Facing the Fear with Michelle Aguilar
The winner of the sixth season of the hit show The Biggest Loser talks about her faith, her time on the show, and her path to forgiveness.
BY: Evan Derrick
Was there an “Aha” moment or a breakthrough where you kind of sat up and said “Oh!” or was it more gradual?
For me it was pretty quick. In about week four, I chipped my tooth and my smile had been one of those things that had kind of been a shield of protection and protected from the outside world as far as them knowing how depressed or sad I was. I assumed that as long as I was smiling and told people I was fine it was believable and that they would believe it, but when that smile was damaged by something as simple as my toot getting chipped during a challenge, I broke. I broke on the inside and I broke on the outside and from there I actually tried to quite the show. I tried to leave. I tried to run from all those emotions that were kind of smacking me right in the face and would openly have to have a little bit of a come to Jesus moment or say a little bit. I mean I had my bags packed and the car waiting, it was the midnight hour of “I’m leaving, I’m out of here, I don’t want to deal with this” and I think two nights before I had to make a final decision on camera, I had a breakthrough. I had a breakthrough that said “I need to stop running, I need to face these things, I need to work through these things” and [I realize] that what doesn’t kill you, is going to make you stronger and so I think just recommitting my life and my faith and all those things. …really not caring that there were cameras around and people watching me but just knowing that I needed a life change.
Were there any Bible verses that you used for support while you were on the show?
Yeah, I think the main verse would have to be Proverbs 3, 5 and 6 which is to “lean not on your own understanding and in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your path straight.” Before Biggest Loser I was running on my own little path thinking that I could fix and I could cover everything and that it didn’t matter that God was trying to reach out and trying to make a connection with me and wanted to help me. I kept thinking everything is broken, everything is messy and I’ve got to fix it before coming back to God and so with that Scripture, it just kind of resonating with me I’m not supposed to do this on my own. I do need to lean on God and if I just acknowledge Him, He’s going to keep the path in front of me straight and I don’t have to worry like I have been about having the weight of the world on my shoulders and living some perfect life that’s just filled with brokenness. So I think that Scripture more than any really connected with me during that time.
What would you say to someone who is struggling with their weight and so they watch a show like The Biggest Loser, they see what you’ve accomplished and their response is “Oh! Well they got to go on a show and they had personal trainers and they were motivated” and blah, blah, blah and that’s how they were able to lose that. What would you say to someone who might use that as an excuse for why they are not able to kind of have the same breakthrough as you did?
I think what I hope people take away from my experience on The Biggest Loser is not so much the practical day to day of it. I think working out eight hours a day is not practical for most people and I always get discouraged when I hear them say “I couldn’t do that” because ultimately at the end of the day, Biggest Loser is there to show you that you are capable of more, that no matter what your ailment is, no matter how old you are and no matter if you are male or female, you can decide today to make a change in your life and I think people need to stop looking at just these huge life transformations and just really celebrate the small breakthroughs that they make each and everyday and I think sometimes people can absolutely get caught up in seeing those big numbers week to week on the scale. I’ve always encouraged people to look at their own lives and see what can you do today to make better choices and what can you do tomorrow that was better than today. And so I would encourage people to take it one day at a time, one moment at a time and keep moving forward and as long as you can keep moving forward, then you are making progress and like I said, be inspired by the Biggest Loser but it’s not necessarily a “how to” in an everyday practical sense.