Denise and Sarah: Mother and Daughter -Season 11
Hometown: Bountiful, Utah
Occupation: Administrative assistant
Denise was born in Burbank, California, and raised with five siblings in southern California. At 59, she realizes she has always taken care of other people but never really taken care of herself. She has eight children, ranging in age from 18-37, and gained weight with each pregnancy without ever really losing the weight afterwards. Denise realized she needed to change her life when she could barely make it up the stairs carrying her one-year-old grandson, and worried she might drop him. She knew if she wanted to be around to watch her grandkids grow up, she'd have to lose weight and get healthy. She had lap band surgery, but only lost 50 pounds and then the weight slowly crept back up. Denise currently weighs 256 pounds. Now pre-diabetic and suffering from high cholesterol, she says she always felt like good things happen to other people but never to her. "I now realize that good things will happen for me if I step outside my comfort zone and make them happen," Denise says. "That's why I'm here - to become all that I was meant to be." She looks most forward to playing with her grandchildren once she loses the weight.
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
Occupation: College admissions counselor
Having lost several pregnancies because of her weight and experienced the devastating emotional loss each time, 27-year-old Sarah Nitta is determined to finally lose her weight so she and her husband can become parents. Sarah was born in Boulder City, Nevada and grew up the middle child of eight children in California and Utah before recently relocating to Las Vegas. She received an associate's degree in general education at Southern Utah University, and is currently attending the University of Utah, studying human development and family. Sarah was always overweight, and says she was relentlessly teased and didn't fit in, leading her to find comfort in food. With each pregnancy loss, she says, "I seemed to lose more control and gain more weight." Now 261 pounds, Sarah was inspired by Season 8 winner Danny Cahill, and says once she loses the weight she can't wait to start a family - and also to be able to have her husband pick her up and spin her around.
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