Renee Wilson talks about her time on 'The Biggest Loser: Families'
By John Bracchitta, 12/04/2008
Being on The Biggest Loser: Families ended up helping Renee Wilson simultaneously accomplish two of her dreams: losing weight and reconnecting with her daughter Michelle Aguilar.
"Right before the show... I was planning on getting gastric bypass surgery, because I just didn't know what to do anymore," Wilson told reporters during a media conference call the day after her The Biggest Loser: Families elimination aired on Tuesday night's broadcast. "On and that same night Michelle called me and asked if I would like to try out with her to be on the show. It was like, 'Wow. God, is that you?"
Wilson, a 46-year-old event manager from Ft. Worth, TX, said that she and Aguilar -- a 26-year-old assistant director from Ft. Worth, TX who had only recently begun speaking to her mother again after 5 1/2 years of silence -- were "more like strangers" than family when they initially arrived at The Biggest Loser ranch. She added what she and her daughter went through to regain each other's trust during their 93 days together at the ranch had involved many highs and lows and been far from easy.
"I remember the first few nights [Michelle] hardly would talk... she would just answer 'yes' or 'no.' Then as time goes on she realizes that I'm her mom and starts opening up, and then when [she] started to [want to leave,] that whole time, it was tough," Wilson told Reality TV World. "I think once she broke through and decided to stay, just dealing with those emotions and dealing with the type of person that I was, [in that] I wasn't gonna tell her what to do but I'm gonna support her no matter what, meant a lot to her.
"When you go through that much time with somebody, you know how they really are, and I think I learned so much about Michelle and she learned so much about me and I that we both embraced it and I think we're better people because of each other," she added to Reality TV World.
In addition to regaining her relationship with her daughter, Wilson was also quick to cite the opportunity to travel New York City and receive a complete makeover as one of her highlights while on the show. After spending almost three months on the ranch, Wilson said that a few days of glamour was exactly what she needed.
"Here we are at the ranch, sweating and working out 8-10 hours a day, and then we get to go to New York and get a limo, have somebody do your hair, [and] pick out cute clothes," Wilson told reporters. "It was just a fairytale come true."
It also seemed that the New York scenes that showed Wlison working out on the Brooklyn Bridge with her husband have turned out to be a precursor to what her post-elimination life -- which now includes daily workouts with her husband -- has now become.
"It's just been an added thing in our lives, part of our lives and it has added to our marriage," Wilson told reporters. We go running, we go walking, we go work out together at the gym, he trains me on the weekends. It's such an enhancement to our marriage [and] it's taken our marriage to a whole other level."
While she was hesitant to reveal exactly how much weight she had lost since arriving at The Biggest Loser ranch given the show's live season finale is less than two weeks away, Wilson did elaborate on her show's comments in which she had stressed how much she had changed -- mentally and physically -- since she began losing weight.
"I feel like I've made this huge change in my life. I used to look at [being prideful] as a bad thing, I'd think about it in a negative light," Wilson told reporters. "But now I look at it as being proud of the accomplishments I've made, and I think it's just made me a different woman. I feel self confident, I feel like I have something to share with people."
As for the handbag that Aguilar had promised her in exchange for agreeing to let her daughter win one of the show's challenge, Wilson said that she hasn't received her gift yet. However, she added that she had found her way to both remind Aguilar of her promise and show her support for Aguilar's own finale weigh-in.
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"I [told her], 'Once you win you can buy me a really nice purse,'" Wilson told reporters with a laugh.