You probably remember her as the supportive, but very overweight sister of NBC's season 11 The Biggest Loser winner Olivia Ward.
Well, she's no longer overweight. At 128-pounds and with 48.39 percent of her total weight gone, Hannah Curlee, 32, became a woman on a mission to tell others how to do it and encourage them to get fit.
On Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 7 p.m. Curlee, who's single and has no children, will speak about her physical and emotional transformation at Good Samaritan Hospital's auditorium, 2425 Samaritan Dr.
Curlee and Ward were the first female team to make it to the show's final and the first team to finish one-two. Curlee weighed 248 at the start of the season in October of 2010 and dropped to 128 by the finale on April of 2011. She was on the Biggest Loser Ranch for seven months.
Curlee was a high school homecoming queen and college athlete with Olympic dreams when she fell down stairs, broke her back and ended her career.
In numerous media interviews, she's explained how being bed-ridden for weeks led to an overall feeling of defeat and burgeoning out-of-control eating that became a habit over the years.
She cut herself off from social life and didn’t even attend high school reunions because she didn’t want classmates to see her burgeoning weight.
Curlee was employed in the human resources department of Hospital Corporation of America, Good Sam’s parent company, when she and her sister decided to team up for The Biggest Loser, according to Good Sam spokeswoman Leslie Kelsay.
Curlee is now the spokeswoman for Health to You or H2U online wellness program for adults that offers services for adults to manage their health through member programs at local hospitals across the country.
During a phone interview with Los Gatos Patch, Curlee said her work with H2U is a great way to maintain her weight and stay with the company that supported her through her weight loss journey. "It's a tool for everyone to become healthy," she said, adding that the program has a calorie tracker, help for pregnant women and other services for seniors and young adults.
Curlee, who's 5-foot-9-inches tall, will discuss her Biggest Loser experience, as well as how she maintains a fitness routine as she manages appearances in multiple states in a single week. She currently weighs 138, a perfect weight for her height, she said.
This week has her traveling from Tennessee to Nevada, California and New York. "I'm speaking to community groups, hospitals and the general public so they know that if I can do this anyone can," Curlee said. "What I learned on The Biggest Loser and on the ranch is not just about weight loss, it's about wanting to change to make a better you."
Curlee completed the New York Triathlon recently and she's doing a sprint triathlon in Palms Springs in October.
The key to achieving success in life, Curlee has learned, is to "take time for yourself and being a little bit selfish and really going after the things that you want."
She said after sitting behind her desk at work for many years and getting into a mundane routine, she began believing that was all life had to offer. "That wasn't true. I accepted a lesser life than I really deserved. It starts with believing in yourself and giving yourself a chance to have more. I truly believe we can have the things that we desire."
Curlee said although the word "fat," is a difficult one to hear and many overweight people don't want to talk about being "obese," she said the only way to "get moving" is by talking about it. "The show really encourages you to talk about it. I am and always will be a food addict. That hasn't changed, I've just learned how to control it. I know what triggers me."
Curlee resides in Nashville, TN, the corporate offices of HCA. She's originally from Houston, TX.
Registration is free, but pre-registration is highly recommended. Unregistered attendees are not guaranteed seating.
Participants may register by calling 1-888-724-2362. Check-in starts at 6:30 p.m. and program begins at 7 p.m. Parking is free.