Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Biggest Loser Cheerleaders

When you try to lose weight, it's important to have people supporting you, keeping you pumped up -- cheerleaders, if you will. This week on The Biggest Loser, we got to witness team cheerleaders in action.

O'Neal, as soon as he saw Sunshine was still on the blue team after last week's vote, launched into a big inspirational speech to his new teammates. And during the reward challenge, when both teams had to pull a semi truck while one member of each team picked up puzzle pieces, he inspired them once again when he struggled past them despite his bum knee, helping them toward winning the free year of groceries.

On the black team, Sam, the only guy on the team, continued his efforts to keep his team believing they could win challenges and weigh-ins. And Sherry and Cheryl, who have become very close, continued to inspire each other. Their friendship was very heartwarming to see.

The contestants got a taste of what things will be like when they return home with Work Week. Everyone had to get up really early, work out, then ride the bus into L.A., where they worked a full week of 8-hour days at the L.A. Regional Food Bank. The limited gym time and the preparation it took to get healthful lunches ready to take with them really brought home the challenges of continuing healthy habits while living real life filled with jobs and family commitments. But, as we would see at the weigh-in, it is possible.

I liked how Steve, the food bank employee, came to talk to the contestants, and they shared their weight-loss tips with him. I really hope he's able to start on his own journey to a healthier lifestyle.

This week's weigh-in only saw two people, Koli and Lance, pull a double-digit loss with 10 pounds each. Lance was able to break through the 300-pound barrier and bid it adieu for the last time. The next highest weight losses were 9 pounds for Michael and Daris, 8 for Ashley, and 7 for Sunshine and Drea. Sam (4) and Stephanie (3) put up the smallest numbers, and Sam wasn't happy. But Jillian was quick to point out that Sam has lost so much fat weight that now his pound losses are going to decrease because he's building muscle. In the end, the black team lost the weigh-in and it was Cheryl who was sent home. Her dear friend, Sherry, was immune from the vote since she had the highest percentage weight loss this week.

While watching reactions to the weigh-in, a part of me worried that the early weeks of big numbers sets up unrealistic expectations of losing big numbers all throughout the show even though anyone who has watched the show knows the numbers decrease as the weeks left on the show decrease. I think we have to realize that in the real world, any week with a weight loss (whether it's 1 pound or 10) is a good week.

What did you think of last night's episode? Any predictions for the weeks to come?


Michelle Butler on March 10, 2010 at 10:04 AM said...

I really liked last night's episode (missed the first 15 or so minutes though.) I love how we are getting to see the transformational moments (inner and outer) now - seeing the lessons the contestants have learned.

I found the scene with Steve from the foodbank very moving. I think it's what the show is all about at its heart: Giving hope to folks who have lost it that this healthy lifestyle is possible and can happen if you try, are patient and persist. I found last night's episode extremely inspiring, and I am grateful for that. I do think you have to take the show as a metaphor though and not expect the numbers they show. I'm never going to lose 5 or more pounds in a week and shouldn't expect it/can't let that thought play with my mind.

I think they set up early that we should think it was going to be Oneal/Sunshine or Cherly and Sherry going home at the end. I really do like Oneal/Sunshine - and am pulling for all of the contestants.

I can't say I have a favorite yet. I'm not sure who is going to win. It has to be someone who has the potential to lose more than 50% of their starting weight - so it'll come down to height vs. starting weight.

Sam does not even look like a fat person anymore. It's amazing. I also love that they show the where is the booted out contestant now at the end. So inspiring.

Michelle Butler on March 10, 2010 at 10:57 AM said...

From The Programming Insider:

NBC's The Biggest Loser, which always scores among adults 18-49, was on the Tuesday map with a 5.5/ 8 in the overnights from 8-10 p.m. But week two of lead-out Parenthood dipped to a second-place 4.5/ 8 at 10 p.m. -- 24 percent below it's week-ago series opener (5.5/ 9 on March 2). Since ABC's The Forgotten (3.6/ 6) finished last in the time period, Parenthood is not labeled a "loser." But retention out of the 9:30 p.m. portion of The Biggest Loser (6.2/ 9) was a modest 73 percent. Let's wait and see what happens next week.

As for The Biggest Loser, here is the half-hour breakdown:

The Biggest Loser (NBC)
8:00 p.m.: 5.1/ 8 (#3)
8:30 p.m.: 4.9/ 7 (#3)
9:00 p.m.: 5.9/ 9 (#3)
9:30 p.m.: 6.2/ 9 (#3)

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on March 10, 2010 at 1:50 PM said...

I agree about the giving of hope to people who have lost it, Michelle. Another thing that strikes me (and it's so true!) is that so many people say they look at themselves one day and wonder, "How did this happen to me?"

Michelle Butler on March 10, 2010 at 2:08 PM said...

I think that's why there is so much written about mindfulness and awareness in the how to lose weight/stop emotional eating books I've read. You need to make conscious some of your unconscious decisions/eating behaviors - and the unacknowledged emotions that are driving them.

It really didn't "happen to you". Your behavior made it happen. It's hard to come to terms with and figure out how to stop your "unconscious" behaviors - at least it was for me.

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