Wednesday, October 01, 2008

"The Biggest Loser" and me: Fitness on the road

This week the contestants traveled to the Grand Canyon. One duo wins a calorie-guessing challenge to be able to sleep in a fancy RV and the rest of them have nice tents and cots and sleeping bags, but of course we hear a lot of whining from people who are unhappy because they can't plug in their curling irons. If the winners of the challenge had been smarter, they might have at least offered to share their shower facilities with the rest of the crew to help build some goodwill. As it is, they have a huge target on their back the next time they lose a weigh-in.

Speaking of the weigh-in, one person gained again this week, but unlike last time, there was a very logical explanation for it. We heard about it earlier in the show, but when the gainer is standing on the scale, of course he takes all the blame on himself instead of mentioning it. There are a couple of surprise twists at this week's elimination.

The biggest theme this week was being flexible with fitness. The contestants didn't have access to their gym, and even though they got a big pile of exercise mats, resistance bands, and medicine balls, the contestants had obviously never used this kind of equipment before and had no idea what to do with it. They halfheartedly tried to play catch with the five-pound medicine balls, which only resulted in a bloody nose for one of the contestants. They spent some time walking around the campsite, but none of them knew what to do without their trainers there. Of course the trainers were angry and showed them exactly what they could have done with the equipment when they got back, but it would have been a heck of a lot more effective if they had been taught how to use the equipment before the trip. I was as surprised as Bob and Jillian that no one went hiking in the Grand Canyon. They did do a challenge there, but otherwise, the Grand Canyon didn't figure into the show much, except for a cheesy metaphor about change over time.

I don't blame the contestants for losing focus on a trip. I always pack workout clothes for my business trips, but invariably I'm too tired from traveling and long days of training to actually put those clothes on and do anything. Usually on road trips I eat too much junk, get too little exercise, and arrive home exhausted. My biggest concession to fitness is usually to walk the concourses instead of taking the little airport train if I have time. I'll pack the exercise clothes again and see if I can do better this time.

I'll also bring my journal and points finder. I went over my points by 7 yesterday, though in FitDay I only went over my calorie range by 89. The difference is that yesterday was kind of a high-fat day, and I had about one serving of vegetables. This week was kind of a wash, weight-wise. My weight loss percentage was easy to figure out this time: 0%. At least it wasn't a gain, though. We'll see how I do on my own roadtrip, and maybe next week I'll have a loss.


  1. It is like Jillian and Bob don't learn from season to season.

    Based on the fact that there seems to be some type of trip or weird week thing - I would think that they would give them a list of things (the first week) that they can do on their own with NO equipment what so ever. AND have one workout every week that is NOT based on the gym. That is based on nothing but themselves, the ground, and air. I would.

    But, the fact that no one was smart enough to WALK is beyond me. I would have walked MILES.

    It really shows the disconnect that these people have from taking IT on their own shoulders vs someone standing there telling them what to do. That they just sat on their butts because no one was there to tell them otherwise.

    Don’t misunderstand me – I am very much pro-trainers. It is also interesting that (3 out of 5, I think) the people that have gone home so far – immediately got local trainers. I think this was VERY smart of them – because of the time deadline and the $$$. It would be interesting to know – on past seasons – how many did IT on their own and how many had a personal trainer. So many people think that you have to be a world class athlete to have a trainer. And a trainer is an asset to anyone, at any level.

    It was also interesting that they did not show/ talk about what everyone did for food and water on their trip.

    I think that the Jerry situation really did a flip flop.

    When the season started - it really had the feel that some producer somewhere was setting the scene for an emergency trip to the ER by putting him on the show. A true collapse waiting to happen - as in life threatening.

    But the way things ended up - it was a true example that ANYONE can turn their life around - no matter how bad things are. When one has gotten themselves into a true mess and feels hopeless - it is so hard to make that much of a change. He is the most inspiring person that I have seen so far (this season or last season) specifically because he was in the worst shape and dug himself out of his hole.

  2. Vickie, you may have walked miles but many really obese people find that to be exhausting and they're not mentally conditioned to think hiking is fun. I know it's not on my list even though you dont' need special equipment, just good footwear and water.

    Jen, I hope your trip goes well. Check in when you can :)

  3. I think walking would be a heck of a lot easier than what they put themselves through in the gyn with the trainers every day - walking on their own - they could have rested and rested. It doesn't seem like they get very many breaks with the trainers.

  4. Actually as I think about this more - the mind set is very interesting.

    At 150 pounds - I can NOT imagine being on a treadmill with someone else controlling the speed and screaming in my ear to keep going. To be 200, 300, 400 pounds and have that happen - is impossible to even consider.

    To be able to walk on my own - control the speed - take rests whenever I want - pee in the convenient bushes (they looked like they were in the middle of no where!) seems very doable.

    Yet they do the first one and don't do the second.

    It (seems to me) to be some sort of disconnect in their minds - power of someone else - power of themselves.

  5. I am enjoying your updates on the Biggest Loser. We don't get the American Loser here....did last year, but don't know what's happened this year! I love it when our Australian BL starts up....I don't miss an episode:) I am enjoying your blog in general actually...,thank you!


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07