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The Biggest Loser Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

This is an interview with Courtney Rainville on October 19, 2011 about the show The Biggest Loser.

Courtney Rainville

Question:
Can you share your feelings on what Vinny was saying to you and your thoughts on his medical issues giving him an edge to staying longer at the ranch?

Courtney Rainville:
I guess I would say that I was a little bit angry and just upset because I didn't feel like it was my time to go home yet and I didn't want to go. My way of kind of going into the show was instead of having game play I always wanted to go in with I'm going to vote for whoever has least percentage of weight loss and to me that was Vinny and that's why I wanted to vote that way.

I think it's hard to go the medical standard just because everyone has medical issues and they're there for different reasons, whether it's not just health but also emotional something bad happened in their life. I mean, there's always different reasons why people are there. And I think it offended me a little bit to when he was talking about it made it sound like I was in the game just for myself opposed to as a team, which I never was.

I think that the three of them just tended to get a little bit closer. And that week was the first week that I kind of worked out on my own terms and cooked for myself a little bit because I knew that I needed to do that for myself when I came home. So maybe it seemed like I was separating myself from the group but all in all I was really just focusing on myself for the first time and I felt really good that week about it.

Question:
Dolve said now the week before that you were going to end up going home if you didn't change your attitude. What's made the difference for you?

Courtney Rainville:
My emotional struggle and internal struggle was definitely my hardest. It was my confidence. But each week I was at the ranch, especially the last week I was there, it was probably the best I ever felt. And when people would bring up that I still had lots of confidence issues it was almost as though they didn't see my progression that I was making, which was a little frustrating too. But I think what really changed me at home was the support system. I have an amazing family and friends and the gym I went to, to be honest with you. I started working out at Cross Fit Forever Strong, which is in Chandler, Arizona and it's like a community. It's a family right there.

It's people that are cheering you on constantly and my trainer, Jason Stock, just really focused on me and he wanted to help me and help me do it the right way. So it was training for the marathon and it's training for life and it's not about who can drop the weight the fastest. It's about doing it the healthy way and I think that's really changed my perspective on life and it's giving me more confidence than I ever expected. I think that it's because at Cross Fit Forever Strong that I have gained confidence in myself while being home and I can walk into a gym and like hold my head up proudly.

Question:
You talked at the elimination table and said something about kind of expecting to be a target. Can you expand on that?

Courtney Rainville:
I think after Patrick got eliminated I got weak. I knew I needed to start looking out for myself because Patrick, Ramone and Vinny were very close to each other and Jessica and I were close as well. Jessica kind of tended to have a closer bond with the boys than what I did and I think that just stems from who I was before I went on the ranch.

I had a hard time making friendships with men because I was so shy and insecure. And when Patrick was I knew that I would be a target just because the boys were too close and the health issues that they brought up a lot and I wasn't to the extreme of both Vinny and Ramone. And then with Jessica losing weight successfully she had immunity. So for me, when I said I was targeted, I think it was more the fact that week there was a little bit of tension between the red team merely for the fact like I kind of mentioned. I kind of branched out on my own and didn't always follow the group.

If I wanted to get up earlier then I went earlier to the gym as opposed to wait to go to together as a team just to get my burn in. And I think that's okay. I think that's something that I needed to learn how to do so that I could do it at home whether it was next week or five months from now. So I think there was a little bit of that. I just honestly, the three of them had a closer bond unfortunately that I did with them. I still thought I was extremely close to them and it was never about myself. It was still a team. But I think that they just bonded a little bit closer than what I did with them, which actually was unusual for me because I always am extremely close to everyone I meet.

Question:
It must be really tough to walk out of that room with kind of unfinished business thinking that there's a divide between you and your friends. Did you get the chance to talk to them at all since you've been home and kind of smooth things over and is that important to you?

Courtney Rainville:
I haven't. You know, when I got eliminated, obviously I didn't get the opportunity to talk to them. Since now, everyone has been home and training for the marathon and everything else. I have had the opportunity to talk to them and just let them know that I was upset and I think I had a right to be upset because I didn't want to go home.

And I didn't think I deserved to just because I didn't have the least percentage of weight loss. But it is important to me to smooth those things over because ultimately we are a team and we are family and that goes not just for the red team but for all teams. And it was a journey that we all took together and we're all going to have to be there for a support system. So there was a while where I didn't and I just kind of kept to myself and I did regret not talking and reaching out to them as much but we have smoothed it over and I'll always have love for them. And I think that if that would have happened to anybody they would have needed a little bit of space to begin with.

Question:
How do you think Dolvett did as a trainer?

Courtney Rainville:
I had a lot of respect for Dolvett merely for the fact that he knew what he was doing. He wasn't about game play and he genuinely cared about all of us. You know, he was fierce and yelling on the treadmill and everywhere else in the gym but at the same time he really wanted to make sure that he got down for me internally and break down the emotions and the struggles I had.

So he, to me, was the same person on and off camera. He really cared about us and really wanted us to succeed and he was a good friend. You know, he knew how to balance being a friend and also being a trainer and helping us.

Question:
At the end of the show last night, the card under your picture said Courtney plans to travel the world and inspire others. Can you talk a little bit about those plans?

Courtney Rainville:
I'm still young and I don't have a set career and everything else and it's something I would really like to do and hope to do after this is over is go and travel. I haven't been to a lot of places and that was something I always wanted to do but I always was afraid to due to my insecurities. And by inspire others, I mean, one of my goals is to travel the nation and even beyond that to hopefully talk to people who have struggled with weight or even those people who may know somebody in their family or their friends who have struggled with weight and just talk to them and inspire them and motivate them and let them know that they can do it no matter what their struggles are if it's health or if it's emotional struggle. I think everyone can relate to me in some respect who have had obesity or who have had low self confidence and never felt good enough, whether you're skinny or you're overweight.

Question:
Talk to me about your marathon training. What does your fitness schedule and your nutrition plan look like to get your ready for this run?

Courtney Rainville:
I definitely trained pretty hard for the marathon. I'm fortunate enough that I'm not going back to work at this time, so I'm really focused on myself and the marathon and the finale. So right now my trainer from Cross Fit has me doing intervals, anything from certain sprints to long runs, long distances runs a couple times a week. I'm definitely running four to five times a week. And like I said, those depend on whether they're short runs or six rounds of 400 meters.

It's kind of just getting me worked up for that. I'm building a lot of muscles. A lot of my training is considering just weight basically build. And the reason we're doing that is so that way I have the muscle to sustain the marathon and my body can recovery really fast and really well, so after the marathon is over I'm able to get right back into the weight loss process.

So it seems like I'm not maybe losing as much weight as I'm at home on my journey. However, I'm doing what I need to get done to sustain the marathon and do it successfully with a lot of muscle. And it's exciting to see all the muscle kind of form in my body that I've never seen before, a lot of cardio, a lot of weight lifting, so, yes, it's definitely very exciting.

Question:
Talk to me about your sister getting to go to the Biggest Loser resort. Has she taken that trip yet or is she making plans to do so?

Courtney Rainville:
She hasn't taken the trip yet. She's very, very excited though. She was extremely emotional as you guys all saw. It's something that's very meaningful for her, too. She's one person that was similar to me. She never puts herself first and she just does everything for everybody else. And I think that for me to be able to give her that gift of focusing on herself for two weeks and learning about nutrition and diet and showing her that she's worth it and that she can do it will definitely inspire other people and hopefully inspire her. So she hasn't taken the trip yet but she's excited and she keeps asking me every day when she can book her tickets and everything, so she's excited.

Question:
Let's talk more about Dolvett and your experience working with him and everything that's involved with that.

Courtney Rainville:
I think as you kind of saw even last week and when Patrick left the red team, the focus was kind of on me. I think he knew that I was maybe a little bit more quiet compared to my other team mates and I was struggling with the weight loss and there were days when I was working until midnight trying to get my burn in if not to exceed that.

And I was working really hard and with as much as I was working and putting the effort into it, I wasn't seeing the weight loss results I had hoped. So he knew that I was having more of an internal struggle too. So that was very caring and he was there for me when I felt maybe a little bit alone and I felt like no one understood what I was going through or just to get me motivated.

And I think he concentrated on me, which I liked. He wanted to push me. He wanted me to see that I was worth a lot and I'm stronger than I think I am. So, I mean, forever I will have a huge spot in my heart for Dolvett and he is a friend of mine and we still talk on a regular basis and I do truly appreciate him and I think he was a great addition to the show.

Question:
So talk to me a little bit about like what experiences have you had now that you're back home and you've lost all this weight that you have. Have you done anything that you were looking forward to doing when you were lighter or if you haven't, what are you looking forward to doing?

Courtney Rainville:
I think there are small things that I don't realize I do when I do them now that I weigh less. You know, like I'm simply crossing my legs as I'm talking to somebody and realizing, oh my gosh, I'm crossing my legs. I couldn't do that before. But a lot of the things that I realize that I never thought about doing, I have been able to do, whether that be a hand stand to a 26 inch box jump to being able to do a pull up. You know, even running, I remember that first time I ran a mile and I completed I think in nine minutes and 30 seconds and I looked at my trainer from Cross Fit and I was like, oh my gosh, I just ran a mile for the very first time straight.

And to see myself get progressively better at running miles and my time go down and to see myself running five miles, I think, although it sounds like all of my accomplishments have come from working out, I think that's the first place that has given me confidence. And even trying on clothes and seeing that I can fit into a size so much smaller than I've ever been in my entire life it's such a rewarding experience because I still look at myself and see myself as being 270 pounds. You know, I see myself every day.

So I think that sometimes it's hard to like realize how much I have lost and how far I've come. So it's the little things that I do like buckling my seatbelt in an airplane knowing that I don't need an extender. I mean, those things mean so much or being able to paint my toenails regularly like where I don't have to like try to get in awkward positions so I can reach them. It's just the little things that matter so much and you realize how much better I feel about myself physically and mentally.

Question:
What has been the hardest part about being at home and being off of the ranch and continuing this lifestyle?

Courtney Rainville:
I think the hardest part for me, especially the first couple of weeks of being home, was I felt like I was in a routine. I was so focused on myself that I was almost like a zombie where I really wasn't having a lot of self reflection. I was just going through the motions. And I realized how alone I felt because on the ranch you're in a bubble and you have these people with you that know what you're going through day in and day out.

When I was home I didn't have that. No one knew what it was like to work out six to eight hours a day or have your body and emotions go through this huge roller coaster. So that, for me, was extremely hard. But I've learned to go ahead and express my feelings more and have fun and try to put a little bit more of reality in my life, whether that be going to a movie or seeing friends and actually having a real life. I think there's always temptations, too. When you're at home, I definitely try to stay away from the temptations and I've been fortunate to have a great support system for that with the diet that I eat.

And I think that's been great. But I think the most difficult thing is making sure to find someone who can relate to you and who knows how you're feeling and what you're going through and I thankfully had that from a lot of the Biggest Loser alumni contestants reach out to me and be there fore me and also just my trainer and my family just to say it's okay for me to express how I feel and it's okay for me to have a bad day.

Question:
How is your sister doing? Have you motivated her to lose the weight like you have?

Courtney Rainville:
My sister is doing really well. She has lost some weight since she since she's been home and I think it's really motivated her. I think seeing me and seeing how successful I've been and how much happier I am, the fact that I have more of a glow and a little hop in my step has motivated her and she's realized that she's worth a lot in life.

So she also has been working out in a Cross Fit up in Idaho and she has lost some weight and she's still going strong. It's funny. She'll send me text messages and let me know oh, I'm not eating this. So just to let you know, I'm did this. I'm so soar from the workout here. So it's really exciting to be able to go on her journey with her and see the excitement and the progress and accomplishment she's already achieved in such a short amount of time.

Question:
Who do you think is the one to beat on the red team?

Courtney Rainville:
As far as the marathon is concerned, I think a lot of the red team will represent well. I think Ramone and Jessica are going to be pretty quick. I also think that Becky will be a competitor. She's run some races in the past, so I think she'll be a competitor. So I'm going into it thinking those are going to be my main competition.

At the same time, you have competitors like Antone and John who are always in it to win it and I think they've had a really successful weight loss so far, so it will be exciting to see when the marathon happens. I think I might come back and do pretty well myself. I think I'll surprise a lot of people and do really well. So I'm excited about it.

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