The 58-year-old, who is now down to 199 lbs. from her starting weight of 263 lbs., spoke to reporters Wednesday about why she wanted to leave the ranch, how she's kept the weight off and what food she's given up to stay healthy.
Q: Why were you having such a hard time at the ranch?
A: Everyone knows the opportunity is awesome and it is a wonderful opportunity to be able to go on The Biggest Loser, but I don't think that I was quite prepared for the emotional part of it in the sense that I missed my family tremendously and the support from them. And the vigorous workout and the lack of sleep was clearly very hard on me.
Q: Now that you're off the ranch, do you wish you had done anything differently?
A: I wish I would've known that the emotional toll was gonna be even harder for me than the physical toll, so I wish I would've tried to prepare myself more for that.
Q: What are some of the tools you've learned from The Biggest Loser that you've been sharing with your daughter?
A: The most important thing that I've learned is what you eat is what you are. I mean, the food that you truly eat makes up your body and how healthy you are. We found out that eating organically causes your body to be a fat-burning body and all the foods we eat nowadays with all of the pesticides and different ingredients in them, they are full of things that are so bad for us that causes our bodies to be fat-storing bodies. That was just huge for me, so I pretty much eat organically now.
[I also learned] that the only way that you're ever going to get this weight off is to keep moving and just stay active daily. It's really never going to be, for me, a kind of lifestyle where I can be lackadaisical anymore. This is a full-life workout for me. It's going to be at least six days a week of exercise. And I found out that you know what – my body can do it. It was just amazing to know because when you're as obese as I was, you're afraid to push yourself to those limits. You're afraid that something might go wrong, so when you find out that you can, it's a wonderful, wonderful feeling.
Q: What is your typical daily workout regimen?
A: Usually in the morning I'm at the gym by 7:30 or 8. I usually work out with my trainer for an hour and a half to an hour and 45 minutes. She usually has me do circuit training where I will do like laps and run the gym and I'll stop and I'll lift real heavy weights. We do that and then generally I'll have maybe a 2-hour bike ride in the afternoon and then 5-mile run at night and I just do that and just kind of mix it up. Some days I swim instead of bike for a couple hours, but I have to run usually at night every night.
Q: What is a food item you indulged in before that you no longer eat because you're eating healthier now?
A: I think my biggest thing that I indulged in a lot were sweets. I ate a lot of refined sugar [and] foods with a lot of refined sugar. Really the only sugar I get now is through organic fruit, so I pretty much completely eliminated that from my diet.