a time," she says. Going forward, Vincent, now a spokesperson for 24 Hour Fitness, aims to jump start others to believe in themselves and not allow their outer image to out shadow their inner beauty.