The journey of Laura Denoux on the Biggest Loser can simply be summed up by two milestones. The first, early on in the season Jillian Michaels called her “the weakest link” on the team and publicly called her out for bringing down the team. The second, her final weigh-in displayed a +3 gain that would send her home after an emotional farewell with Jillian.
These events show Laura’s growth from disinterested to completely focused on changing her life. She says Jillian’s earlier assessment was fair because she didn’t believe in herself at that time. Then she slowly started realizing she wanted to be there, she started to get it and that she loves diet and exercise. A stress fracture in her hip limited the exercise she could do in the last week, contributed to a weight gain and she was eliminated.
If you train under Jillian Michaels, she makes you work for it and doesn’t handout any favors. The relationship between Laura and Jillian seemed strained, maybe Jillian asking too much or Laura not giving enough. Jillian said a tearful goodbye to Laura in the final weigh-in and it was clear the relationship had changed. “I realized I needed her and she was being harsh with good intentions,” says Laura. “I got over it. She did it to open my eyes.”
Laura says the show also benefited the relationship she has with teammate Tara Costa. They met as plus-size models in Miami, as they traveled in the same circles and shared friends. They both realized they’d gained weight and decided they might be perfect for Biggest Loser. They were the only people they could trust at the ranch, and today they are best friends.
How is Laura’s weight loss journey now? Moving forward! She’s excited about continuing to lose weight despite the hip fracture and a fracture in her knee (not mentioned on the show). She sticks to low-impact work like weights, training the upper body, spin class, swimming and limited cardio. She is also committed to physical therapy. She’s proof that an injury doesn’t rule out any kind of workout, you just have to adjust your approach.
If you see Laura, she’ll be sporting an entirely new wardrobe and still loving her new red hair. As a lifelong blonde, she said it was emotional to change her tresses, but now she is very happy with it. She’s also spent the $1,000 gift card from Macy’s, given to her by Tim Gunn as part of the week 15 makeover episode. Gunn encouraged her to play with color, flaunt what should be flaunted and to not hide behind black. No longer having to shop in plus-size sections or go to specialty stores, she said she loves picking a size 12/14 off the rack (formerly a 24). “It felt amazing to know that we’ve come that far,” she says about the makeovers she and fellow contestants received.