May 26, 2011 08:00 AM by Lisa Princ
The Biggest Loser on NBC wrapped up it’s eleventh season last night when Olivia Ward took the crown after shedding 129 lbs at her final weigh in. In a press conference after the show, Olivia shared her thoughts as well as what her future holds. Keep reading for more!
The Biggest Loser season eleven winner Olivia Ward took some time to chat about her win, what her future plans are and how much fun she had with the girls and her sister Hannah. Here is what Olivia wanted to share with everyone:
Question: You’ve had all these goals with wanting to start a family, your opera career, etc. Is it overwhelming now to decide what to do first?
Olivia Ward: It is overwhelming because I think when you live in a world where you feel there are so many limitations that are put on you, all of a sudden it feels like, ‘Which step do I want to take first?’ Something I learned on the show, especially with Bob Harper, was working on putting one foot in front of the other at a time, and that these things I’ve wanted and worked for will unfold themselves in a natural way. I have to go after the roles that I want but that doesn’t have to be so incredibly overwhelming. I think if I let that be overwhelming that would be a surefire way to end up back at 261lbs. I have to really kind of lean on the things Bob taught me about taking things step by step and deciding as things come organically if there is something I want to do or don’t want to do. Obviously family is very important to me and I think I’ll probably take Dr H’s advice and try to stay at my goal weight and maintain my goal weight for the next year to tell my body this is what we’re going to do from here on out and then move on to the family front.
Question: What is the most important thing you have learned at the ranch?
Olivia Ward: The most important thing I learned is that weight loss happens in the mind first and I have to give credit where credit is due – I learned it from Bob. For me, overcoming it in my mind and knowing that if I can overcome the scale and overcome the obstacles that have kept me stumbling in the weight loss area of my life for so long. You know, the eating and exercise part and what happens to your body, your body will respond, but it’s the losing the weight and really overcoming these issues in the mind that is so important. I guess it’s good old fashioned mind over matter.
Question: How important was it to have Hannah right beside you last night?
Olivia Ward: There is just nothing like the bond of sisterhood, so for me to be up there and share that with her… We can look at one another without even speaking and have complete conversations, and so to have her telling me she is proud of me and loves me and knowing that is 100% true, and me looking at her and being able to reciprocate that was so incredibly special. It’s 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 day out. I had my best friend and family there with me every day. We shared a room and even when there were plenty of rooms for us to separate into separate rooms, we decided not to and stayed in the same room with twin beds in it for months! I loved every minute of it so to share this with her has been one of the biggest gifts I have received from the Biggest Loser.
Question: Has your weight loss affected your vocal skills at all?
Olivia Ward: Definitely. I’ve just been so amazed at being a singer and being an opera singer. I think people underestimate it. I mean, these people are athletes. Even the people that are overweight, you are definitely kind of at a disadvantage in the fact that your core and your abdomen is not as strong, and it’s definitely true that my breath control has gotten so much better because I’ve learned how to run and control my breath through running. I was amazed at how these things overlap between the two and I use to put them in such separate boxes. So, I’m definitely a better singer because I’m a healthier person, and 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: Did you learn anything about yourself that you didn’t know before the ranch?
Olivia Ward: I learned that there was an athlete inside of me. I played basketball and volleyball all throughout high school, but it’s something that was fun for me, it wasn’t like it was with Hannah. That was her passion and what she wanted to do with the rest of her life. I learned that my body had this inner athlete that wanted to come out, run, spin, and do all of these physical challenges and do well at them, which has been the most exciting thing. I never looked at myself as an athlete, I always looked at myself as the artsy singer girl so it just made me realize that everybody has in some realm an inner athlete and it’s there and wants to come out and play. I’m the most proud of that and 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: Will you continue your exercise routine to maintain your weight at home?
Olivia Ward: I think that is definitely at the very top of my priority list. I have been on the show training with Bob and Jillian for four to six hours a day, and that’s obviously not something realistically I would be able to keep up for the rest of my life. I’m excited to get onto the realm of what will be my routine. I’m an avid indoor spinner and I’ll definitely do five to six classes a week, do some running on the side. My goal is to do 90 minutes, six days a week in the mornings and get it done, and still watch what I put in my mouth and keep everything in check so this is maintainable.
Question: What are you thoughts on Anna Kournikova joining Bob as a trainer next season?
Olivia Ward: I think she has a challenge…but you know, obviously being a professional athlete, she faces challenges head on. So, I think that’s most important. I’m sure she probably also learned a thing or two watching new trainers Brett Hoebel and Cara Castronuova this season overcome being new kids on the block and what it entails to help very obese people lose weight. I think it’s going to make for an interesting show, and I, for one, can’t wait to watch and see. I know she was on a couple seasons back, was on a couple episodes, so I’m just dying to see how she does. I’m also really excited to see Bob kind of out on his own this season. I think it’s going to be a really great season to watch.
Question: Can you tell us how much your husband’s weight loss journey at home meant to you?
Olivia Ward: That is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle for me. I have a husband who knew I was on such a huge journey and instead of just standing around and waiting for me to come home and give this information to him, he knew that it would work for his own journey to make those changes. He went 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 so for a long time whatever Bob was eating he would eat – which I think is hysterical! I love the fact he made it his own journey and it wasn’t about me. It became about him and I think you can’t lose weight for other people, it has to be for you and for the long term. It has completely changed the dynamic of our marriage in a good way, and to know I come home to such a strong support system makes me feel so great and really alleviates a lot of anxiety I had about getting my feet back into my real life.
Question: Will you share your prize money with your sister Hannah?
Olivia Ward: It’s funny because I’ve heard a lot of people say that and we don’t have any formal arrangements, but you know, I share pretty much everything with Hannah my whole life as far as clothes, we’d go on vacations together, etc. So I definitely will be sharing all my blessings with Hannah. I’m sure she wouldn’t object to going on a vacation or something together on my dime.
Question: What else do you plan to do with your prize money?
Olivia Ward: I want to go on a bike tour in Italy with my husband in the fall. That’s the only thing we have planned. We’ll probably save it for a while until we really decide what we want to do. We’ve always taken vacations that surround laying on the beach somewhere – those are great vacations, don’t get me wrong, but with both of our new healthy lifestyles we are trying to incorporate that into our lives. I want to bike a little throughout the day, go from town to town and then eat some pasta at night.
Question: How do you plan to pay it forward now?
Olivia Ward: I definitely think Team Purple will be making a victory lap! I think Hannah and I are so great together and our story is so unique – we have such an interesting point of view that I think people want to hear about our journey. I think we will definitely get out there and do some public speaking and meet and encourage people who want to be encouraged or learn what we learned. The Biggest Loser is definitely about paying it forward. It doesn’t do anybody any good to take all this precious knowledge and put it in my pocket.
That wraps up this season of The Biggest Loser on NBC – be sure to check back for the fall premiere dates of season 12!
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