Thursday, September 17, 2009

"What Have You Done Today to Make Yourself Proud?"

My favorite TV show started its fall season Tuesday night. As a personal fitness trainer, it should be no surprise that I am talking about The Biggest Loser. Each season I am just blown away by these contestants and their heart-breaking stories, their courage, their determination, focus & commitment. This season is no different except, the contestants this fall are the largest in Biggest Loser history. One female weighs in at 475 pounds, giving her 2 "heavy weight" titles, the largest contestant and the largest female contestant since the beginning of the show 7 seasons ago.

Another contestant is from Texas. Abby is 35 years old and tips the scales over 250 lbs. 3 years ago her husband, their 5 year old and 2 month old baby were killed in head-on car crash. Abby's motivation is to honor those lives by losing the weight, getting fit and taking care of her body.

This year the average age of this group is 33.6. The average weight is well over 300 lbs. These contestants are sick with hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, & high blood pressure. This is a "young" group and sadly represents what is happening in this nation. 2/3rd's of this nation is overweight or obese. This has become the "norm." If you are well, fit and at a healthy weight.... YOU are considered abnormal. Does anyone see something wrong with this? What has happened to this nation?

Julio, well over 300 lbs, was asked "how did you get this big?" His answer was like most, "I don't know, it just happened." It DOES NOT "just happen!" Our lifestyles are "why" this happens.

Because of all the commercials, easy access to (cheap) junk and processed foods, lack of exercise, very little sleep and stressful lives, we are a sick nation. We make the choice to "drive thru" on the way home from work instead of going home and preparing a healthy meal. We make the choice to pick up boxes of Jumbo corn dogs, mac n cheese, bags of tator tots and jugs of soda pop at the market instead of choosing vegetables, fruits, grains, beans and nuts. We choose to skip our morning workouts and sleep in. We choose to stay up late and play video games or post on Face Book into the wee hours of the morning instead of getting a good nights rest.

Yes, these are the current lifestyle choices of this nation. We are a nation that blindly makes these choices resulting in cancer, diabetes, heart disease, & auto-immune disease and then we depend upon doctors, medications and hospitals to make us well. And if we don't have insurance or can' afford the premiums on our insurance, we cry "health care is unfair!"

It must start with taking responsibility for our own health to turn this desperate situation around. Making healthy choices for us and for our children that includes no more fast food, no more processed foods, choosing to exercise regularly, getting at least 7 hours of sleep, and finding ways to deal with the stress in our lives. It is not feasible, nor is it affordable to think that "someone" else will take care of our disease-ridden bodies.

So, stand in front of the mirror and ask yourself, "What have you done today to make yourself proud?"

I invite you to watch The Biggest Loser every Tuesday evening at 7pm central, NBC and take part in the journey of each contestant. Their stories, struggles and successes are inspirational, motivational and encouraging.

Until next's YOUR choice.....



  1. That's scary.

    I made my choice 4 years ago, when I lost 24 kilos (50 pounds) and have kept it off since then, and through a pregnancy.

    I'm now a healthy weight, and have maintained it stably, but nearer the top of the healthy BMI than the bottom, and I've decided now is the time to finish the job off (now I've finished feeding my daughter and we don't plan any more kids) and get to the bottom of the healthy BMI.

    I dropped my weight with the help of Joel Fuhrman's Eat To Live plan, and am following the Six Week Challenge now, and getting my nasty habits killed off once and for all (I hope!). It is hard though - we live in a toxic society where too much food is everywhere.

    Being overweight, or choosing to be a healthy weight, *is* a choice. If I can get to be a healthy weight, anyone can. But it was hard. Even now, I weigh in once a week, every week, and have to watch what I eat. But I know I'll succeed in my goals, because in the end, it is up to us to choose what we want to be, and what we choose to eat.

    Thanks for posting about the Biggest Loser. I think the show places too much emphasis on exercise and not enough on nutrition, but I do wish the contestants luck.

  2. Thank you for your comment! Congrats on your weight loss! That is really awesome! Changing lifestyle and leaving old habits behind is difficult whether its nutrition, smoking, alcohol or sitting in front of the TV every night. But with little steps, these habits can be replaced with new healthy ones.

    Yes, BL does place a lot of emphasis on exercise, but when you are 300 lbs plus...exercise is a HUGE part of your program. To lose your butt, you have to literally "work it off!" BL does promote a calorie count of at least 1200 to 1600 calories daily of lean protein, vegetables, fruits and grains. I am not in sync with all the "sugar free" and "fat free" foods they consume, nor am I cool with the animal flesh and dairy. But, given the choices for these contestants of lap band, gastric bypass or's a no brainer!