Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fat Chances, 2nd Time Around

Another season of Biggest Loser is finally here and it's just in the nick of time. I need my weekly dose of BL on Tuesday nights. My fascination with BL has been much documented on this blog. But right now, it's gonna be a crucial part of my marathon motivation. You see, Monday is routinely my day off from training and having enjoyed that day just sitting on my ass, when Tuesday comes around it's tempting to never run again. Then I watch an episode of Biggest Loser and before the first hour is over, I've got my running shirt and gym shorts on, and I'm heading out for a nice 10k run on the treadmill. It's great motivation, let me tell you.

Every season BL tries to raise the bar in fat contestants and heartbreaking stories. Each season you think, "they can't possibly find fatter unhappier people than the ones from last year." But find them they do, and this season is no exception. This season is dubbed "Second Chances." It seems like half the contestants are over 400 lbs and some have suffered the worst of possible tragedies in their lives. Take, for instance, Abby. In a horrible car crash, she lost her husband, her 5 year old daughter and 2 and a half week old son. Just hearing about it is almost unbearable. I can't imagine living it. But here this woman is trying to pick herself up, get herself healthy and make a difference. It's so inspiring. That's why I love this show. I love when people make the decision to reclaim their lives and their bodies no matter what tragedy they have faced. This show always works best when they cast nice personalities. People you WANT to see succeed. Hopefully they have chosen only people who want to get healthy and not "game-players." Those people can be very frustrating on a show like this.

So along with more pounds and more tragedy, the show also aims for more drama. It sure delivered in its first challenge last week. Not a half hour into the show, and two contestants were sent to the hospital. TWO! Let's take a look at Tracey. In the first task, everyone had to run a mile on the beach. It was an homage to the last mile of the marathon last year's finalists had to run at the end of their stay at the ranch. Tracey started strong - a little too strong in fact. She went from being in the lead, to getting passed by everyone, to falling down into the sand when her legs turned to jelly just a few hundred feet from the finish line. As a show of solidarity several contestant went out to help her across the finish.

She resisted at first, wanting to do it herself, but eventually she made it across with their assistance. Immediately after she crossed the finish line, she collapsed in a heap on the ground.

Medical teams worked on her trying to revive her to consciousness, but they could not. She didn't die (thank god) but she couldn't breathe well, couldn't sit up and couldn't respond to verbal commands. This first challenge didn't look like such a great idea at this point, did it Alison Sweeney?

Eventually she was airlifted to the hospital where she stayed for the rest of the 2-hour episode. She was not kicked off the show, and we assume she will return this week. It just goes to show you that this shit is no joke and that these people really are in really poor physical condition. This opportunity is the life or death for them and that is not hyperbole. The thing is, I already like Tracey and I wanmt her back and doing well ASAP.

It's always sad to see people get kicked off this show, because they all really need to lose weight. I'm glad to have them back on my TV so I can celebrate their progress and remind myself to get out aand run another day. Not because I'm a super-fatty, but because regular exercise is important and it's good to have done something each day to make you feel proud. Just like the theme song asks of you!

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