Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Biggest Loser 12: Halloween Treats and a Nasty Trick

The Halloween episode of Biggest Loser was hyped all week, and it did not disappoint. Well, it did at the end...but more on that later in this post.

Gotta love Alison Sweeney as the Bride of Frankenstein, a combination of scary and beautiful as only Ali can do. It's a real gift to dress like that and still be gorgeous. Ali won't have to settle just for Frankie...her creepy milkshake will bring all the monsters to the yard.

Of course there were many twists and turns to the week, including all of the players working together as one and working out with all three trainers. My evil Halloween wish came true as Bob put Bonnie through hell. Actually it sounded like he was squeezing a black cat through the ringer, so this turned out to be part trick/part treat.

The maze challenge actually looked like a lot of fun, even with all of the stipulations placed on the contest. Antone was definitely NOT a graveyard smash as he made his way through the maze. He refused to enter the cemetery section even though it was all completely fake. I have a feeling we're going to learn more about his aversion to headstones in a future episode. Thankfully his hesitation didn't cost the group their win. It looked like losing 90 pounds as a whole was going to be a piece of apple cider cake. However...

Something stranger than strange happened on the way to the weigh-in. Almost everybody pulled low numbers on the scale. Then Sunny stepped up and GAINED 5 pounds. Funny how nobody except Bob seemed really upset. Even Sunny's cry of "I don't know what's going on" seemed as fake as the graves in the maze. As player after player did not pull their weight, something smelled rotten on the ranch...and it wasn't from corpses left lying around from the Halloween festivities.

In the last couple of weeks it seems that certain players wound up with targets on their backs. It certainly felt that way when Courtney was sent home, but even more so this week. The other players ganged up on Jennifer and accused her of all kinds of things, like not working out hard with anyone except Bob, not being a team player, even not chanting along with Dolvett and company. She was hit by one nasty comment after another, telling her she was bad energy in the house and a major distraction.

Now, I don't know what they're all seeing, but I see someone who has issues and is working to overcome them. I also see those issues in ALL of the contestants. As I well know, you don't get to be that overweight without having demons that need to be dealt with. As for Vinny yelling at Jen for supposedly not chanting well with others, I saw differently. Jen did participate in the group exercise with Dolvett and I saw (and heard) her speak. One time did I see her not say the words - and it was because she had tears in her eyes. I don't know about you, but I've been there. You have so much emotion running through you that you can't move for a few moments. She was trying her darndest to shout out with everyone, but for that one moment her emotions got the best of her. She did not lie to Vinny; most of the time she WAS speaking. (Plus, after covering past seasons of Biggest Loser I can vouch for the fact that there is more to it than what you see on TV...everyone should be given benefit of doubt.)

Also, I see a strong woman who had a fracture in her leg that could have kept her from doing her best...but she didn't let it stop her. She learned how to work around it and still lose the weight. Yes, Bob was the one who originally showed her the way. But it was still Jen who did the work. How quickly her team forgets that she contributed big numbers at the previous weigh-ins, all without the use of her leg. She lost more at times than others who had both of their legs in working order. So the emotional baggage she came to the ranch with was bad, but theirs was OK? WRONG. It certainly looked like the majority of the players threw the weigh-in so they could send her home.

They got their wish - but you can't keep a good woman down. She was down 102 pounds at the time of filming and wearing a gorgeous green wrap dress that shows how far she's come. I really loved hearing her at the elimination as Alison told her she was not the Biggest Loser and she answered, "Not YET." There is still a marathon to be run at the beginning of December, and I hope and pray that Jennifer kicks all of their behinds and wins that spot in the finals.

So even though her "team" played a mean Halloween trick on her, Jen is turning it into her own personal treat. The ultimate sweetness will come at the finale, and with the new life she is creating for herself. We can all learn from Jen how to persevere even when other people don't understand. Keep on rockin' it, girl!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Biggest Loser 12 Challenge- Week 5!

Here we are, 5 weeks into our #BL12Challenge. Time once again to check the progress after all of our hard work, as we pray for good results.

I lost 1.4 pounds this week, putting me at 8.8 gone for the Challenge. All of the walking, spinning, and Pilates have paid off with a lower number on the scale...but also as tangible proof of my effort I can fit into some clothes that were too tight before. This not only has me overjoyed, but keeps me motivated to stick with it. Of course, my body feels so much better from all of the workouts that I was already motivated!

How did you do this week? Please post a comment here or on Twitter at #BL12Challenge. I want all of us - not just the contestants - to rock the finale!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Biggest Loser 12: It's Always Sunny in Texas - But Not Necessarily on the Ranch!

"I wanna be a cowboy, and you can be my cowgirl..."

Do you remember that song by Boys Don't Cry? Apparently, neither do cowgirls. (Just ask Brooks & Dunn/Reba!)

On this week's Biggest Loser, Sunny proved that cowgirls don't cry, even when they're ordered by their trainer to carry huge bags of horse feed up the stairs. (Horse feed's better than horse sh...oh, never mind.) Since she won the "Price Is Right" style challenge in which she got to take Bob home to Texas for a week, she also took on the responsibility for her entire team. Only her weight would count at the weigh-in.

Bob charmed all of Sunny's friends and family, at least up until the moment at the BBQ restaurant when he ordered for everyone because the menu offered little in the way of vegetables and other healthy foods. Awkward! Bob got his payback for that when Sunny made him ride the mechanical bull, which was kind of hot, by the way. BBQ can be healthy if you stay away from ribs and order chicken or lean brisket...but you also need to watch for the side dishes. Hopefully the place where Sunny's family eats will add salads (other than 3-Bean) and less fattening sides...if they know what's good for them.

Since Bob grew up on a farm, he really put Sunny thru the paces. He had way too much fun making her push trucks and lift those feed bags! But a special moment came in her local gym. Sunny flashed back to being in that gym before and having a bunch of teenagers making fun of her. She spilled her guts to Bob and worked through it.

Even though I live in Ohio, I can completely relate to Sunny. She has a husband and son who are really active and would like her to join them, but she always stayed home because she was embarrassed. She remembered being in shape when she first got married, but over time she let things get away from her. I also have an active husband and son, and my son always wants to know why I don't accompany them on bike rides and such. I am working on it, since I've started spin classes I'm getting stronger and will soon be able to join them. (I do occasionally play tennis with them, but need improvement! Oh, Anna???) When I would go walking in my neighborhood or other places, I often had kids, teens, and even adults yell out nasty comments to me. Yes, it hurt a lot. It still gets to me occasionally, but most of the time I work past that and keep on moving. I will have the last laugh as I become fitter each day!

Sunny needed to lose at least 7 pounds to keep her team safe from elimination. Well - she lost 14! Her teammates were thrilled, especially since while she and Bob were gone they had some issues with each other. (I still want to know how Dr. Dre could have helped. Hmm...) She truly did crush the competition...all by herself.

I know I'm learning a valuable lesson from Sunny, as are many of you. We can do more than we think we can. Keep on pushing, and we can make it happen!

And I'll be Bob's cowgirl anytime...whether he wants me to or not!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Biggest Loser 12 Challenge: How Did You Do in Week 4?

Can you believe we're a month into Biggest Loser 12...and our #BL12Challenge? Before you know it December will be here and the finale will be upon us!

So how did you do this week?

At my house, this morning's date with the scale produced a one pound loss. I know a lot of people think a pound is nothing, but I beg to differ. Pick up a one pound weight or a tub of butter (at the grocery store...don't have that butter in your house!) and really feel how much is there. Think about having one less pound of butter, or Crisco, or whatever, on your body. That's progress!

Also remember that it all adds up. If you lost "only" one pound each week, at the end of a year you'd be 52 pounds lighter. You would certainly be in much better shape than you were 365 days ago, so be thankful for every single ounce that comes off.

So please share your victories with me, both on and off the scale. It all contributes to a happier, healthier, better you!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Biggest Loser 12: There's Something About Hannah & Injury Is Not An Excuse

This week was special for the Biggest Loser contestants...and also for those of us at home.

Three favorites from past seasons came back to the ranch to help the players out. While I adore Marci and Adam and am very motivated by them, the third person in the group inspires me the most.

There's just something about Hannah.

What is it about her? Well, I think so many of us can see ourselves in Hannah. She had once been a fit athlete, but she let an injury force her to the sidelines - not only on the volleyball court, but in life. She let the situation with her back keep her down, long after the healing process had taken place. Her fears kept her from making a comeback...that is, of course, until last season's Biggest Loser.

Little did she know that when she had her breakthrough moment with that backbend, she was causing a breakthrough for others, including me. Just because you've been injured in the past doesn't mean you have to sit out the rest of your life. There may be some recovery time, but after that you can do much more than you think.

It really resonated with me last night when she told the Black team that she felt as if she had unzipped her fat suit and stepped out of it. I've often sensed that the thin person I once was is waiting to come out and play - participate in life. Every couple of weeks feels like I've peeled off another layer...not just a layer of fat, but a layer of insecurity. I get out and do more than I used to, and I feel better about myself while doing it. I'd love to have Hannah's BL Success poster hanging by my treadmill and elliptical as a visual reminder of where I'm headed. But even without that, her influence is burned into my mind.

For years after my car accident, I let aches and pains keep me from getting things done. Over time, especially this past year, I'm discovering just how much my body is capable of. I'm stronger than I realized, and it's an amazing feeling to discover it on a daily basis.

Speaking of injury, have you noticed how current contestant Jennifer is rocking it...even with a major leg injury? She doesn't let it stop her from working out. She works around it and does everything that she IS able to do. The weight is still coming off even though she can't run on the treadmill and is limited in challenge participation. This week she lost 7 pounds!

I think back to all of the times when I used injuries as an excuse. Even headaches held me back at one point. It feels silly now to think I let minor hurts prevent me from exercising, especially when watching Jennifer work around something much worse. Her determination is a lesson to all of us - even when you can't do certain things, you can always do SOMETHING.

I look forward to the day when Jennifer's transformation poster is up on the gym wall beside Hannah's. No excuses - EVER!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Biggest Loser 12 Challenge: Week 3!!

We've been doing the #BL12Challenge for 3 weeks now. Hopefully you're seeing results from your switch to healthier habits, and it should be a little easier to give up the bad ones.

My weekly weigh-in was this morning, and I'm down another 1.4 pounds. Definitely better than last week...and I've now lost 6.4 pounds since we started the challenge. I can feel my clothes getting looser and my body getting stronger as the days go on.

Yes, I still have a bad day once in a while, but I pray my way through it. I ask God to help me turn it into a good day instead of letting a rotten mood take over and make things worse. I refuse to let the crappy moments get me down. It's amazing how much better your day can get when you pray and set your mind to positive thoughts!

So - how did you do this week? Leave me a comment and let me know so we can celebrate your progress too!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Biggest Loser 12 - Get To The Heart

Last night, Biggest Loser got right to the heart of the matter...and they used football to do it.

This season some of the contestants started digging deeper earlier than usual. We're not that far into the episodes yet, but already getting into the core issues that players have covered up in layers of extra weight.

I can relate.

Dolvett noticed that Vinny was giving everything he had in the gym, and he couldn't help but wonder what got him into his current condition. They had a long conversation, in which Vinny revealed that his stepfather used to beat him constantly and without mercy. Not only that, Vinny wondered why his mom never stepped in to stop the abuse. He's having a hard time forgiving her because she is the one person who should have protected him.

For me this hits home - not because of my parents, who were always kind and loving, but due to cruel classmates. I did get kicked a few times, but most of it was mental abuse. I retreated further into my shell with every remark. I always wondered why the friends I did have didn't speak up. Occasionally I would stand up for myself, but never really became outgoing or confident around my peers. It's taken me years to move through this...and sometimes I still fight those feelings.

The other big moment for me was watching Antone work through his feelings being around all of the other NFL players and dealing with his emotions. I know the feeling well. Even though I was not a football player (obviously) I still had those glory days in a different form. After I got out of high school I lost 65 pounds and really allowed myself to shine. Ten years later my mom passed away and I started putting weight back on. Very often I run into people that knew me then - at my best - and I wonder what they think of me now. Just like Antone, I have to deal with those who are still at the top of their game while I'm working to up my own, back to top form.

The key for me is to remember where I've been, and know that not only can I do it again, but with God's help I can surpass that and be my true best. Sometimes we have to be broken, but when we are put back together we are stronger in the broken places and can help others with their journeys.

I will be watching what Vinny and Antone do next, cheering and praying for them all the way. We are all in this lifeboat together, and only those who really get to the heart will succeed.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Biggest Loser Season 12 Challenge: Week 2

The second week of our #BL12Challenge is complete. As we get ready to watch the 3rd episode tonight, let's reflect on our own personal journeys.

My moment on the scale this morning showed a .4 pound loss. No, it's not much, but still a step in the right direction and puts me at 5 pounds lost so far for the challenge. I know I did well with my exercise this week, but a couple of my food choices could have been better. (Maybe I got too confident when that piece of birthday cake didn't affect me...and tested my body a little too much!) As I move forward this week, I'm going over what I did right and figuring out where I went wrong. I want next week's numbers to be much better!

How about you? Let me know how you did on the challenge this week!