Viewers of The Biggest Loser celebrated when Ali Vincent was crowned the victor. She worked hard on her emotional and physical self and really seemed to understand that gaining control over her weight was about more than winning some reality television competition.
It’s been eight years and Oprah did what she does best – she invites people to sit down with her and share intimate parts of themselves with the world. On this week’s episode of Oprah: Where Are They Now? Vincent opened up about some truly painful moments.
First, she described a sexual assault that took place in 2015 while she was getting a massage. With tears in her eyes, she explained: “I was getting a massage and I fell asleep, as I often do in massages, and I felt so safe in this place, I had no guard up. And I woke up to — I woke up to someone feeling in my vagina and I was just like in shock, like what’s going on, what’s happening? And then I just jumped up and I ran out and just hid. And I was sitting there in a ball and I was just shaking, and I don’t know how to explain it. But I just was so afraid. I was scared.”
Who wouldn’t have been terrified by that? It sounds like a very scary experience especially if she felt like she was in a safe space. To make matters worse, the manager didn’t take her very seriously and said: “Well, it’s not like he raped you.”
It’s difficult enough for victims to speak up about the abuse they have suffered so it’s horribly traumatizing to have their pain minimized. No wonder Vincent says that she has avoided talking about it which, for most, isn’t healthy.
“I haven’t talked about it because it’s not something you just talk about,” she says. “A lot of things have changed over the last couple of years in my life. I moved here, to Northern California. My routine completely changed. I’ve realized, over the last year, as I’ve gained this weight, it was so much of my life slowed down, that a lot of stuff came up that I just hadn’t dealt with.”
While she had dropped down to 112lbs for the season finale of The Biggest Loser, and has served as a motivational speaker over the years, she has regained most of the weight. In a Facebook post, she wrote: “I swore I would never be there again, be here again. I couldn’t imagine a day again that I would weigh over 200 pounds. I feel ashamed. I feel embarrassed. I feel overwhelmed. I feel like failure.”
It’s unfortunate that she’s going through this since she had been able to keep the weight off for several years. It sounds like, in addition to the sexual assault, she’s had a lot going on. Hopefully, getting things out in the open will help her create a plan to addressing the issues so that she can move on and get her life back on track.