As contestants were pitted against each other for one-on-one showdowns at the weigh-in, it was a week of emotional outbursts on The Biggest Loser: Couples, culminating with cousins Filipe and Sione defecting to train with Bob again, partly because Jillian had been ignoring them during workouts. “I think she did it intentionally,” says Mandi Kramer, who had worked with both trainers and was eliminated after losing the weigh-in face-off against Sione. “Jillian’s whole plan was to get rid of Filipe. So I think he heard of that and that’s what made him so mad in the first place. If anyone is playing the game, it’s Jillian the most.”
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When it became clear that either you or your sister, Aubrey, would go home, why did you sacrifice yourself?
I realized that Aubrey needed to stay more than I did. I like to work out and exercise, and she doesn’t so much. Even though I wasn’t 100 percent sure about food and whether I would be able to do it, I knew I had the willpower. I didn’t see that from Aubrey yet. I was still getting her out of bed in the mornings and bringing her to the gym and trying to motivate her. She didn’t have that on her own yet, and I thought the longer she could stay there, the more it would develop in her brain that she needs to work out everyday and push herself. At home, with her five kids and her husband, it’s not going to be easy for her. I was hoping she could get that engrained in her before she left.
Was there any discussion of sending Ron home?
We had talked about that during the week with Kristin and Cathy, that that might be a possibility so it was kind of a shocker to me when all of them just decided that it was me who was going to go home. It really just came down to Bob’s old team wanting to stay together.
Was there any other reason they kept Ron?
Honestly, I think that Ron is really good at taking the focus off of himself and making people feel sorry for him. He has done all of these surgeries and things to help him lose weight, and nothing has worked. He’s a good person, but he’s definitely got the “feel sorry for me, I need this for my boys” attitude.
Why do you think you gained two pounds at the weigh-in?
I honestly think I was stressed out. I had done everything exactly the same, I worked out just as hard if not harder, and I think maybe mentally in the back of my head, I thought I was never going to be able to beat Sione and that held my body back a little bit. When you have stress, cortisol levels go up, which holds fat to your body. You bloat up and don’t let your body relax and lose everything that it needs to lose weight. I lost five pounds at home the next week. I think being at home and being de-stressed, it just came off.
It must have been especially disappointing later to see how much Sione indulged when his team got the day of luxury.
I thought, “He did all of this and I still couldn’t beat him!” So I think there’s nothing I could have done because I was stressed out.
After Filipe and Sione left Jillian’s team, what was it like working out with them?
It was good because I knew that they would push me to work even harder, but at the same time, it was difficult because I did want Bob’s whole attention to be on me.
You trained with both Bob and Jillian: Did you understand Filipe and Sione’s feelings?
Definitely. Jillian — I love her to death — but you work hard for her so she doesn’t break your fingers. With Bob, you work hard for him because you want to work hard for yourself.
Why didn’t she want to work with Filipe?
She just has her favorites. I really think she wants Tara to be there for the long haul, and she wants to eliminate anyone who would get in her way.
How has your relationship with Aubrey changed during this experience?
I was the older sister, but she always acted like the older sister. I was shy and didn’t have the self-confidence that she had had and kind of let her lead the way. I think being on that ranch for 30 days by myself [after she was sent home], when she came back, we did have quite a few arguments because she wasn’t used to me doing my own thing. I was turning into a stronger, more independent person. That put some struggles on our relationship, but being able to go through this and figure out who we are as individuals made us bond more as sisters.
Your father is obese – what was his reaction to you being on the show?
He’s super excited. He’s definitely one that needs to have that switch clicked in his head. He’s super proud of us and really wants us to do great and actually has gone to the gym a few times and tells me that he’s walking and starting to eat right. But he wants me to call him on an everyday basis to kind of babysit him, so I’m hoping that pretty soon he can do that for himself.
Have you given him any tips?
Oh, definitely. We’re trying to tell him little things here and there that could start helping him. He’s looking at the big picture, and I think it scares him to see that he needs to lose over 200 pounds. I tell him “One day at a time and just go from there.”
Would he go on the show?
No, he’s not one who could put up with Jillian or Bob. He doesn’t like being told what to do!
Your husband seemed really hesitant about you being on the show. How is he adjusting?
He’s doing much better. He’s glad that I’m home, and I think he’s ultimately seen what a positive experience this was for me and how it’s changed me as a person for the positive. I think the whole thing with him was that he didn’t understand why I had to leave in the first place. It was really just to find myself and become a better person on the inside. We’re starting to work on that and to understand more about why I needed to do it.
And you’re sharing what you learned with the family?
Yeah. I have my boys saying they want to go to Subway and Quiznos instead of McDonald’s and Burger King. My kids have been amazing. On Sunday, it’s my day to relax and not exercise and that’s the day where I let them have one thing that they really want. It works really well — they know if they eat healthy the whole week, then on Sunday they get to pick out the meal they’ve been craving. They’ve been really supportive.
How much have you lost so far?
I’m at 90 pounds.
You said you wanted to be a size 2 for the finale.
I don’t know where I got that from, but now I’m going, “Oh, my gosh, I can’t believe I said a size two!” I’m just trying to work as hard as I can to get to a good goal for me.