Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Everything's Bigger in Texas

This week, the contestants on The Biggest Loser went on another of their special trips to inspire people just like us. This time, they headed to Texas, famous for everything being bigger than everywhere else. But Texas could benefit from being a bit smaller in one statistic -- five of the 10 fattest cities in the country are in Texas. So the contestants took their stories to radio stations and invited people to come run a 5K with them at the Cotton Bowl. Before the 5K, Alison shared some more startling statistics:

* Soon, 75% of Texans will be overweight or obese.
* Texans pay out $10 billion a year to treat obesity-related health issues. Just think of what good that $10 billion could do elsewhere if everyone was a healthy weight.

One of the things Ashley said while on the radio is a motto I think we should live by and share anytime we can: "You have to start somewhere."

I found the 5K inspiring. There was the 35-year-old gal sharing her family's history of diabetes with O'Neal. Koli talking to the man who'd been inspired by the show to start losing weight on his own. Koli and Sam going back to finish the race with CJ, the woman with the two bad knees -- it took her more than 2 hours to finish, but she was so determined. I think what she said when she finished will resonate with a lot of Americans: "I can't even walk through Walmart. I have to take a cart. And I just walked a 5K!" Michael telling his white team that the high of losing weight is addictive and that "it's the littlest things that make the biggest difference."

During these weeks when they're not at the ranch, the contestants have to find time and unique ways of getting in exercise. Ashley, Daris and Michael -- the three contestants who don't have team members left to push them -- walked many, many flights of stairs in their hotel. It honestly made me wish I had a high-rise hotel next door so I could go see how many flights I could walk. :)

I got a lot of good laughs out of the immunity challenge in which the contestants had to herd calves into their shoots. I was betting on Daris because I think he's from Oklahoma and seemed like maybe he'd been around ranches more than anyone. He came close, but with other teams working together, he came in a little short. Had to crack up at Sam's and Michael's reactions -- such city boys. LOL! With Sam's help, Koli won immunity (which he really needed since he only lost one pound this week).

Abby from last season invited Jillian to speak at a high school, and I worried that the open Q&A forum wasn't going to go over well. After all, this is high school and teens typically don't want to do anything that makes them stand out as different in an uncool way. But one overweight girl was brave enough to stand up in front of her peers and admit she wasn't happy and had always been told she couldn't accomplish things like weight loss and feeling good about herself. My heart broke for her. Jillian took her aside afterward and spoke to her, gave her a bit of inspiration from someone who'd been there. Hard to believe Jillian was ever anything but incredibly fit, but evidently she was. Jillian shared with the students a truly scary fact -- today's teens are the first generation in history to have a lower life expectancy than their parents.

We saw fairly low numbers at the weigh-in this week (1, 4, 5, 5, 6) with the exception of Michael's 15-pound loss. He thanked Daris for making him walk the stairs and said, "I love going on vacation." Not only has Michael lost a lot of weight, uncovering the guy he is physically underneath, but he's finding more and more of his happy, funny guy each week. As the weigh-in came to a close, a lot of tears were shed since both members of the yellow team, O'Neal and Sunshine, fell below the yellow line. As expected, O'Neal asked everyone to vote for him, and as far as we saw everyone respected that wish. I loved the transformation moment for O'Neal. He's lost a total of 139 pounds and is looking great, can do so many things he couldn't before going on The Biggest Loser. He's really a neat guy, and I'm happy for him and his family and all the people he's going to touch with his story.

Next week is makeover week. I love makeover week!

What did you like/not like about this week's episode? And are you a fan of makeover week?

Oh, and I read a spoiler a couple of weeks ago. I know which two of the contestants are dating, but I won't spoil it here.

9 comments:

Elise Hayes on April 28, 2010 at 8:48 AM said...

Thanks for the write-up, Trish! I'm going to make a real effort to see at least part of the show next week--it's been about 6 weeks since I last watched and I bet the differences are HUGE. So sorry to hear that O'Neal was the one to leave, but I do feel like he has the grit and determination to carry on on his own.

Michelle Butler on April 28, 2010 at 9:10 AM said...

I thought last night's episode was the most inspiring of the entire season. I loved, loved, loved seeing "regular people" pushing themselves out of their comfort zone/fears and finding the courage to try.

The 5K walkers moved me, but nothing tops the young lady finding the courage to speak out at the high school assembly. Wow. You could see the "mean girls" snickering about her behind her back. I hope I would have been brave enough to stand up and clap for her as the girl in the white was. I hope she is able to make some progress.

Honestly, the contestant stuff seemed anti-climatic. They really are in a system that completely supports and enables them to lose - one that's just not possible for 99.9% of obese people. I don't begrudge them at all, and it's beautiful to watch their journeys. It's just not replicable in the exact same way - it's a metaphor as I love to say.

I actually think Oneal leaving is the best thing that can happen for Sunshine. She needs more independence. And, it had to be good for Oneal's psyche to hear what folks had to say about him.

Yvonne on April 28, 2010 at 9:43 AM said...

I haven't been religious about watching this season, so I've been enjoying the recaps here! Thanks for doing them.

And the makeover shows are my favorites, too. I'll make sure to watch next week!

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on April 28, 2010 at 10:01 AM said...

Elise, I think you'll be absolutely amazed at the difference. When you see it week to week, it's impressive but not as much so when you see those beginning photos and photos of the contestants now.

Michelle, I saw those girls in the background too. I wanted to smack them. Kids can be so mean to each other, and from all I've read it's only gotten worse.

And I think you're right about Sunshine. While she was obviously upset, I think it also was wonderful how she told him she was strong and she'd be okay. I just love that team. They seem like such wonderful people, ones you'd love to have as friends and neighbors.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on April 28, 2010 at 10:03 AM said...

Yvonne, I'm glad you're enjoying the recaps. I'm really looking forward to next week's show. I think it's so cool to see the contestants see themselves in a new light. Yes, they see themselves in the mirror every day, see the weight coming off. But they're really starting a whole new life, and a new look really symbolizes that. It's a new, fresh beginning.

Michelle Butler on April 28, 2010 at 10:29 AM said...

I've found myself thinking about the high school girl a lot. I got the impression it was family members telling her she was meant to be fat - and that was so sad. That bit that Jillian said about people putting their problems onto her was thougth-provoking and made me think of a Martha Beck Column in the last 6 months or so of O Magazine. I do really hope she is able to make a better life for herself.

Michelle Butler on April 28, 2010 at 10:48 AM said...

From the programming insider:

Over at NBC, The Biggest Loser averaged a 5.0/ 8 in the overnights from 8-10 p.m., building by half-hour as follows:

The Biggest Loser (NBC)
8:00 p.m.: 4.2/ 6 (#4)
8:30 p.m.: 4.5/ 7 (#4)
9:00 p.m.: 5.4/ 8 (#4)
9:30 p.m.: 5.9/ 9 (#4)

Given the severity of the competition, this is a respectable performance. Aforementioned Parenthood capped off the night for NBC with a second-place 4.4/ 7 at 10 p.m. While that may sound weak, keep in mind that Parenthood always manages to generate interest among adults 18-49.

And, I'm looking forward to makeover week too.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on April 28, 2010 at 4:30 PM said...

Michelle, I got that impression about the girl's family too. And that is incredibly sad. It's so hard for kids/teens to rise above a toxic/unhealthy situation at home. Until they are of legal age, they're trapped in that environment. I hope not only her but her family can make some positive changes.

Diane Gaston on April 29, 2010 at 10:57 AM said...

I admit I cried during this one, both for the 5kers and the high school girl. I hope she'll hold Jillian's genuine caring and support in her heart and have the courage to change.

I think one thing The Biggest Loser shows all of us is that we can do more, BE more, than we ever thought we cought. It is my current favorite of these reality show competitions.

I can't wait for makeover week. Michael and Daris have serious hotty potential, with good haircuts!!!

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