Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Biggest Loser: a cautionary tale about the consequences of overeating

I well remember when, a couple of years ago, I faced the news that I had Type 2 diabetes. I cried. It's not jolly news to learn...and I was vividly reminded of it last night when I watched Biggest Loser.

Last night's episode was a graphic reminder of the consequences of overeating. You don't just get fat. It doesn't just affect your appearance. There are major health consequences.

In his review, Jason Hughes sums it up when he says last night was pretty much a showcase for the show's resident physician, Dr. Huizenga:

He spent the entire episode scaring the contestants with stories about how they were all going to die soon, they were the sickest group ever (which is the case every year), and in the case of the Purple team, he went to their home to scare their family, by telling them that their loved ones were probably going to die soon.

Honestly? Some of it was so painful I had to fast forward through it. Watching people weep in sadness and humiliation isn't fun.

However, this IS a message that has to be spread. Overeating has really awful, quite expensive, and sometimes fatal consequences. We as a society have to get that through our heads.

(No, I don't like legislating healthiness--people should have the freedom to be fat if they want to, without the government telling him how to eat. But you need to be aware of the consequences of doing so.)

Jillian the Psychoanalyst

Of course, we were treated to more of trainer Jillian's psychoanalysis.

When she's gazing earnestly into the eyes of one of the contestants, trying to get to the bottom of the reason they've eaten themselves into extreme obesity, I waver between wanting to cringe at the near-cheesiness of it all, or applaud the fact that she really cares so much. Because she obviously does. So I guess I do have to applaud it, because she really is helping these people.

Last night, she helped poor Maria overcoming her fear of water...a fear that sent her to the emergency room during last night's challenge. And she helped pinpoint John's issues resulting from the deaths, in quick succession, of several loved ones.

So Patti went home...

I wasn't upset about Patti's departure. I believe her daughter, Stephanie, desperately needs to be at the ranch. Stephanie is a lovely girl who is just going to get more beautiful as she loses weight.

I do have a favorite

I have to admit it...Michael's my fave. There's just something about him that's very endearing and appealing. Losing the amount of weight he has to lose is an enormous challenge, and I'll be rooting for him every step of the way.

He's not going to be able to do it in just one season. They'll either have to make some special arrangements for him as they did Shay from last season, or let him come back for another season as they did Daniel. But there's something about him that I just love.

Thoughts, anyone?

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