Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Did somebody say DONUTS? BL12 ep2

Hello! It's that time of the week once again. T'was a somewhat action packed 2 hours of The Biggest Loser last night. The show opened with a brand spankin' new theme song by Train. You can check the song out right here. After some hype on the interwebs about the premiere of the new theme song, the moment was pretty "anti-climatic" (in the words of THE Biggest Loser blogger Jen Wielgus.) The song was only faintly heard in the background because they played scenes of the trainers yelling at their teams over the track. Oh well. Nothing was really gained or lost (no pun intended) with the new addition. 

Moving on. 

The opening scene is at the ranch. All of the "losers" are either seated or standing around the dining room table. Vinny, who sings in a band in the outside world, has his guitar out and is singing a ditty worthy of entertainment. The cast is giggling and chuckling, clearly amused by the song. His lyrics speak of higher inclines on the treadmill and etc. It was kinda cute. Then, with a "Good morning everybody!", Alison Sweeney  enters asking for three volunteers, one from each team of course. Vinny steps up for the Red team (under 30s), almost immediately. Mike from the Blue Team (50 and over) also volunteers along with Antone (former NFL linebacker) from the Black Team (in between). They are led into a room that Vinny describes as, "Homer Simpson's Hideaway". It's probably more so like Homer Simpson's Heaven. The walls are painted a strawberry cream like pink with chocolate brown literally dripping from from over head. Ridiculously large donuts are hung everywhere. The piece de resistance being a large glass case with every type of donut that you could possibly imagine. Man oh man. It ALMOST makes me want to pull out my fryer again. lol! I digress. Over the top of the glass case are three plates of DONUT HOLES (MMmmm) separated by some sort of make shift divider. It's clearly temptation challenge time. Here are the highlights of the challenge. The majority of losers choose not to eat the donuts at all. (Good job!! Woohoo!!) Game play begins as some losers decide to fake eat donuts to psyche out the other competitors. Joe decides to "make some noise and drink a lot of water", but the other team mates can see right through the act. Ramon (RED) literally smashes a few donut holes into the table (good thing since he finds out later that he is a diabetic). Johnny decides to try to fake out his competitors and begins making some noises not suitable for network television. Joe decides to do what he can to make sure that he has control of this challenge. YOWSERS! The challenge ends with Alison Sweeney saying, "Stop. Please stop." Here are the final results Blue Team: 11 donuts for 385 calories all consumed by Mike, who said that this would be his lunch. (Well played Mike. Well played.) Black Team: 37 donuts for 1,295 calories all consumed by John. (The red team was not mentioned.) John said he felt embarrassed and like a fool. Blah Blah Blah. He's playing to win and he knows it! 

Oh yea, I forgot to tell you what they are playing for. This week the teams are limited to working out only 2 hours a day. There are 3 time slots, and each team will have to stick to their time slot. 5-7am, noon-2pm, or 9-11pm. The winner of this challenge is the team that consumes the most donuts. They will get to choose the time slots for all of the teams. Alright. Since Team Black won, they chose the 5-7am time slot. They gave the blue team their desired slot of 12-2pm. When asked Why, John simply and unapologetic-ally  said, "I respect them." Ouch. The red team gets offended. 

The show moves on. 

What happens next is probably the best thing to ever happen to The Biggest Loser (besides Ms. Michaels herself). Bob Harper invades the ranch at 4:20am, with a megaphone. "Is there a black team up here?" he asks. Then he peruses the hallways screaming,"Wake up!". Then as he arrives into the ladies room, (bedroom that is) he breaks into song. Song. and dance. He sings (using that word very, very loosely) "Good morning!" while rocking side to side and bobbing his head. He then proceeds to grind dance in ways umm...not suitable for network tv. Hilarious. Sorry. It was. 
He brings them into the gym. A lot of regret is shown by the black team, but not at all by Bob. "Yep. I am so glad that you ate 37 donuts so you can work out at 5am in the morning." he says casually as he walks their tails into the gym. The workout is classic Bob Harper style but with a crazy twist. The twist is Bob. It was like Bob x1,000,000,000. He was singing, dancing, and full of evil laughs. Antone falls off the spinning bike with pure emotion. He is giving his all and it's obvious. Bob and Antone have a heart to heart. Bob says that he expects greatness out of him. He vows to push him to the max. Antone seems ready for change. Go Antone Go!!! The working out resumes. Then, a little bit more drama ensues. Sunny says that John (aka Donut Man) called her dumb. she was offended. Bob encourages her to talk it out with her team. Consequentially, a little tiff occurs outside, but nothing major. At the end of the day, they kiss and make up. Figuratively of course. 

Blue Team hits the gym. Bonnie keeps pushing though she only lost 4lbs last week. She has a bum knee, but keeps trucking to the best of her ability. Johnny claims to be having a heart attack a few times. He asks for breaks. a lot. Debbie from last week comes to mind. Anna Kournekova is pushing her team, but let's be honest. Anna has her work cut out for her with the oldie but goodies. On a brighter note, Becky is a freakin rockstar. She works, and looks clearly out of place among her the best way possible. 

Dolvett enters the ranch in this next segment. He wants to know where his red team is calorie wise to make sure they burn the "appropriate" number of calories (oh the mystery!). Then after a Yoplait product placement, it's time to hit the gym. Dolvett works the crap out of his team while the other teams are fast asleep. According to Patrick, Dolvett's "crazy switch" goes off in the gym. This is true, and I love the quotables that occur as a result. Dolvett's warmer side comes out when he has a heart to heart with Jessica. She was in a relationship for 6 yrs, engaged for 2 1/2. Apparently, the ex brought her closer and closer to food so that she would gain weight in order to appease his jealous streak. Deep. Jessica broke up with him last year after gaining 135lbs while in their relationship. It's a new start for her. 

Dr. H makes an appearance this episode. He not only gives the guests a reality check. He takes reality, opens their eyes to the facts, and shoves it up their butts (Sorry. That was an Office reference. lol LOVE that show.) He tells the beautiful (and injured) Jennifer that she is very likely to become a diabetic. He tells Ramon that he is the "sickest person on the ranch." After diagnosing Ramon with diabetes among other ailments, he also tells him that he is not going to sugar coat the truth. Ouch!! Ramon cries. I cried. It was a tough segment. 

Okay, challenge time. This challenge was a floating pinball maze in the pool. They were tasked with using their weight to guide the ball into the hole. The team with the fastest time gets a 2lb advantage. The team in second place gets a 1lb advantage. Surprise. Surprise. Black team wins first place with a time of 7min 42 sec. Red team gets second place with 7 min 45 sec. Blue team secures third place with 14 min 45 sec. 

I LOOOVE the Last Chance Workout.  Mainly because it reminds me that I too, can push myself. If they can do it. Why can't I? Also because the trainer quotables are at an all time high during the LCW. They come up with the most clever and motivational phrases. Here are my favorites.
"The Last Chance Workout doesn't go for 2 hrs. It goes for 22 hrs." - Bob 
"I want to see every member of my team give 1million percent." - Anna 
"The challenge for me right now is to think, 'Can I burn  as many calories in 2hrs like I burned in wk1 when I had 5 or 6. Can I? Can they?' You know what? I think we can!" - Dolvett
"I just always assume that everybody around me is running on all cylinders, and I've got to do exactly the same thing." - Bob 
However, the quote of the week goes to...Dolvett!! Here's the winning quote. 
"It hurts to look good. I'm in pain everyday!" Well, if The Biggest Loser doesn't work out for Dolvett I think a T-shirt line for his already successful fitness center in ATL, would be a solid plan B. I'm just saying! 

In other news, we find out during this Last Chance Workout that today is Mike and his wife's 38th wedding anniversary. Aww...

Last, but not least is the weigh in. Here are the results by team. 
Vinny  -5 (405 to 400)
Jessica -7 (239 to 232)
Courtney -7 (254 to 247)
Patrick  -6 (367 to 361)
Ramon  -9 (339 to 330)
Total 34 lbs +1lb advantage = -35lbs

Joe -2 (326 to 324)
Jennifer -6 (311 to 305)
Sunny -6 (261 to 255)
Antone -10 (415 to 405)
John -15 (408 to 393)
Total 39lbs +2lb advantage = -41lbs

Becky -5 (228 to 223)
Mike -7 (297 to 290)
Bonnie -3 (250 to 247) 
Johnny +2 (311 to 313)
Total -13lbs 

After little deliberation, Johnny from the blue team is sent home. He leaves with a silly little song that he himself wrote and sang about the next time we see him. His footage from home is impressive as he is walking pretty much everywhere and has lost a total of 59 lbs so far. Good job Johnny! This year all of the eliminated contestants return to participate with the remaining participants in a marathon. Whoever wins the marathon gets an automatic slot in the finals. So who knows, maybe Johnny will surprise us all! 

That's all for this week's episode. 

Geez. Blogging is hard work. I'm ready for a donut ;)  jk! lol 

P.s. Please check out my new blog BL Parables where I seek to tell The Truth in a way that The Biggest Loser could understand. Thanks a bunch! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Biggest Loser (season 12) Premiere

The Biggest Loser lives on without Jillian Michaels for at least for one more week. It was truly a worthy premiere starting with surprises and ending with an emotional weigh-in. And oh yes, a little crowd pleasing drama was sprinkled in the middle. It was a 2hr premiere, and I'm pretty new at this type of here is my random, oversimplified, and unpolished take/recap/thoughts on the show.

The producers decided that this season would be a "Battle of the Ages"(young ones, middle ones, and older ones.) Each group races to choose their trainers. Ahhh...the trainers. Bob needs no introduction, and actually, I'm pretty much convinced that Bob could do this in his sleep. He probably snores encouraging phrases. I joke, but I do think there is some truth to this. Bob seems to do this effortlessly, but at the same time, you can see in his eyes that he is completely invested in each and everyone of his team mates success stories. It's what makes Bob...well, Bob. He pushes his team, and as always, it pays off. Enough said. 

This season welcomes two new trainers, Anna Kournikova and Dolvett Quince. Oh Anna. She wins my heart within the first 15 minutes of the show. Truly. I'm pretty sure she pulls on everyone's heart strings. If not within the first 15 then, definitely within the first 45 minutes. Watch it. iDARE you. She has a heart for what she is doing, or at the very least, that's the impression that she is giving. The $250,000 question is, "Is that enough?" I don't really know. She seemed a little out of her league next to Bob and Dolvett, but hey the camera is a tricky beast. Only time will tell. She may have gotten the short end of the stick with her team, but her team may wind up being her greatest advantage. I'm cheering for her, and hoping that her journey is less reminiscent of Kara's journey last year. Kara was a sweetheart, but not too memorable (in any sense of the word). 

Last but not least, there was...there is Dolvett. With phrases like, "No more rookie, baby." and "I'm here to show that I'm not only qualified. I'm over qualified."; he talks the talk. I laugh because he talks the talk almost too well. He looks the part almost too much. He barks at and celebrates with his team at the right time too. Oh man. I'm telling you. He seems like the real deal, and a real compliment to Bob's style. By the way, was it just me or did Bob seem to have some extra pizzazz this season? Love it. Anyhow, I'm completely rooting for Dolvett and his team, but it's too early to tell if he will live up to his own hype. His first week results were respectable, but left a bit to be desired. (Sorry, I couldn't help but wonder what his team's results would have been under the leadership of Jillian or Bob.)

I will end with saying, this cast is great. The casting directors have a real knack for choosing participants. You can always depend on the background stories of family illnesses, newly diagnosed diabetes, and etc. Diabetes is on my HATE list for personal reasons so though we have heard all of these story lines before, it still gets to me a bit. This season opens with  the epitome of tragedy...from what I know, never before has the show seen this type of situation. It's heart wrenching, and the consequential resolve is captivating. Watch it. With that being said, there's more than a LITTLE bit of the same old, same old. You have your former professional athlete, older person with knee issues, and you can easily spot the first one to go...almost as quickly as when the participant is introduced. There must be a not-so top secret Biggest loser casting formula somewhere. With that being said, it's the trainers and personalities that give the show a little extra umph that makes it even more of a success. 

I think we are in for a heck of a season. 

What are your thoughts?

Monday, September 19, 2011

One blog at a time.

I suck at blogging. Inconsistency kills a blog, and well, I just keep going as in pursuit of perpetual inconsistency. So I've decided that a lesson in discipline would be for me to blog...habitually, a la Julia&Julia. It would make sense for me to blog through a cookbook, but frankly, that's too much commitment for me.

Baby steps, people. Baby steps.

Therefore, I have decided to blog about a tv show. A once a week obligation that involves lazily sitting at my laptop after watching a beloved tv program on said couch with said lazyness pretty much sounds like a good time. In the spirit of the Sheen roast, winning? Oh yes. I think so.

It just so happens that Season 12 premiere of The Biggest Loser airs tomorrow. Coincidence? I think not. It's funny because as much as I LOVE The Biggest Loser, I tend to dislike it. This will be a good discipline for me because I'll have to work through those feelings versus dissing (do people even say that anymore? lol) the show for a couple of weeks. I shall blog through the good, the bad, and the skinny as I forge ahead in my own weight loss efforts. Sounds like a plan. It would be great to have some company so feel free to stop by anytime..and when you're done, you may want to check out the real deal, .

Let her know that I sent ya.

Ok, don't let her know that I sent ya. She won't know me. It just sounded like the right thing to say. lol


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

BIG and the missing ingredient.

After a bit of sleeping in this morning, I watched some Kitchen Nightmares and some MasterChef. (Apparently, I'm a big Gordon Ramsay fan. Who would have thunk it?) Anyhow, after spontaneously baking and devouring a few Curry Cherry Sugar Cookies that were surprisingly edible, and maybe even delicious.  I knew it was time to turn off the food shows and get out of the house. One catch. My knee is still feeling a bit vengeful after my bright idea of taking 5-6 Zumba classes in a 24hr period last week. I ignored it yesterday; that turned out being a bad idea. Today, the gym was out of the question.

Instead, I fluffed my BIG hair, put on my BIG funky earrings, and finished my otherwise plain outfit (green T and denim skirt) with my beloved BIG "London Bag" and set out to run errands; after a quick photo shoot with my cell phone. I couldn't help it. Geez. It felt good. It felt good to be me, BIG, fluffy haired, funky yet shy, and zany me. I didn't hold a grudge with myself for eating those weirdo cookie...okay, cookieS. Neither did I weigh myself to see what damage I may have done as of late. I gave myself the permission to smile and live, which eventually led me to Barnes and Nobles.

Is that the bookstore that's closing? Oh I hope not.

Anyhow, I walked directly to the health and fitness section. LightPages being primarily a fitness related journal, I felt pretty official as I decided that this was market research. It felt better to realize that I truly want to start something, something BIG. Therefore, this was true, not an excuse for spending hours doing anything to do something.

Anyhow, I even took out my little purple notepad, appropriately adorned with the word "LOVE" on the cover. I made note of the covers there in that section. For the most part, I hated what I saw. Yup. I said it. HATED it.

Most of the covers, had these absolutely unrealistic looking thin and/or muscular people on the cover. The subliminal title on them was, "C'mon. Buy this book, so you can look like me." The problem is that we won't. No matter how much weight we lose. Jillian Michaels is Jillian Michaels. Bob Harper is Bob Harper. Jennifer Hudson is Jennifer Hudson. You are YOU. I am me. Not only do we all have different body types, we also have different lifestyles. We have different obligations and different schedules. Okay, okay. Here also is my disclaimer. None of the above is an excuse to remain inactive and unhealthy. It's not an excuse to eat curry cherry sugar cookies all day every day. ;) Point taken? I hopes so.
I also noticed that recipes and diet plans are EVERYWHERE. I mean EVERYWHERE. They were all over the health and fitness section. They even had another section specifically labeled "Diet". In case you needed more, there were two walls of cookbooks. It's amazing to me that cookbooks even sell anymore considering there are blogs (like this one) with recipes, recipe mags at the grocery store, and heck, Google even has a recipe search engine. Yikes. I made note of all of this too.
Somewhere between that section of the bookstore and the business section. (Got to get my marketing fix) it smacked me in the face like a banana cream pie. Seth Godin, modern day marketing genius, says that you should be remarkable and outrageous, so here it goes. I am becoming more and more convinced that the missing ingredient in America's weight loss is simply love. Now let's all hold hands and sing, "Kumbaya". Haha...let's not.
Truthfully though, I dare to believe that my declaration is true. Scare tactics aren't working. The gazillion recipes and diet plans that surround us aren't helping. The peer pressure book covers aren't helping either. I saw a Facebook post the other day about how watching X amount of TV everyday cuts X amount of time off of your life. True story. I read it with my own eyes. Then there was a post about what the inside of your body looks like when you are obese. Eew. Honestly, I didn't even want to see the outsides of my body when I was obese, much less the insides. The pic is circulating quite quickly among fitness bloggers that are working on losing weight.

I don't get it. Call me a rebel, but I don't want to get it. I downright refuse.

Please, oh PLEASE allow me to stand on my soapbox and SCREAM, "Your scare tactics do not work!". If scare tactics worked, we would have been a fit country a long time ago. Stories of our loved ones dying prematurely due to weight related issues would have done it. And when I say "done it", I'm not referring to the lose 20lbs now, gain 25lbs later that I am oh-so guilty of. I'm referring to gaining a whole new lifestyle, a healthy sustainable lifestyle guided by love. There goes that word again. Love makes a difference.

I know that to be true. Love was my first step. Love for God motivates me to do my best to take care of what He has entrusted to me. Love for my husband and the children that we will someday  had a lot to do with it. The love for others inspires me to be an example, not of perfection but of possibility. The love of my style empowers me to seek out healthy habits that fits me, and is therefore more sustainable. The love of my body moves me to appreciation even while surrounded by pics of supermodels and fitness buffs. There is so much consequence in that thought, but I'm going to tie everything in by saying this. Remember the mention of my BIG earrings and BIG hair? It's about more than my frizzy curls and retro earrings from my beloved thrift store. It's about appreciating who I am for the woman that God created, appreciating who I am for me. It's appreciating it all, celebrating it all, as I better it. Weight loss is not about changing who you are. You are who God created you to be. He can change us, but that's not what I'm referring to. I'm referring to the fact that you are not going to transform to Jillian Michaels after losing 75lbs. However, you can better yourself by being a 75lb lighter version of yourself. You can have a voice that speaks with the accent of your unique background and experiences.

Maybe that's what God was trying to teach me today. As I seek to start something BIG, along with keeping Christ first in all things, I need to embrace and celebrate the unique voice that He has given me. How's that for remarkable and outrageous?

At the moment I'm sitting in our home office blogging and wondering what's next for me. I quit my job almost 2 weeks ago, but that's probably not a surprise. You may be wondering what's next. In a lot of ways, I am too.

However, this I know. Whether I ever make money off of this or not, I have the passion and thus responsibility to share this with others. Fitness doesn't have to be about the Sargent like commands of boot camps or the isolation of the Biggest Loser. It can be about love. It can be about living, living now, not seeking to live later once the excess weight is gone. I believe reaching and maintaining that healthy weight range is possible. And yes, I still believe Matthew 5:16 is possible. I believe we can be light. This is the message that I hope to share with LightPages, but whether or not I make a sale, I will continue to try to innovate ways to love, encourage, and empower us to keep reaching for our health and fitness goals. I am  crazy enough to be fully convinced that we are strong enough, beautiful, and oh-so deserving to live these goals into life.