Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Biggest Loser . . .

I don't have much to say about last night. I'm very sad, frankly, about Paul. As I have made very clear - I have been rooting for Paul since day one.

I wanted Paul to lose all of his weight. I wanted Paul to get his wife back. I wanted Paul to learn to like himself. I wanted Paul to be proud of himself and to have other people be proud of him. I wanted a lot for him . . . I think, in my mind, Paul was ME (except the ex-wife who still emotionally supports me) or maybe I was Paul in my mind? Either way . . . he got voted off last night and, with that, my dream to successfully pick a winner of the show will have to wait until season 6 (at least).

What made me so sad was how quickly and far he fell. He went home (all the contestants went home at the start of the episode) a proud man who walked tall and felt great about himself. The next night he went out for all-you-can-eat chicken wings, soda and some 2" tall dessert action. He looked drunk in one video-diary in his hot tub with a soda perched on the edge of the tub. He didn't talk to Jillian or his teammates (save for two quick calls to Kelly) all week. He walked away from his support system and he fell back to his old tricks.

But it got worse. He went back to the ranch knowing he had gained at least four pouns while he was home (in TWO days) and his body language and demanor seemed to suggest that he felt like an outsider and a marked man from the minute he set down his suitcase. He was right, I guess.

Paul lost five pounds. He could have done much better that week if he dad talked with Jillian (which she pointed out and he agreed). His team lost (got their butts handed to them, frankly) and he wore his YELLOW shirt to the elimination ceremony.

It was bad. Just pouting and barking and snide comments galore. And not just from him - I was very surprised at how Brittany carried herself as well. Paul said that, all along, he knew that it was the three young team members against he and Kelly and, with Kelly safe, he knew he was going. He was right. He knew what was coming. He was prepared, in many ways, for what was coming. But he could not make PEACE with what was coming.

He chose to wear his yellow shirt to put himself as an outsider on the team. He chose to be very standoffish and to dismiss the rest of his team. He chose to let his insecurities and a lifetime of feeling rejected and outnumbered and unloved get the best of him on that ranch.

I felt, watching the ceremony, more "like" Paul than I ever had before. I have worn that "yellow shirt" of indignance more times in my life than I can count. I've burned bridges and I've looked like a fool and I've acted small and stubborn more times than I care to admit. I saw, for the first time, just how sad and pathetic it looked and I was greatful that I no longer carry the chips on my shoulder that I did for so many years.

I am sort of glad that Paul is gone. He needs to get himself happy in the real world. He needs to make peace with his family and with his girlfriend and - most importantly - with himself. THAT is the only way he'll ever be "The Biggest Loser" . . . if he loses that edge and those immaturities that plagued him before and on the ranch.

I will miss you, Paul. I hope you can get yourself well and I look forward to seeing you on the reunion.

PS - One other little comment . . . when Roger arrived home in Alabama his skinny-little-thing-of-a-wife commented that she, for the first time EVER could hug her husband and get her arms all the way around him. I had that moment with Joy not long ago (it was right around Mother's Day). I remember feeling her arms lock behind my back for the first time ever and I remember how good it felt. She commented on it too.

Those moments . . . those little things . . . those are the things that this surgery has given me that I never thought I would hold so near and dear in my heart. Watching Roger and his wife hug reminded me of just how good it felt to have Joy hug me that way and just how impactful weight loss can be on an entire life - not just health, not just clothing sizes, not just attitudes.

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