My Biggest Loser Epiphany

My daughter and I watched The Biggest Loser last night. We love our trash TV. Actually, we only saw the first half-hour — we tivo it to spread the fun over a couple of nights. It’s hard to devote too much time to TV, even without the commercials. Anyway, my favorite part last night was Jillian throwing up the junk food that she was forced to eat. Did you all see that? The show laid out what the guy from Ardmore (who, by the way, is a friend of one of our other bloggers, Abby “Baby Mama” — Abby, any inside info you could share?) and his mom would normally eat in a single day. Which made me think — it’s probably not that different from what a lot of parents feed their kids nearly every day. And that mom seems really sweet. What was she thinking as she participated in eating that stuff with her son? It must have taken many years to weigh in at nearly 400 lbs. No wonder we have an obesity problem.

But I digress.

Evidently, the Ardmore-ites love their fast food Mexican entrees — super nachos, double crusted cheesy tortilla things, something that looked like a square origami-folded burrito. OK, it was disgusting. Not one fresh ingredient. Fake cheese melted and dripping all over everything. They had little cards showing the calorie and fat content of each dish. No wonder Jillian threw up.

Which begs the question that the doctor on the show asked the contestants: “How did you get to be so unhealthy? You are the unhealthiest group of contestants we’ve ever had on the show!” Ouch. That was pretty harsh.

But maybe it’s not so harsh. Maybe all of us need to stop what we’re doing — whether it’s shoveling something gross into our bodies, or putting off cleaning out the linen closet — and think for a few minutes about where we are and where we want to be. Obviously, if you’re weighing in at 500 lbs., that could be a scary thing to do because if you keep going like that, you’re not going to be around much longer and the end of your life probably won’t be pleasant either.

But, ultimately, what I learned from my reality show viewing last night was that pretty much everything is a choice. We can choose to feed our kids nasty, unhealthy food and they will probably end up being obese with a host of health problems. That’s a parent’s choice. We can choose not to exercise, but we also have to take responsibility for the consequences. We can choose to avoid all kinds of things — to put off things we really want to do in our lives, but if we do, where are we in 2 years? 5 years? Worse? Better? The same?

Maybe it would be easier if we had Jillian or Bob screaming in our faces until we broke down and ‘fessed up to whatever it is that’s keeping us from making positive choices, but I’m going to try to channel my own inner Bob and Jillian. I don’t need to lose weight, and I exercise every day (by the way, adopt a dog or volunteer to be a dog walker — they’re great exercise companions), but I have a list of other things that I want to work on, and my little reality show epiphany helped me see that.


Categories: Editor’s Blog