Ahead of the premiere of NBC’s The Biggest Loser on Tuesday, one of the contestants, former TNA star Kim Nielsen (better known as Desire), joined us for an interview.
The last time fans saw Nielsen 7 years ago she was fit and athletic while part of TNA’s early Nashville days. However, now, she is over 100lbs overweight and admits that she “hid” from everything but is now ready to get her life back.
Kim talks about how she got to the point she’s at now, why she decided to appear on The Biggest Loser, how she broke her back in TNA, memories of her time there and more.
On what she’s been up to since she left the business 7 years ago: “My career kind of ended with breaking my back in the ring. I went back [to TNA] after that, about 10 months later, and that was about it. Things just really weren’t the same for me. I was kind of afraid of being in the ring and trusting people with my body, so that was kind of career-ending for me. I got pregnant soon after that with my third child and have just kind of been home taking care of my kids.”
How she broke her back: “It was during a dark match before the show had started when I was with TNA. She [her opponent] had put me up into a fisherman suplex and she bumped on the very edge of the ring and when I came down, my back… I just heard it crack. I heard it snap. I couldn’t breathe. I didn’t really know what to do. I was just in so much pain. I don’t think she knew that I was hurt, but she said: “Get up, finish the match.” The only thing that really made sense at that moment would be for her to cover me, but I don’t like to lose. I actually got up and I finished the match. She threw me across the ring, I hit the ropes, and I picked her up and slammed her into a Rock Bottom and covered her. I rolled out of the ring and walked to the back, and that’s where I just fell apart. They called the ambulance, [I] got to a hospital, and my back was actually broken.”
The story behind her weight gain: “First of all, when I had gotten pregnant with my third child, I think a lot of people can probably relate — I had been on TV every week, I had been at the gym every single day, and I thought: “Well, I’m pregnant. This is my third child. I’ll just go ahead and let myself eat, be pregnant and be happy.” I gave myself leeway to just do whatever I wanted and not really work out, and eat whatever I wanted to. What happened was, I ended up gaining 80lbs being pregnant with my daughter. I had two kids before that and with them, I had gotten right back to the gym, I had worked out [but] with my third child, not really having wrestling to go back to, which is what I love and what really motivated me to stay in shape, I didn’t have that anymore. I didn’t have that passion anymore to go back to. So I find myself not really knowing what I was going to do and just ended up not losing that [baby] weight at all. As a matter of fact, I ended up gaining even more weight than that.”
How she became part of The Biggest Loser: “It was Sonny [Siaki] — I had wrestled with him [in TNA] — he’s the father of my smallest child, the one that I was pregnant with, and he’s the one that actually encouraged me to go try out for the show. I really didn’t want to do it. My daughter is like six years old now, so I had been away from the industry, away from my fans and out of the spotlight for those seven years and I had gotten overweight, unhealthy and not happy. I was really hiding from my friends, my fans, my family. My Facebook page still had all my skinny pictures and my wrestling pictures which I was so proud of, but I wasn’t proud of what I had done over the last seven years — hiding, gaining weight and just not being healthy, or a very good role model. When Sonny suggested that I try out for the show, they were actually here in Atlanta where I live. There was an open casting call. It took him a little bit to convince me, but I decided that I would go ahead and try out. I was just tired of living this way, tired of being overweight and not being a good, fit role model for my kids.”
On being hard on herself because she was so athletic before: “I’m going into these workouts that I used to do everyday, but now I’m over 100lbs overweight. It was so hard for me. It was so frustrating for me because I haven’t always been overweight. I’ve only been overweight for the last seven years, so I remember what it feels like to be an athlete, to be at the top of your game, to be really good at what you do. Here I was at the ranch, going through these workouts that are so incredibly difficult and I just wanted to rip off that shell, all of that weight, and be that athlete I used to be. It was really difficult for me to accept where I was and where I needed to start out.”
Thoughts on Knockouts division & whether she keeps up with TNA: “I haven’t really kept up with it. When I left wrestling I left wrestling completely. I think that’s wonderful [that TNA has a women’s division now], because that’s something I always wished there had been more of when I was in wrestling. The girls go through just as much as the guys go through in that wrestling ring, if not more, because it’s almost like you can’t really be a girl there. You have to toughen up and be like one of the boys. There’s no crying, there’s no nothing — that’s why I ended up getting up with a broken back and I finished the match, because I had been taught how to be tough, how to be strong and be one of the boys. So to hear that there’s a belt, there’s a division, there’s all of these accolades now for the women wrestlers, I think that’s fantastic.”