Wednesday, January 9, 2008

NEARLY The Biggest Losers . . .

It is Wednesday so that must mean it is time for my thoughts on last night's The Biggest Loser. What a GREAT episode - for showing the very basic truth that goes, hand in hand, with losing weight as a morbidly obese person . . . it is SCARY.

Let's take it team-by-team. First, PINK. Joy's favorite "character" (as in her personality) on the show, Bette-Sue fell off her treadmill with about 20 seconds to go in her workout. It is a basic truth when you are working out for two hours at a time, and you are not that sure of your footwork and your general "position" on a treadmill to begin with (because of your weight) that you are likely going to be SCARED that you are going to fall off, stub a toe, strain a pinkie or just plain pass out at almost any point in time. Bette-Sue bit it - HARD - and then she got right back on the treadmill and walked it out. Bette-Sue 1, Fear 0.

Now, my least favorite players in the HISTORY of The Biggest Loser . . . the White team. I can't tell you enough how little I am rooting for them or just how happy I will be when they get sent packing (disclaimer - I don't "mind" Amanda (she is an enabler but she's at least likable but her husband, Neill (two Ls - I'm surprised his laziness didn't force him to simplify it down to just one) is a whole other story. Neill takes breaks. He half-asses it. He complains. He gets defensive and he pouts and acts like a clown. ALL of which are things that plagued my many, many diet and excercise routines in the past (yes, it is true - I hate Neill because I used to be him (save for the terrible, terrible, terrible and inexcusable tattoos) and Joy, in some instances, used to be Amanda in terms of loving me even when I was breaking her heart). Neill, true to form, got called out by Jillian for wanting to skip a workout to call his son. She pulled him outside and, hoping to reach him, asked him if he was scared. I saw the light go off in his eyes . . . his laziness had found an excuse. Oh - he was SCARED. Whatever. That is where Neill and I part company - I have never been afraid to lose weight and to be a better man. Lazy, yes. Scared, no. Long story short - quitter-Neill got one of the "call home" phone cards and it somehow inspired him and he lost six pounds and poor Amanda (who does work her ass off) lost none but he saved them from elimination - for one more week. GET OFF MY SHOW, NEILL! Neill 0, Fear 1.

Black Team. These boys are for real and are hardcore but, true to the dynamic of family, they are scared. When faced with the food challenge - Jay, scared of what the calories would mean and, as importantly, scared of what his older brother would do to him if he did eat (there was mention of a broken jaw) Jay ate nothing. FEAR moved him away from the buffet. On the other hand Mark took advantage of his older-brother and strong competitor status and ate 925 calories worth of crap. He got scared that the yellow team would win $5,000 from him and that fear forced him to belly up, big time. The black team still lost a fair amount of weight and were safe from the chopping block but fear played a role, for both brothers, in getting them there. Mark and Jay 0, Fear 2.

The rest of the teams don't really provide me with easy ways to carry my "fear" example throughout the episode but the REAL fear came at the elimination block. The brown team (that made me cry almost every time they spoke or were even shown last night because they clearly love each other so very much and clearly wanted to make a go at this so very much) lost out in the narrowest of votes to my sentimental favorites, the yellow team. The fear part was that they were both up for elimination and the brown team feared what would happen after the show (they were dedicated to make it work and they did, based on the follow-up video) but the yellow team, rightly so, feared that they would go home ALONE - they would not have each other (they are divorced) and they would not have the support of the other contestants, the trainer or each other to motivate them. They were scared and it was clear. I HOPE that will motivate Paul to NOT eat the next time they are given a food challenge and I hope that Kelly will start to like herself and realize that even though life has been hard for her - it is not over - and she is capable of great things . . . on her own or with someone. Contestants 3. Fear 1.

Of course the orange team (my favorite color and one of my favorite teams accordingly) was once again on top of the leaderboard and they are proving themselves to be a "legit" threat on the show (even though that Chastity Bono look-alike son still freaks us out) and all three of my favorites (brown, yellow and orange) are still in the mix SO I am happy enough to face another week of the show - knowing that my heart has not been broken . . . yet.

In closing - fear is a STRONG part of why each of us gained all of our weight and a strong reason why we've kept it on and will, for me, be a strong reason why I will continue to lose weight, follow the diet and excercise and maintain my weight (I am NOT going back - this I VOW!) but fear should not govern us. Have the surgery - don't have the surgery - have a cookie - don't have a cookie - go for a walk - sit on the couch . . . but do it for YOU. Do it for the right reasons. Don't do it (or anything (except pay your taxes)) out of fear.

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