Season 12 of NBC's hit reality weight loss series, "The Biggest Loser," concluded last night, with three men vying for the top prize of $250,000. 

 

Ramon Medeiros, Antone Davis and John Rhode stood in the finals — each with an inspirational story about their impressive overall weight loss. It was the 41-year-old Rhode, however, who went from a starting weight of 445 pounds to 225 pounds to score the top spot. 

 

"I still don't know how I did it, but I'm grateful," Rhode, who works as a special education teacher and football coach, told PEOPLE magazine right after Tuesday's live finale. "Anything is possible. I've been given a new life. Now I just want to keep working hard, stay focused and help people." 

 

Bob Harper praised Rhode as an "absolute winner," with the contestant in turn thanking the fitness guru for believing in him. He also had a special message for this wife, who took care of their kids while he competed on the show. 

 

"Baby, I didn't waste a single minute on the ranch. The sacrifices I made there will never match what you've done for me. I owe you a debt of gratitude forever and I love you from the bottom of my heart," he said to her. 

 

A few days before winning the grand prize, NBC posted a video of John expressing his gratitude for the opportunity to change his life for the better. 

 

"It amazes me. I've been so blessed to lose so much weight week after week," he says. "I feel like I'm a living miracle. I'm doing my part for the miracle to happen, but I feel truly blessed."

 

Check it out below:

 

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