Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Biggest Loser Premiere

I've heard Michelle sing the praises of The Biggest Loser for quite some time, but for whatever reason I never watched it. But in honor of this blog and my new, healthier outlook on life, I tuned in to the season premiere tonight. Yes, tears came to my eyes on several occasions. You can't listen to the stories the contestants tell and not get emotional. At least I can't. You have parents realizing they have to lose weight or they won't get to see their children grow up. Young people who have struggled with their weight their entire lives realizing they won't get much older if they don't shed pounds. People who have eaten to try to keep sorrow and unhappiness at bay -- as so many of us have.

I also heard contestants say something that sounded familiar -- "How did I let myself get like this? I'm not sure how it happened."

I found this group of contestants -- the heaviest in the show's history -- inspiring from the beginning of the episode. The determination on their faces as they struggled to go that one mile was both awesome and heart-wrenching. I'm fortunate that I can walk a mile pretty easily. I couldn't run it. First, I loathe running. I could hike all day, but I've never enjoyed running. Not even when I was a slim high school student on the track team. Hey, I wanted to do hurdles, but it didn't work out. Instead, I was probably the worst 800m runner in my school's history. But these people were determined. My heart broke for Tracey, who just about did herself in and had to be helped across the finish line when her legs would no longer support her. I think she pushed too hard too soon, but I have to admire her drive. I hope when she comes back she's able to go far. They've inspired me to at least try running a little even though I don't like it. I'll have to see how it affects my breathing, if it makes me wheeze.

I cried right along with Shay when her initial weigh-in showed she was the heaviest contestant in the show's history, more than any of the men. I was so afraid that when she "quit" her workout, she was truly giving up before she'd really gotten started. And I feared that decision would end up costing her life. I was thrilled when she found the inner strength to turn around and go back inside and face a yelling Jillian. She is a contestant who has the potential to really make a monumental and dramatic change in her life and appearance.

I like Mo. He seems like a great guy. One of the older contestants and the only one who had to compete alone this week since his partner is Tracey and she was still in the hospital, he still pushed hard and dropped a good number of pounds to keep his team in the competition. All this after an initial hospital stay himself.

I thought Rebecca had a great attitude and was very complimentary of her partner, Amanda, despite the fact that Amanda had lost the least amount of weight during the weigh-in. She was quick to point out that Amanda worked hard during the week and was a good cheerleader for her own efforts. I see that as what we're doing here on the blog -- being cheerleaders for each others' efforts to lose weight and become more fit.

I know I'm not alone in the fact that it was Abby's story that broke my heart the most. I can't imagine the pain she's gone through in the aftermath of losing her husband and two children in a car accident. I'm tearing up just thinking about it. Despite that horrendous loss, she is the most amazing, positive person. I want to see her stay on the show a long time. If she's not the eventual winner, I want her to be close.

During the first post-training weigh-in, it was amazing to see the number of pounds lost. Granted, we have to remember that these people are training all day every day -- something that isn't realistic for most of us. But if we can be inspired by these determined individuals and turn that inspiration into positive workouts, positive goals and positive attitudes, then we all benefit.

So, what did you all think? Who inspired you the most? Who are you rooting for? What did you take away from this premiere episode?

For more information on the show and the contestants, go to the NBC site for the show.

Today's progress:

Calorie intake: 1,410 (I didn't quite cut yesterday's intake in half, but it's still 600 fewer calories than yesterday. I'm going in the right direction.)

Exercise: 1 1/2 hours cleaning house, 15 minutes aerobics, 5 minutes exercise band workout

Steps: 10,139 (Yes! Back up to my daily goal.)


Michelle Butler on September 16, 2009 at 9:36 AM said...

I'm so glad you were inspired by the first episode! Go you for considering taking up running! Soon you'll be lifting weights too. :)

I found this episode hard to watch at times. These contestants really are so much bigger than past ones. Look at how little Amanda looks in comparison to all the others. I bet she'll lose a lot of weight next week.

I think a lot of the first episode is about "shock and awe" - shocking the contestants into realizing just how unhealthy they are and shocking some of the audience into that same realization.

Michelle Butler on September 16, 2009 at 9:49 AM said...

Ratings info:

The Biggest Loser opened the new season with a respectable 5.9/10 in the overnights, building by half-hour as follows:

The Biggest Loser (NBC)
8:00 p.m.: 5.3/ 9 (#2)
8:30 p.m.: 5.9/10 (#2)
9:00 p.m.: 6.0/10 (#1)
9:30 p.m.: 6.4/10 (#1)

Comparably, this was an improvement of 11 percent over it's year-ago season opener (5.3/ 8 on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2008).

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on September 16, 2009 at 10:44 AM said...

Michelle, I think you're right about shocking the contestants with just how unhealthy they are. Perfect example was the youth pastor who didn't know he had diabetes. I think there is a lot of denial at the stage the contestants are at because facing the truth is too painful and embarrassing.

I'm curious about seeing how their attitudes and outlooks on life change over the season too. Do you know how many weeks of shows they do?

Michelle Butler on September 16, 2009 at 11:16 AM said...

I'm not sure how many episode they do total, but it should be on every week this fall. The finale for this season will be in some time in December and then they'll do another season in the spring - starting pretty close to 1/1 to cash in on all those new year's resolutions and hopes until May sometime.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on September 16, 2009 at 11:47 AM said...

Oh, I didn't realize there were two seasons a year like Survivor. Cool. Twice the motivation.

Anonymous said...

I'll have to remember to watch next week. It's on the same time as NCIS, but never fear I have a DVR and can set it to record both shows.

Michelle Butler on September 16, 2009 at 2:02 PM said...

Mary, my parents are huge NCIS fans and are looking forward to two NCIS shows next week. I'm glad you are getting on the TBL band wagon too. :)

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on September 16, 2009 at 3:35 PM said...

I looked on NBC's site to see if the episodes are viewable online, but I couldn't find anything. Anyone know if they are available for viewing online anywhere for free?

Joan on September 16, 2009 at 5:43 PM said...

I watched last season and sporadically before then.

Last night I rooted for the ones you noted Trish but also Alan, the firefighter from Columbus who equated the disadvantages of his weight when it came to doing his job. The horror in his voice when he realized that as an EMT..he would have been little to no use to Tracy when she went down. (Notice, they haven't really said what happened to Tracy....as a nurse I suspect a TIA (transient stroke)

As to the trainers....I've always had a love/hate relationship with Jillian. Yeah, ya gotta do tough love with people who believe they absolutely "can't" but last night? Last night I think she crossed that line from tough love to abusive....

She is NOT all that....

And unfortunately, Bob seems this year like he is trying to emulate her.....

Joanie T who just walked for 30 min. around her neighborhood with iPod shuffle songs...went from "Lord of the Dance" to "Tarzen" soundtrack to Rascal Flatts :-)

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on September 16, 2009 at 6:14 PM said...

Joan, I like Alan, too. And you could totally hear how awful he felt for not being able to do his job. So, what is a transient stroke? Do you think she'll be able to come back?

I do NOT do well with people yelling at me. I know it works for some people, but it would just make me have a nervous breakdown.

Good for you on the walking. It's been pouring rain here all day.

Joan on September 16, 2009 at 6:27 PM said...

TIA Transient Ischemic Attack. Mimics a stroke but does not last and does not usually leave residual effects like paralysis.

HOWEVER, it is often a warning sign for the potential for a true stroke...and this girl Tracy? She's only like in her THIRTIES!!!

And yelling is one thing...but when you interject all the cursing...I mean CONSTANT, BIG TIME curse words.....left me cold.

I had a trainer for a few months a couple of years ago. He pushed me (to the point of whimper) but he was NEVER disrespectful or hateful to me.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on September 16, 2009 at 7:01 PM said...

Yeah, I was a little surprised by the obvious curse word she seems like like. Not that she uses it, but that it was used in a prime-time, unscripted show that perhaps families watch together. I suspect part of it is for dramatic effect.

Michelle Butler on September 17, 2009 at 6:39 PM said...

Trish, I think NBC posts its programming on Hulu.

Theresa Ragan on September 20, 2009 at 10:44 AM said...

I love this show. I love how contestants are changed so much even if they only stay for one week! they go home more determined than ever because they see that all that hard work actually pays off! I have watched all of the Biggest Loser seasons. Love that we can talk about it each week. :)

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