Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Carla Triplett Returns to Detroit After National Television Appearance

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mekeisha Madden Toby

Detroiter could win for being the at-home 'Biggest Loser'

Now that Detroiter Carla Triplett is home, she's had to adjust to certain realities she didn't experience as a contestant on NBC's "The Biggest Loser: Couples."

The upside includes the endless compliments. Customers at the bank where she works as an assistant manager can't believe how beautiful Triplett, 37, looks.

She was pretty when she weighed 379 -- everyone agrees -- but now that she's shed 115 pounds, her almond-shaped eyes sparkle just a little brighter and her high cheekbones are more pronounced. Co-workers also sing Triplett's praises and recently, a mentor from another branch drove over just to see the peppier version of his protégé and give her a big hug.

"The response has been overwhelming," Triplett says. "The funny thing is that I don't see the difference when I look in the mirror. I only see it when I look at pictures. But it feels good to know that people are rooting for me."

Triplett got booted from the current season after just two weeks thanks to her partner Joelle Gwynn. Despite this, Triplett is still eligible to win the $100,000 compete-at-home prize.

She's also supporting the three remaining Metro Detroiters who are vying for the $250,000 grand prize. Look for father-and-son team Ron and Mike Morelli of South Lyon and Sterling Heights' Helen Phillips when "The Biggest Loser" airs tonight.

"I've been watching them every week on the treadmill," Triplett says, adding that the downside of going home is finding enough time to work out. Trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels aren't there to push her and provide all that expensive healthy food; yeah, she has to pay for that now. But none of this will deter Triplett, whose husband LeMar is her most vocal cheerleader.

"He says, 'If you don't win the money, you're still a winner,'" Triplett chirps. "But I've already made up my mind. I'm going to win."

You can reach Mekeisha Madden Toby at (313) 222-2501 or mmadden@detnews.com.

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