Wow. My first week with Biggest Loser has been so overwhelming, fun, exciting and definitely inspiring. Having watched plenty of ‘reality’ tv over the years, I thought I knew what to expect, but being a part of a show like BL is way more intense than I expected. And I feel I have already bonded with the Contestants and the Trainers.
Right from the beginning, the producers are determined to keep us all on our toes this season. The Contestants and I found ourselves in the middle of the desert. It was hot and sunny… everyone was sweating!!! And we were all in for a very exciting morning. Standing closest to me was Jerry, Kae and Lezlye. Being a competitive person myself, I was surprised to see that whenever anyone expressed concern about the challenge facing them someone else would immediately jump in to motivate them. As I said, I realized right away how affecting this experience was going to be. Every single person is so motivated and determined to be here. I can see already how hard it is going to be to say good bye to people as they get eliminated.
Just talking to Bob and Kim motivated me to work out and of course, I had tons of questions about how they train – Bob knows one of my trainers. It’s such a small world. And he also invited me to come take his spin class which I am definitely going to do. (Juggling both jobs, I’m not sure how much free time I’ll have, but especially being a part of this show I know I’ll be MAKING time to work out!) It’s a good kick in the you-know-what to see Bob and Kim every week… and it keeps me away from the sweets table too!
At the end of their first challenge – racing to Bob and Kim – it was so awesome to see everyone helping each other make it to the finish line. After Jerry and Phil claimed Team Captain status, they kept going back out into the desert to encourage their future teammates. That sincerity and commitment is what this show is really about. One of the first twists in the game appeared as I explained that winning the Team Captain role meant they got to choose their teammates. What an incredibly difficult task – to pick teams, only having known each other for 2 hours! And on top of that – everyone thought that the people who weren’t picked would be going home… and out of the game.
It was so hard for me to watch Phil and Jerry struggle with such a difficult situation, because all the responsibility for this decision was on their shoulders. And as we were standing outside the Last Chance Diner, and people’s names were being called, and the number of spots left were dwindling, I think we were all recalling what it feels like to be picked last for the kickball team in grade school. And as the Red and Blue teams headed off in their bus, it felt so horrible to leave the 6 remaining contestants standing there. As a fan of reality tv, I knew it would be awesome to watch on tv when Jillian comes in to their rescue – and we can all agree now, it WAS so incredible to watch – but seeing them deal with their disappointment of not being selected was so tough.
Day 2 was the Contestants initial weigh-in. It was clear how nervous everyone was to see that number on the scale. B. (Bryan) shared with us that he hadn’t taken his shirt off in front of other people in years. He avoids swimming, any situation where he might have to show his body in front of other people. But he pulled that shirt right off when it was his turn to get on the Biggest Loser Scale. All of them showed equal bravery facing up to their fears during that first weigh in. Patty, Lezlye and Nicole all talked about how long it’s been since they even stepped on a scale. But as painful and difficult as it was for all of them, they all got through it showing the inner strength and courage that will see them through this game.
Both teams handled the challenge well – it was amazing the way the Red team dragged the plane down that tarmac. Phil really stood out as Red Team Captain, and was the anchor that really helped them to victory. Seriously, if you can pull a 21 ton jet, you can do anything, right?!?!
Even after a weeks worth of work-outs, eating healthy and focusing so intently on these new healthy life-styles, it was still difficult to take both teams through their first weigh-in. I saw equal portions of hopefulness and dread at finding out how much weight they’d lost over the course of one week. This is the first season that the trainers participate in the weigh-ins with their teams. It was impossible to tell who was more nervous, Bob & Kim or the players!! As David (aka Cowboy) pointed out, up till now, they’d been operating on blind faith, counting on Kim and Bob to know how best to help them. Everyone put up really amazing numbers. It was really remarkable to see how much weight they were able to lose… though all the contestants were shocked to see how many pounds Jerry lost!!! Jerry has broken all kinds of Biggest Loser records! And he helped keep the Blue team out of the elimination room.
But unfortunately, there is a downside – someone has to go home. The Red Team and I went through our first elimination together. It was really tough for them to send a teammate home, even though it was clear in the end that Amber really wanted to go. I spoke a little with Phil about his thoughts about Amber leaving, since he chose this team. Phil stayed positive, wishing Amber the best, but it seemed also, that they all felt her struggle adjusting to Campus Life, was a distraction for the Red Team.
It’s been such a hectic and enlightening first week, everyone getting to know each other and learn the game. I am excited and nervous for both teams next week. I want the Red Team to come back from losing a member to really prove they are a united team. And I want the Blue Team to not get thrown by all that weight they lost right off the bat – they will need to really stay in high-gear to keep those numbers high two weeks in a row. Yes, I’m rooting for all of them… I can’t play favorites!!! ☺