Wednesday, May 13, 2009
After thousands of pounds lost, and an infinite number of tears, this week was the inspiring and touching three hour season finale of The Biggest Loser. I have to admit, of all the reality shows on television, this one sucks me in the most. I watch the contestants each week, as they set out on a journey to radically transform their bodies and their lives.
I started watching the show when I was at the gym. It often seems to be on while I'm running on the treadmill or givin'er on the stationary bike. Tears roll down my cheeks during every single episode, as I relate all too well with what the people on the show are going through. Have I ever been obese? No. Have I had to worry about my weight for as long as I can remember? Absolutely. I've been up and down and all over the place with my weight. It's always a struggle for me and I have had to accept that it just always will be.
I'm nine weeks off chocolate and sweets. I've been keeping a close count of my calories and working out like a maniac. I've dropped close to 20 pounds since I started this little "diet," which I began without any solid weight loss goal in mind. I know I'm never going to be a bone rack. I'm 5'9" and I just don't have a narrow, little build. I've also got knockers that don't seem to want to go anywhere, no matter how much I wish they would disappear. I suppose my goal is to feel healthy, strong and fit; but the fact is, I have to be (a little) neurotic about it or it won't work. I have to literally work my ass off. And I am.
Last night the lady in hot pink, 48-year-old Helen Phillips, took the top prize; her 140-pound weight loss was a higher percentage of her starting weight than that of finalists Tara Costa and Mike Morelli. The transformations of all of the contestants on the show this season were, in my opinion, unbelievable though. How adorable is Mike?
Tara Costa was my favourite contestant from the beginning of the season. She's a charming young lady who carries herself really well. She is very easy to relate to and I found myself able to identify with many of her issues and struggles. Through the show, she's been able to discover a new, healthy lifestyle, and she has found the self confidence to go along with it. In my opinion, she won this show in every way, shape and form that counted - except that last frivolous stipulation, "weigh loss percentage." Tara dropped a total of 135 pounds in the competition. She looks absolutely incredible.
The Biggest Loser definitely gets its share of criticism and has come under harsh scrutiny for its unrealistic standards of weight loss. Personally, I think that the show needs to be taken with a grain of salt. I mean, it is reality television after all, people. Somehow, I don't think the average 150 pound woman is going to try to duplicate an obese contestant's 10 pound per week weight loss. What the show does do is demonstrate to the average overweight North American that they can exercise, eat less, and lose weight; because if the 400 pound middle-aged slacker can do it, who are we to say it's too tough?
Photos courtesy of NBC