A serious hip fracture derailed Laura Denoux's hard work on The Biggest Loser ranch, giving her competitors an excuse to send her home. "The people who wanted to keep me there knew that I was going to get more support being at the ranch. I was in a wheelchair and on crutches and I live alone in a high-rise in downtown Miami," says the former model, who admits that Ron had a point when he suggested that if she stayed, she might have felt compelled to exercise, making her injury worse. "But at the same time, I was not a big threat." Still, the former model has managed to lose about six pounds - bringing her weight to 202 - since leaving the ranch. But she admits that she
often wonders what could have been. "I think about that a lot," she says. "I really feel like if I wouldn't have gotten injured I would have definitely have been in the final four."
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What is your daily workout routine like now?
I'm really just trying to focus on losing the rest of the weight that I want to lose for the finale. My goal is to reach 100 pounds lost. Since leaving the ranch, I've really just been able to maintain my weight, lose a couple pounds here and there. But it's a little bit more difficult since I'm so used to just being able to walk around and getting on a treadmill and jogging and I'm not even allowed to do that. My workouts really mainly consist of going to physical therapy. When I do cardio, it's limited to the spin bike, and of course, swimming. I am able to swim since there's really no impact on my hip, but I prefer being in a gym and being able to listen to my music, so the bike is great. I'm not putting any weight or pressure on my hip, because my hip is still fractured. I actually have some lesions of a pre-stress fracture in my knee, which I know they weren't able to fit into the show, but there are some other injuries involved, it's not just my hip.
Early on, Jillian called you the weakest link. Was that fair?
I definitely think it was because at the beginning, I didn't really believe in myself as much and I didn't know if I could continue going through the journey.
But then she got really emotional over you leaving. When did your relationship change?
I think the relationship really changed when we went from teams to singles. I realized that I needed her and that she was a little bit harsh but she was doing it with good intentions. I realized, "She's doing this for me to help me." I think that's why she was so emotional was I had started to finally get it. I was now realizing my potential and having a love for diet and exercise and why I needed to be there.
How did your relationship with Tara change?
Tara and I met through modeling. When she came down to Miami for photo shoots or castings, we would always run into each other. We just started hanging out; We'd go to bars, we'd go out to parties. Then we both had gained all this weight and wanted to be on The Biggest Loser. That was our relationship before the show. But going through everything - just being so close and having that person there that you trust - we got to know each other even more. Now Tara is one of my best friends.
The show promised to give you support at home - did they follow through on that?
I was able to get that follow-up MRI that they showed. And I'm still going to physical therapy. I was going almost every single day about five days a week, now I'm kind of down to about two to three times a week just because I'm not on crutches anymore.
Has Jillian been offering support from afar?
Yeah, Jillian and I still talk. She tells me what I should be eating, what I should be doing. It's kind of hard because she's so busy and I'm so busy now with my new job, but we stay in touch through e-mail, and we're still very good friends.
What is your new job?
I'm actually doing something extremely exciting that I'm very passionate about since being on The Biggest Loser: I'm the Heart Walk director for the American Heart Association in Miami.
Would you model again?
Right now, I'm really going to focus on working full-time with American Heart Association because I think it just goes so well with what I've been doing on The Biggest Loser. If modeling was something I could do part time that wouldn't interfere with my new career I would
You talked about how a guy hadn't asked for your phone number in three years - how has your social life changed?
I have started to date somebody. And so far, everything is looking pretty good. But, I definitely have my relationships with my friends, my family ... I'm just a happier person and I think that everybody's seeing that. I go out, I have fun. I'm more comfortable with my new body, my new self, having more confidence. I feel like I know who I am now whereas before I was not so sure.