Biggest Losers….Where are They Now?

“I weighed 122 pounds for about 2.2  seconds of my life.  I took a drink of water after I won, and I didn’t weigh that again.”

–2008 Biggest Loser winner Ali Vincent

We all wonder what happens to contestants after the show.  Ali was the first female to win the title of Biggest Loser having gone from 234 to 122 pounds, and has since gained back 50 pounds.  This breaks my heart, as the reality of maintaining weight loss is a tough one, especially when you lose all that weight in a controlled environment and then have to go back out into the real world.

If only we could all commit to tuning in and taking care of our health, making wise food choices, getting our daily exercise and asking ourselves “What am I really hungry for?” perhaps we could all find a more peaceful balance in our lives.  Perhaps.

Weighing In on the Final Weigh In

The Biggest Loser Finale

(This happens to be a great picture and I think Rachel looks better in the pic than I thought she looked on TV)

As with every season, I couldn’t wait to get home from work last night and get ready to watch the Biggest Loser finale.  Tears started flowing as the eliminated contestants came out 3 at a time, showing off their new bodies and their new selves.  I don’t have time to comment on all this morning, but most everyone looked wonderful.  Jennifer took the lead right away, looking just beautiful.  Marie had her hair restyled (I hated what Ken Paves did with her hair) and she looked so much better.  Several of the females had extensions in their hair, and I was sad to see Tanya with them, because I thought she looked fabulous after the makeover.    The guys looked great and even Ruben Studdard lost well over 100 pounds, though he is still a big boy. Craig probably blew me away the most.  He completely changed in looks and standing on that scale, he could have been mistaken for an athlete or movie star.  Everyone looked healthy and fit but it was Tumi who knocked it out of the park and walked away with the $100,000 “at home” prize going from 319 to 144.  She looked amazing.

Then it was time to see the 3 finalists.  Bobby looked so cute and David looked amazing.  He seemed to have the most likely chance to win the title.  Rachel came out last and came out ridiculously skinny.  Hey, it’s a fight for a quarter of a million dollars and she was the fiercest competitor of the season.  What bothered me about Rachel was that she was having the hardest time walking (not just in her heals) and had a very distant, “stoned” looked about her.  I actually thought that she was going to pass out, possibly from dehydrating herself for the weigh in.  Bobby transformed his 358 pound old self into a new, healthy, 170 and David went from 409 to 187.  They both looked so happy, proud and healthy.  Rachel, unfortunately, looked like a hot mess, to me.  She went from 260 pounds to 105 pounds and looked like a wind could blow her over.  Sadly, I did want her to win and thought “Why not her?” at the end of the show I found myself wondering, ”At what cost?”  I have read that she stands over 5’3 and at 105 that would put her in the unhealthy or underweight zone.

I challenge NBC and the producers of the Biggest Loser to put a clause in that would have the winner forfeit if his or her weight puts that at an unhealthy BMI or weight.  I have no idea what the rules are when contestants go home for the last few months.  I have no idea if they are drug tested or tested for dehydration or any of the other drastic measures that would help them tip the scale in the direction of a win.  If Jillian got called out for giving them caffeine supplements, certainly the contestants should not be allowed drugs at home.  I have no idea what Rachel did to lose 155 pounds in 7 or so months, and my hope is that she hasn’t traded obesity and the health issues that come along with that, for a whole set of new health problems.

At 5’1, working out several times a day (for the past 30+ years) and eating healthfully, I weigh in at about 125. Even when I was much younger, say Rachel’s age, my fighting weight was about 111-114.  In fact, the only time I weighed under 110 pounds was when I was doing dangerous things to my body.  If there were $250,000 dangling before me, I don’t know if I could possibly lose 20 pounds, certainly not without some drastic measures.

In the end, Biggest Loser is a TV show.  I have had to remind myself of this quite often over the many years I have been watching.  TV shows don’t always end exactly the way I would like.  This season, though I wanted Rachel to win, I wanted to see a healthy, beautiful version of the same girl that I saw make the finals last week.  I congratulate her and keep my fingers crossed that she can find the healthy balance needed to be both lean and healthy, and I wish all the contestants the gift of mastering maintenance!

On the very positive side, what an incredible difference 7 months can make, if you make the decision to stick to a commitment.

I am anxious to hear from you and what you thought about the show last night!


This and That Thursday….

Cover of "This and That"

Cover of This and That

If you see me out and about on Thursdays, you may notice that instead of my often black attire, I choose pink.  This is to honor the request of the Levinson family, whose patriarch, Bob, a former FBI agent, has been missing, for way too many years.  Suspected of being captured and held in Iran, the Levinson family asks we wear pink on Thursdays to keep attention on our government, bringing their loved one back home to Coral Springs, my town.  If you are looking in your closet this morning, please consider adding a touch of pink, to help make this a worldwide effort.

In response to the comments and conversations regarding this week’s weigh in on Biggest Loser, I agree that something was off.  I remember hearing or reading that sometimes they make 2 weeks look like 1.  I believe this is exactly what happened this past episode.  Not only did the men lose way too many pounds but Rachel, who was assured a spot in the finale by winning the triathlon, only lost 1, which makes me think she had some time to play with her numbers.  It may not be fair, but it is important to remember that while thousands of pounds are lost each season, and lives are changed so much for the better, Biggest Loser still is what it is…a TV show.  Ratings, ratings, ratings.  Apparently, they are doing something right, as the show remains on the air after all these years!

On the fitness side, I continue to be amazed at how quickly muscles get stronger.  3 weeks ago when I started back to a modified program of P90X, I couldn’t make it through more than 10 or 12 reps of the ab work.  By this past Monday, which was about the 5th time I did the video since I started, I was able to make it through all 25 reps of each exercise, which amounts to some 300+ moves.  It was not just a big accomplishment, but much more importantly a reminder that muscles adapt very quickly if you just keeping plugging away.  Today will be my 3rd Thursday of yoga and the big challenge there is the balance work and also the 90+ minutes the video runs, so I fast forward through some of the exercises and commit to an hour each Thursday.  So far, that works!

On the peaceful side, I would like to share the insight from the Dalai Lama that I found when I turned my calendar page this morning.  I really love this message and know that daily exercise and daily meditation (and I truly believe eating a plant-based diet, as well) has helped me with my own attitude as well as maintaining a (somewhat) calm and stable mind, at least most of of the time :)

“Our state of mind plays a major role in our day-to-day experiences, as well as our physical and mental well being.  If a person has a calm and stable mind, this influences his or her attitude and behavior in relation to others.  In other words, if someone remains in a peaceful and tranquil state of mind, external surroundings can cause them only a limited disturbance.”

As I sign off to spend a little time in meditation before I am off to train, I wish you all a calm and stable mind, some fitness, and of course, given the weather right now, warmth and safety.  Please consider a plant-based option for a meal or 2 or 3 today, and above all else,  I wish you peace in your mind and your heart.  Thanks for stopping in.

The Final 3

I loved the triathlon on Biggest Loser, last night!  It was doable, yet still a good challenge.  Rachel was at a great advantage, being an accomplished swimmer, and put her in the lead, where she stayed the entire time.  The win assured her a spot in next week’s finale, and I was happy for that.  Poor Bobby was so miserable having to swim, but he made it and though he finished the challenge last, he did finish it, a huge accomplishment for anyone!

Two contestants had to be eliminated, and it was all about the red line.  (They do a lot less voting off of people this season…I wonder why.)  Jennifer and Chelsea fell below and lost their shot at becoming the Biggest Loser.  That left David and Bobby in the mix with Rachel, for the chance at the title, the money and bragging rights.  I just don’t think Rachel can lose enough weight to compete with the big boys, as David still has a considerable amount of weight to lose, despite the fact he has already lost almost half of himself!  The guys both pulled huge numbers last night…both in the high double digits!  How?  That I just don’t get.

Next week is the finale, so I am already exciting and stocking up on tissues.  Seeing all the eliminated contestants come back shadows of their previous selves, blows my mind.

Wishing my beautiful, smart, artistic, talented (and so much more) soon to be daughter (do I have to say daughter-in-law?) Nicole, a wonderful 27th birthday.  Hope your day is as special as you!