index_corner.gif - 11174 Bytes Banner.jpg - 11843 Bytes
Justice League
UPDATES


Follow Pazsaz Entertainment Network at Twitter!  Become a fan of Pazsaz Entertainment Network on Facebook!  Connect to Pazsaz Entertainment Network on Myspace!  See what Pazsaz Entertainment Network likes on Pinterest  Read the Pazsaz Entertainment Network Blog
OUR SPONSORS

index_center_banner.gif - 14958 Bytes

Bookmark and Share
 
The Biggest Loser Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

This is an interview with season 11 winner Olivia Ward on May 25, 2011 about the show The Biggest Loser.

Olivia Ward

Question:
Two things that we knew about you coming into the show were that you wanted to start a family and you wanted better roles in your opera career. Now that you've been through this experience, and all these possibilities have opened up for you, is it overwhelming to know which step to take next?

Olivia Ward:
It is overwhelming because I think for so long when you live in such a world where you feel that there is so many limitations that are put on you, then all of a sudden it's like the skies and beyond is the limit. It does kind of feel like, "Okay, now which step do I want to take first?" I will say this is really something that you learn - I learned at Biggest Loser is that especially with Bob. I mean, he really worked with me about just one foot in front of the other at a time, and that these things that I wanted and worked for, they will unfold themselves in a natural way.

Obviously I have to go after the roles that I want, but that I - it doesn't have to be so incredibly overwhelming. And I think if I let that be overwhelming that would be like a sure fire way to end up back at 261 pounds. So, I have to really kind of lean on the things, especially that Bob had taught me about just taking things step by step and really just kind of deciding as things come to me organically, "Okay, is this something that I want to do? Is this something that I don't want to?"

Family is very important to me and I think I'll probably take Dr. Huizenga's advice and try to stay at my goal weight and maintain my goal weight for the next year to really just kind of tell my body, "Okay, now this is what we're going to do from here on out," and then move on to the family front with Ben.

Question:
Viewers really responded to this season was how close the group of girls seems to be. Obviously with Hannah, but Irene Courtney, Jenn, even Marci, can you share like a fun memory or something that happened between you guys that maybe the cameras didn't catch?

Olivia Ward:
I think it's so funny how this is actually something that everybody kind of picked up that was just really a fun moment and really showed how close all of us girls were. But, the night that we all wore our hair in the Dorothy, Wizard of Oz braids and coming into The Biggest Loser that was something that I did all the time. I mean, worked out in braids, I'd go to work in braids, I love braids, like I love it. And I always wanted to like - to go on weigh in night and do like kind of theme night. I'd be like, "Let's all paint our fingernails black. Let's all do this. Let's all do that."

That day I was like, "Guys, we have to all go in braids. I'm going to go in braids." And it took a little convincing for a few people, but it was so fun, and like us all getting ready and like coming out in the hallway and taking our pictures with our braids and coming in and seeing like Bob and Jillian's face was hysterical. When they saw us all in braids like, "What is going on?"

It was moments like that made it feel real to me. That wasn't just about a TV show it was about being with some of your best girlfriends and doing things that I would seriously at 35 years old do with my girlfriends, like walk around town with braids in your hair. So, it was those kind of moments that made it have a little bit of normalcy in a weird way, and that was a really special night for me.

Question:
What do you think is the most important thing you learned from being on the show?

Olivia Ward:
I think one of the most important things that I learned on the show is that, and I think I may have even said it last night, is that weight loss happens in the mind first, and that's something I really, really learned, you know I have to give credit where credit's due, learned that from Bob Harper. For me overcoming it in my mind first and knowing that if I can overcome the scale and overcome these obstacles that have kept me stumbling in the weight loss area of my life for so long, if I can overcome that and just then be faithful with the eating and exercise. The exercise part, what happens to your body, that's just science. Your body will respond, but it's the losing the weight and really overcoming these issues in the mind is so important. And I guess it's good old fashioned mind over matter, but that for me was key.

Question:
Think back to when you first arrived at the ranch, okay? How different were your expectations from what the reality actually was?

Olivia Ward:
I think my expectations when I came to the ranch was "Okay, so I'm going to go in and I'm going to do some working out, and I'm going to get some information and I'm going to lose weight." And I had no earthly idea it was going to be as difficult as it was. I underestimated the physical aspect of how difficult it was. Not just from the Jillian and Bob workouts and the challenges, but the daily having to get up every day, like Groundhog Day, and you know working out six to eight hours a day. And a lot of that work is being on your own and being me making the choice. "Okay, am I going to really work hard and hit my caloric burn today or am I just going to rely on just the filmed workouts," and things like that?

All the times that really is up to are you going to get out there and run, am I going to get out there and walk, am I going to get out and do these things that I know I need to be doing every day? And I think that was a really good setup for life because as much as I wish I could bring Bob and Jillian home with me, I don't have them with me in my real life, and I know that learning that there is only going to pay off for me here at home.

Question:
Can you share with us how the new you will open so many doors now, career-wise, and how being overweight held you back as an opera singer?

Olivia Ward:
I'm really excited at how this new transformation is going to open so many doors for me in career, and not just physically, but from an inside point as well. For a long time I have waited really putting myself out there because I was afraid of being disappointed. And a lot of that, knowing that because of my weight I was going to be held back from these roles that I wanted to do anyway; therefore, I just wouldn't put myself out there in certain situations.

So now, not only am I so excited at the huge arena of opportunities hopefully that will be available to me, as far as roles go, but I'm also so excited to fall on my face a little bit because I know I'm going to be okay and I can just get up and brush myself off and move to the next thing, and that's a part of life. And I think for so long I walked around with crash pads on being so afraid that I would just fall to pieces if I really let myself get disappointed, and that's just no way to live life. And I think that's something I really learned at Biggest Loser that, yeah, you're going to fall down and you will be disappointed in life, but it's all right. You know by putting yourself out there, you're going to get more positive back than you are negative. So, I'm ready to take those crash pads off a little bit.

Question:
Do you find that you can hold notes longer and you're breathing is better?

Olivia Ward:
Oh, absolutely. I've just been so amazed at being a singer, and being an opera singer, I think people underestimate it. These people are athletes. Even the people that are overweight, you are definitely kind of at a disadvantage. It's the fact that you're core and your abdomen is not as quite as strong, and it is definitely true that my breath control has gotten so much better because I've learned how to run and control by breath through running. You know, and these kind of things I was amazed at how many things overlapped between the two, and I used to put them in separate boxes.

And so I'm definitely a better singer because I'm a healthier person, and so I'm so excited to really get back into training, singing, and really kind of test out all the new things that my voice can do now.

Question:
Can you talk about how important it was for your husband to be on the same journey at home, and how would it have been different, Olivia, if he wasn't on board?

Olivia Ward:
That is one of the most important pieces of this puzzle for me is that I had a husband knew I was on such a huge journey and instead of just standing around and waiting for me to come home and kind of impart this information to him, he knew that it was important for his own journey to make those changes. And he went and got online and sought help from people around him and Bob Harper's blog was a huge thing for him. Bob Tweets throughout the day what he eats, and so for a long time Ben would eat whatever Bob was eating, which I think is hysterical.

But I just love the fact that he made it his own journey and it wasn't about me. It became about him. And I think that is what's so important is you can't lose weight for other people, it has to be for you and it has to be for the long-term. And so, he finished his first 1/2 marathon and will be attempting the New York Marathon in November. And so, I'm just so excited for him and it's completely change the dynamic of our marriage for a good way. And to know that I come home to such a strong support system makes me feel so great and really alleviates a lot of anxiety that I had about putting my feet back into my real life.

Question:
You actually won $260,000 because you also won the $10,000 prize. Are you going to share any of that with Hannah?

Olivia Ward:
I had a lot of people say that and we don't have any kind of like formal arrangement, but I share pretty much everything with Hannah my whole life, as far as like clothes, we go on vacations together, so I definitely will be sharing all my blessings with Hannah. And I know that I'm sure she wouldn't object to going on like a vacation or something together on my dime.

Question:
What did you learn about yourself that you didn't know at the Ranch?

Olivia Ward:
I think what I learned about myself that I didn't know at the Ranch is definitely that there was an athlete inside of me. And I played basketball and volleyball all through like Junior High and High School, but it was just something that was really fun for me. It wasn't like it was Hannah. I mean, Hannah that was her passion that was what she wanted to do with the rest of her life.

I was so amazed at the way my body transformed and how I had this, all of a sudden this inner athlete that really wanted to come out that wanted to run that wanted to spin that wanted to all of these physical challenges and do well at them. And so, that to me has been the most exciting because I never looked at myself as an athlete. I always look at myself as kind of like the artsy singer girl, you know? And so, it just made me realize that everybody has, in some realm, has an inner athlete and it's there and it wants to come out and it wants to play. And so, I'm the most proud of that is that I feel like that will also help me continue with my weight loss maintenance and staying healthy because I want to get out there and be active.

Question:
Being the current reigning Biggest Loser is a little bit like being a beauty queen. What do you plan on doing in the near future, as far as like taking Team Purple out on the road for a victory lap or making public appearances, or are just going to get right back to your real life?

Olivia Ward:
I definitely think Team Purple will be making a victory lap, I think. I will say I'm so excited to have won, to have the title, and that is so very exciting. But, I think Hannah and I are so great together and our story is so unique, and we have such an interesting point of view that I think people want to be encouraged and they want to hear about our journey. And so, I think we will definitely get out there and do some public speaking and meet people and encourage people who want to be encouraged or want to learn what we've learned because it is very definitely about paying it forward.

It doesn't do anybody any good just hold all this precious knowledge in your hand and put it in my pocket. What good does that do for everybody else? So, I am so excited to get out there and - you know, and you know especially now Bob, he's got all kinds of things coming up to out and support him. And Biggest Loser 12 is coming up on the heels of Biggest Loser 11, so we're really, really ready to get out there and do a little victory lap and get out there and meet people.

Question:
Have you figured out the happy medium, as far as exercise?

Olivia Ward:
That's something I think that is definitely first on my priority list. I have been training for a finale. I've been on The Biggest Loser, on the show training with Bob and Jillian for four to six hours a day. That's obviously not something realistically that I would be able to keep up for the rest of my life. I'm so interested to get into the realm of what is going to be my routine? And I'm an avid indoor spinner. I love that and I have a place here in New York called Soul Cycle where I love to spin at. And I'll definitely do five to six classes a week probably there, and do some running on the side. My goal is to do 90 minutes five to six days a week, in the morning's just like everybody else, and get it done and still watch I put in my mouth, and make sure I'm keeping everything in check so that I can maintain this and it can be something that is maintainable.

Question:
What were the last few weeks leading up to the finale like for you?

Olivia Ward:
It was a little brutal. I'm not going to lie. No, it was really good. I trained with a gentleman named Andrew Shutes out in Los Angeles, and he's a fantastic personal trainer. And we did spinning, we ran the bleachers at UCLA, he took me to Santa Monica Beach. I did things like, I dug holes and then put the sand back in the holes, and you know drug things around the beach, and tossed balls around.

And we really tried to switch it up because so much of what I did at the ranch was with cardio, so for him it was all about switching it up and keeping my body motivated and not use to this routine. And I was so pleased because every day I would come home and I'd be like, "Oh, look I have a baby muscle that's coming out in my arm," you know? I was like so excited about really transforming my body. And it was really great. I really began to feel my inner athlete coming out, and that was really, really, really fun, as well as really where I needed to be for finale.

Question:
What does winning The Biggest Loser mean to you?

Olivia Ward:
Winning The Biggest Loser, what it means to me in a nutshell is the fact that if I put something before me, if I put a goal or a vision or something before me, that if I put 100% into it I can attain these goals that I put in front of me. Forever, I would just put these goals, and you know, "Oh, well, I probably won't get it anyway, so I really am not going to really put 100% in it," because then I don't really don't have to be disappointed, and it was this big kind of cycle for me about goals.

And so now, I realize that give it 150%. So, if I come up short, I'm not going to die and I'll probably learn something in the journey along the way, but that it's worth it because when you do put yourself out there and you do achieve your goals, it feels amazing. And it builds you up from the inside out, and I love that.

And so, I'm really excited to take on some new goals now. I want to do a Sprint Triathlon in September, and that's a huge undertaking for me because I've never done anything like that, but I'm ready to try things like that. So, I'm ready to try things like that, so you know put these goals in front of me and give it 150% and see where life takes me.

Question:
Now that you're going to be pursuing your opera career more full throttle, are you going to be coming out with a CD anytime soon, or any plans for that?

Olivia Ward:
That would be definitely something in the works that I would love to do once I really got, like you said, full throttle back into opera. I'm going to spend most of the summer training. Our big audition season is September through December, so that's kind of my first step. But, definitely I would say towards the New Year that would be something I'd really like to put together, probably independently and either sell it on my Twitter or Facebook, or something like that. I'm not really sure, but yeah, I would love to put a recording together of my favorite music.

Question:
Are you and Hannah planning on doing some kind of family-oriented fitness business?

Olivia Ward:
We don't have anything set in stone, but one thing we did realize through this whole journey is that our point of view is very unique with being sisters and what we've gone through together that we feel it's very important t kind of share what we've learned. And so, I definitely think there's going to be some Team Purple speaking engagements and things like that are definitely going to happen. And I don't know exactly what kind of "business" that will turn into, but it is definitely going to be something we are going to very aggressively pursue and we're really excited about that, because we love working together, and feel like there's a lot of people who'd like to see us out there together.

Question:
What did it mean to you to be in the finale with Hannah?

Olivia Ward:
There's just nothing like the bond of sisterhood. There just is nothing like it. And so, for me to be up there and sharing that with her and I mean we can look at one another without even speaking and have complete conversations. And so, to be up there and to be looking at her and her telling me that she's proud of me and she loves me, and knowing that's 100% true. I mean, looking at her and being able to reciprocate that was so incredibly special, and it's very, very hard to explain to people really what it was like being on the Ranch for so long and going through all the challenges day in and out.

And I had my best friend and my family there with me every day. We shared a room. You know, even where there was plenty of rooms for us to separate into separate rooms we decided not to. We stayed in the same room with the two little twin beds in it for over eight months, and I loved every minute of it. So, to share this with her has been one of the biggest gifts that I received at The Biggest Loser.

Question:
Was there any kind of healthy sibling rivalry that made you guys a little competitive with each other that drove you along the way?

Olivia Ward:
Oh, most definitely. I mean it was always one of those things that we came in together but at the same time it was like, "She's never just going to let me win anything, and I'm never just going to let her win anything either." I mean, it's always good, healthy sibling rivalry. But the thing, I think, again, that's really special about Hannah and I's relationship is that we're able to rejoice and celebrate with one another. And I think that's important is that even though there were times that she would win things and I wouldn't, or she would do better on the scale and I wouldn't, we would take the time to really rejoice with that person. We'd be like, "Okay, so you're going to have to kick my butt this week so that I can do better on the scale next week," and we would do that. And so, that sibling rivalry definitely pushed us through many, many times at the Ranch.

Question:
Did you know when you were on the Ranch that it was Jillian's last season, and what was it like working with her and Bob?

Olivia Ward:
It wasn't until a little bit into the season that we knew for sure. It was about the time that actually they announced it to the public that it was her last season. And it was bittersweet for us because obviously a lot of us have watched the show since the beginning and she is such a big part of that.

But, I will say I'm so thankful because, you know not that she doesn't give 110% every season, but I mean she gave 150% this season. She was there every obviously all the filling days, she was there any time we had off days she would take us to yoga, she would take us to the beach, to her house to do workouts on the beach. She would take us hiking. I mean, she did everything.

And Bob, I have to say the same thing about him. He's not as loud and dramatic as Jillian, but he took us spin class every single Saturday, and then would take us hiking, and then we'd come back on Sunday. Bob and Jillian obviously are celebrities and busy people, but they give 150% to the show. And I think for me that was the most surprising is that I don't know what I expected, but they both were there day in and day out and really and truly invested in us. And I know that will be something that, for me, I will definitely keep those relationships with them for the rest of my life, and I'm so thankful for that.

Question:
What would be the best piece of advice you could offer to people out there who might be thinking about applying to be on the show?

Olivia Ward:
I think the biggest thing I can tell you is that they really want you to be yourself. And I know that sounds like such a cliche and easy thing to say, but it's true. I think they want to see real people, real stories. They don't try to imagine what they want to see, that was my tactic, at least, when Hannah and I auditioned. We just decided from the gitgo we were just going to completely be ourselves and they were either going to like it or they weren't, and that was the case, we weren't the right fit. And so if you're putting together a video or you're - you know, doing an open cattle call, my best advice to anybody would just be to really just try to show them truly who you are, just as best you can, be yourself, and try to communicate to them what your story is. I think that always is going to put you in the best light anyways.

Question:
Have you thought about what you want to do with the money, and does that entail moving out of your apartment in the Astoria?

Olivia Ward:
Somebody else asked me that earlier and I was like, "Well, I haven't really lived in my apartment in Astoria yet because I had just moved actually over here while I was at the show." So, I'm probably going to hang out here for a little while. I think we for the most part, I definitely want to go on a bike tour in Italy with my husband in the fall, and I think so far it's the only thing we have plans for as far as the money. We'll probably save it for a while until we really decide what we want to do with the money, but I definitely want to do that.

We've always taken vacations that have like surrounded laying on the beach somewhere, which those are great vacations, don't get me wrong, but you know with both of our new healthy lifestyle that we're trying to incorporate into our lives and into our marriage, I think that's something we really want to do. So, bike a little throughout the day going from town to town, and then when you eat the pasta at night you don't feel so back because you've biked about 30 or 40 miles. So, I'm really excited to do that and I think that will be really fun.

Question:
You and your husband went on very individual weight loss journeys, and I'm wondering if you guys went through an adjustment period with each other when you got back home?

Olivia Ward:
Yeah it's really interesting. Obviously had he not been on his own journey the adjustment period would have been a lot more bumpy than it was. It was actually pretty seamless I will say. I came home and I mean he was so open to everything that I had learned, and I was in the same way, open to what he had learned because he didn't have a Bob or a Jillian or a Ranch and he was able to really overcome an obstacle that I was never able to overcome at home.

So and not only that, but he did it here in New York in the city where we live, and so he was able to say, "Oh, this place has these great like juice drinks or this is where I've been running, or this," so I mean I came home to a health expert at home in my area, which for me it cut a huge big portion of my like incorporating my life back into what I learned out. And so, I'm really, really thankful for that and I just have someone here with me to hold me accountable, I mean in addition to myself, and that to me is one of the biggest gifts of all.

Question:
Being sisters I'm sure you talk constantly with Hannah, so did you already know you had a higher weight loss percentage than her before you guys weighed in last night, or had you guys been really competitive in keeping that from each other?

Olivia Ward:
It's so funny because we obviously share everything together, but we were very competitive as far as that aspect especially towards the end. When we first training and we left the Ranch, like we were kind of open, and then it got to the end and it started getting a little competitive and we both decided, we were like, "You know what, let's just let it be what it's going to be. Let's continue to work hard." So, we would still talk everyday and tell each other like what we were doing for workouts, but we didn't talk about that. I had a feeling, and she felt the same way, that it was going to be a photo finish, which it ended up being, but we had no idea exactly which way it was going to go.

Question:
What are your thoughts on the announcement that Annuities Kournikova is going to be replacing Jillian?

Olivia Ward:
She's going to be up against Bob Harper, who let me tell you, is a force to be reckoned with. I think she has a challenge, but being a professional athlete she faces challenges head on, and so I think that's the most important. I'm sure she probably also learned a thing or two watching Brett and Cara this season overcome being the new kids on the block and what it entails to help very obese people lose weight.

So, I think it's going to make for an interesting show and I mean, I for one, I can't wait to watch and see. I know she was on, a couple seasons back, was on a couple of episodes, so I'm just dying to see how she does and I'm also really excited to see Bob kind of on - out on his own this season. I think it's going to be a really great season to watch.

Question:
How do you think you would have responded if Anna had been your trainer?

Olivia Ward:
I'm quite sure by agreeing to be on the show she knows that that's going to be a huge component. And I think one thing I will say about Biggest Loser that I did learn is that they always put people on the show who are willing to go there, as far the emotional and, I mean believe me there were many times I was like, "Why can't we just have people on the show who will just leave me alone and let me get on a treadmill?"

But no, that is a huge component of it, and so I'm quite sure she is probably armed and ready to really go there with these people. So I mean I'm so fortunate that I got to work with Bob and Jillian. I mean, I got the dream team, I have to say, you know? Working with both of them together was just priceless. I think she'll do really well and I'm - I know that nobody that goes on the show leaves without the help that they need. So, I think regardless of who they put on there, I'm quite sure they're all going to get all the emotional support that they need.

Question:
You said about Dr. Huizenga's advice to stay at your goal weight for a year. Is that the weight you're at now or are you allowed some wiggle room with that?

Olivia Ward:
I'm definitely allowed some wiggle room with that for sure. He just with all the changes that my body has gone through in the last year, which is massive, not just on the outside, but from everything inside my body that because I really want my body to reset itself and to really know that, "Okay, so we're not going to go back up 261 pounds again." You know, really let my body kind of settle at this weight before I go in and do something else that's another massive changes to my body. I definitely have some wiggle room within that for my goal weight.

Question:
And have you gotten any indication that this massive weight loss has improved your chances of bearing children?

Olivia Ward:
I haven't been completely tested as far as all of that is concerned, but so many of my symptoms have gone away and a lot of things have just over the time of losing weight have really regulated themselves, which has been a first for me in many, many years in my adult life. So, I'm very, very optimistic that I Ben and I will be able to have children naturally, which was always my dream come true.

Question:
I know some of the biggest loser winners and contestants in the past have actually changed their body composition after the Finale, as far as like actually gaining muscle weight. Is that something that you're planning on doing or incorporating more strength training now that the finale's over?

Olivia Ward:
The last four weeks leading up to the Finale, I did do quite a bit of strength training. Not a ton, but I did do some and I really did enjoy that and want to continue that. I don't have any desire to really get into any kind of body building or any kind of really packing on a lot of muscle. I've come to find out I actually am fairly small framed, and so I really, really like that long kind of lean muscle mass look for me, and I'm such a huge spinner, like indoor spinner and runner. And I think that I'm the type of body composition that I'm going to have is going to be along the lines of that, because that's what I enjoy. I know if I stick with that, because I enjoy it, I know it's something that I will keep up with long-term, so that' my plan. I'm hoping that I'll be able to keep the shape, hopefully, for the rest of my life.

Question:
Do you know who designed your dress last night?

Olivia Ward:
I wore an Herve Leger dress. I loved it. I mean, it was like one of the things where I saw it and I was like, "Oh, my gosh, I love that dress," and then I put it on and I was like, "Oh, my gosh, I love this dress." So, it was one of those things that I saw it on the hanger I knew. I was like, "Oh, that will be - that has to be my Finale dress," so it was a really special dress and I really, really loved that line and was really excited to be able to wear it.

  • Back to the Articles at Pazsaz Entertainment Network main page.
  •  
    Site Sponsors Check this out!    

    Disneyland
    ARTICLES
    OUR SPONSORS

    | Copyright & Disclaimer | FAQ | Privacy Policy | Partners | Discussion Board | Feedback |
    Copyright © 1991-2017, Pazsaz Entertainment Network, All Rights Reserved.
    Space