It seemed like Teri Aguiar's Biggest Loser journey had come to a premature end when she heard a "snap" in her ankle during a grueling obstacle course challenge, but the former beauty queen refused to give up her shot at transforming her life. Ahead of Tuesday's season finale, Aguiar opened up to PopCulture.com about how that injury propelled her to the very end of the competition, where she was the last woman standing before being sent home ahead of the finale.
Recalling the moment when a misplaced step changed her Biggest Loser journey completely, the flight nurse told PopCulture, "I think the first thing when I felt a snap like was I went into nurse mode for a minute, like, 'Oh man, that's a break.' It was a secondary reality of 'This could take me out of this thing!'"
Sitting in urgent care waiting to see how bad her injury actually was, Aguiar said she was surrounded with support from production and the staff sports medicine physicians ready to follow her lead when it came to the next step. "I immediately felt like I had a team behind me supporting me and supporting me to figure out what was going to be best for me in the long run," she said. After hearing she could continue on in the competition with modified workouts courtesy of trainer Erica Lugo, Aguiar finally decided to take the plunge and continue on.
"Knowing that I was safe to stay, and that I would be supported and looked after just took this weight off," she explained. "When else would I ever get this opportunity?"
The former beauty queen actually considered herself "fortunate" to be amid the professional support of the Biggest Loser campus when she sustained such an injury, as it would have sidelined her from everything back home. It even lit a fire under her to perform to the best of her abilities when she was in the gym.
"I think what it did, in a very strange way, was take a lot of the pressure off, because no one expected anything of me after that," she said. "And I think there's something in me from the time when I was little that says, 'I have to prove myself. I want to prove myself.'”
Making it to the very end as the last woman in the competition, Aguiar said she doesn't want her ultimately going home to "overshadow" that she competed all the way to the end with a broken ankle. Taking that winning attitude back home with her, Aguiar's family stepped up to take her to the gym before she was able to drive, and she has since recovered completely while maintaining the lifestyle she learned on campus, which included a healthier view about food.
Now, instead of emotional eating, Aguiar says exercise has become "an outlet for stress and anxiety instead of food," noting, "Physically, I can do things with my kids that I haven’t in a long time."
"People get very hung up on the lifestyle on campus and how that's not sustainable. That is very true, however, the skills we learn are," Aguiar said of the criticism The Biggest Loser often faces. "Of all the negativity that has ever surrounded the shows … so many amazing moments, and so much good came out of it."
The Biggest Loser finale airs Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on USA.
Photo credit: USA