Thursday, February 5, 2009

JOELLE (and Carla) . . .

I finally watched the Biggest Loser. What an episode. And not in a good way.

Here's my thing about Joelle. I am not "sad" that she's gone. I didn't really like her on the show and she was bad for the general morale of the house and I don't think she was really ready to be on a show that forced her to live in front of cameras and to compete and to have her every move up for review by the whole world.

She just wasn't. Weight loss is not about "Here's my chance." It can seem that way but - long term - it won't last (just ask anyone that has ever dieted for someone other than themselves or who dieted to reach a short term goal (like looking dead-sexay at the class reunion). It is about "I'm ready for my chance and here it is."

For the pink team (for the record - the tears and cheers of a mothers pride as Shanon carried Sione across the gym floor got me misty - Yes, you "can do it" Shanon . . . you can carry a man on your back (smile)). . . they are ready. The purple team is really ready. I'm straight up psyched about the blue team and what they are doing on the ranch (and at home). I'm even sorta' happy for the black team (as much as I don't like Blaine and as confused as I am about Dane (are wifey and I the only people who've noticed that Dane never speaks. EVER. They don't interview him. They don't ask him questions on the scale. He doesn't talk in groups. Hmmmm.).

Anywho - I'm digressing. Joelle was not ready. She just wasn't. It was very telling that Carla confronted her that "she" got Joelle on the show and "she" was the driving force and that "she" chose to go home so Joelle could stay (a sign that Carla did not trust Joelle on her own (and what a disaster that could have been if she went home when the couples were split, huh?).

Here's the thing, Carla. For as much as I enjoyed you and think you are a dynamic persona and as much as I wish you had stuck around with your swaggart and your charms - you should have known you could not "make" Joelle do or want anything because you wanted it. That is the nature of friendship though. The nature of loving someone in general. You seem to think that what you want for them should be what they want and the potential you see in them should be what they see in them.

But it's not that simple. Joy could tell you that about me (the lack of general confidence and self believe ran (runs?) deep with this one) and anyone who's ever had a "simpatico" friend - especially those of us who have been on the heavy side of obesity with heavy friends - can atest that sometimes it is easier to just maintain the status quo together and to point to the rest of the world as the problem or the issue than to figure out what it is inside of you/them that drives you to obesity and food and so on.

To be clear. I think Joelle has probably had a life time of self doubt, disappointment and I would dare suggest abuse (mental, verbal, physical - who knows) in her life. I think that is why she's heavy (self protection) and I think that is why she failed on the show.

I should clarify here that I am not a mental health professional (but I do play one on my blog) but I just could not help but notice how "divorced" she seemed to be from herself for most of the time we shared with Joelle on the ranch. She never really made eye contact with anyone. She never really answered a question. Being questioned/challenged lead her to shut down. She spouted off things like "I am willing and alive with hope" (or whatever) that sounded like babble from the self-help books on the nightstands of Americans everywhere (including my side of the bed at home (smile)). Even when directly confronted - TWICE - by her dear friend Carla . . . she just sort of stood there (she pushed back in the gym, I guess).

The "reunion" of the two in the closing moments of the show were the hardest for me to take, I guess. Carla tried to be upbeat. She paid Joelle a compliment. Joelle inflated the compliment and then refused to return one and the minute Carla challenged her, true to form, Joelle shut down and walked out. It could make for interesting reunion/finale fodder but - for now - it is just plain sad.

It was not your time, Joelle. You were not ready for it to be your time.

I hope Joelle gets some help for whatever has happened to (or continues to) her and to figure out how to get the monkey off her back so she can be a better friend to Carla and, more importantly, a better friend to herself. I hope she loses weight before the finale as a first step to a life time of weight loss and better health. Physical and mental.

OH - and I hope the brown team has a breakthrough or they are going home for sure next week. They are out of protection at this point.

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