Posts Tagged ‘jillian michaels’

Season 13 & 14 of The Biggest Loser

The Biggest Loser often seems to be a bit of a point of contention in the Fitness Blogging world.

Some people hate it and decry everything about it. “So fake!” “Sell-outs!” “Hateful and mean-spirited!”

Some people love everything about it and even audition to be on the show. “Pick me!” “So motivational!”

I can’t help it. I love the show. I would NEVER want to be on the show. Ever. I wouldn’t be on the Biggest Loser with a guaranteed prize of $250,000. But it’s still motivational to me. Granted, I think a show where I could watch the morbidly obese workout and lose weight without the harsh gaming aspect would still be an interesting show, but regardless… it motivates me.

I have decided, with Season 14 starting on January 6th, that I am going to review every episode. Every Saturday, I’ll post a recap and review of the previous week’s show.

The Biggest Loser

But to start us off, I am going to give my thoughts on Season 13, also known as “The Season Where We All Hated Everyone and Wondered When Jillian Was Coming Back.”

First of all, I think this show needs a female trainer. We all know that Jillian is coming back in Season 14, which is part of the reason I am so excited about next season! But even before she came back, I had my own theory for how the show could increase some excitement and get a female trainer in the gym.

I thought they should bring back Tara Costa as a trainer. Tara is arguably one of the more famous female contestants from the show, and if you follow her on facebook, you know she is still quite fit and very active. I suspected that they would have to bring in a female trainer at some point to balance Bob and Dolvett, and I really thought Tara would be a great trainer.

taracosta

Instead, I imagine the producers went to Jillian Michael’s house with a dump truck full of money and said, “Tell us when to stop shoveling.”

So Jillian is back. That will help. I like Bob and Dolvett (even though I think Bob has WAY too many tattoos now, but that’s just a personal preference), but Jillian is going to make Season 14 huge.

Let’s talk about these contestants.

Ugh. There were a handful I liked, and they were promptly eliminated. The only contestant I liked at the end of the season was Kim, and even then, I think I only liked her in comparison to who was left.

kim

Conda was just… despicable. I have no idea what she is like in person, but in the edited version of the game’s show, she was a villain. I’d rank her as one of the worst villains the show has ever seen.

conda

And yet… she’s by far my least favorite contestants. That honor goes to Buddy and Mark.

buddymark

I liked them until the episode where all the contestants threatened to walkout. I don’t even know what ridiculousness that was about. If you didn’t follow last season, then you should know that the final five contestants got wind of a twist where one of the eliminated contestants could come back.

You know, that twist that happens virtually EVERY SEASON. And yet, these five divas decided they were going to quit because it wasn’t fair.

Seriously. That’s it. There’s nothing more involved than that. They didn’t think it was fair.

You are on a freaking weight loss game show. Kim, Conda, and Jeremy were slightly redeemed in my view when they decided to stick it out. Buddy and Mark felt the twist was so unfair that they just couldn’t handle it, and they walked off.

Stupid. Idiotic. Moronic. Any adjective describing stupidity will fit here quite nicely.

What especially amazes me about Buddy’s decision is that he quit, and he has already lost the first three months of his child’s life. Aside from the fact that I can’t fathom someone leaving their pregnant wife to go on a GAME SHOW and staying there while she has the baby and the baby starts growing up, you then go ahead and quit at the very end?

Asinine. That’s another good adjective.

Season 13 was, by far, my least favorite season of the entire series. I haven’t heard anyone really rave about it, and I suspect that’s why Season 13 was the only season we had in 2012. Having such unlikable, malicious contestants almost killed the show. I really hope Jillian brings a renewed energy to the campus.

But while I’m ranting, let me share one more huge thing that bugs me about the Biggest Loser?

I HATE IT when the contestants cry about how they could never have lost weight without being on The Biggest Loser?

Uhm, you do realize that MOST Americans won’t get to be on the Biggest Loser, right? You are in an anomalous position, so take advantage of it, but don’t say that it can’t be done without being on a game show. Thousands of people successfully lose weight without being on national television.

Reading back over this, this was less a review of Season 13 and more of a rant, but it was just such an awful season… I used to love this show, and Season 13 felt like a chore at most times.

Let’s hope Season 14 is better. And with Jillian around, it pretty much has to be.

jillian

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January 2013 Goals

In the past years, I’ve sat down and made out a nice post about the resolutions I was going to meet in 2013.

I’ve yet to truly keep a single one.

This year, I’m doing things differently.

Goals, Not Resolutions

I am setting goals that I am going to meet, and not for the entire year… These goals are for the month of January 2013. I’ll set new goals for February 2013.

This way, I don’t have twelve months to forget about them. I’ve got 28-31 days each month to accomplish these goals.

I’m going to set four different goals each month, a weight goal, a fitness goal, a personal goal, and a creative goal. There is no penalty if I fail to reach them, and there is no reward beyond the inherent reward in meeting the goal when I make them. It’s just something to help me keep each month as productive as I possibly can!

Weight Goal

I am taking part in Roni’s Diet Bet for January. I put $20 in, and if I lose at least 4% of my starting weight, then I get to share the pot. My four percent is going to be roughly 15 pounds.

Tough, yes, but achievable. So I am going to set a weight loss goal of 15 pounds for the month of January.

Fitness Goal

I’ve lost a lot of my cardio endurance. I’ll share more on that later this week. But I am working on building it back up, and it’s coming up quite quickly.

As soon as my endurance is back up (later this week), I resolve to complete an entire month of Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred. I don’t expect that I’ll necessarily do all three levels as-is, but it’s definitely a nice way to get my strength back up quickly.

Say what you will about Jillian (I am personally a huge fan), her DVD workouts are tough.

Personal Goal

This one isn’t going to be a game changer, but it needs to be done. I have a lot of DVDs. A LOT. I have a subscription to a service that will catalog and organize your DVDs for you. You just enter the UPC codes and it keeps track of your library for you.

I’m going to do this. I have more DVDs than I can mentally keep track of, and I want them nice and neatly organized on my bookshelves.

Creative Goal

I used to be a space painter. I was decent at it, quite honestly.

I’m going to pick this hobby up again, and I resolve to have at least ten good paintings done before January is over. Not only that, I’m going to get a few of them posted in an Etsy shop to attempt to sell.

That’s what I hope to accomplish in January 2013. If I tackle my “resolutions” one month at a time, I think I’ll do a much better job with them than if I try to post a bunch all at once and just forget about them until next Christmas.

What do you hope to accomplish in 2013?

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Beginning a New Workout Regime

What I Miss About the Gym

One thing I miss about going to the gym is that there were classes I could attend, and if I wasn’t there when the class started (or even earlier to get a spot), I didn’t get in.

If Zumba was at 5, I had to be there at 5. If Yoga Weight Loss started at 7, I knew I had to be out the door at 6:30.

I no longer have a gym membership, and I am completely fine with that. While I enjoyed lifting weights, I do not believe that a gym is required. I know some people find working out with others motivating, but I don’t. Frankly, I was happiest at the gym on those rare Saturday afternoons when I would go in and be the only person there. As a result, I decided to save the $65 a month and work out from home.

Unfortunately, that pre-set class time apparently provided me with a bit more motivation than I realized. So how can I reclaim that at home? Several bloggers have written about following along with a DVD workout series, and it seems that it provides them with motivation to stick to their workouts.

DVD Workouts

I have TONS of DVD workouts, including a few programs. I have P90X, RevAbs, and Body Revolution, among others. Yes, I am well aware that I own THREE intense workout programs and I haven’t done more than a single workout or two. Well, that needs to change, so I’m starting one of these series.

I adore Jillian Michaels. I know some bloggers think she is a sellout, but I think she’s awesome. She’s the right mix of motivation and yelling for me. So, for the next 90 days, I am scheduling a workout at 8:30 every night to have my butt kicked by Jillian through Body Revolution.

I actually started the program on Saturday, so I’ve already done my first two workouts. Today is a cardio day, and I look forward to seeing if her cardio workout is as challenging as her 1st two weight workouts.

The Holiday Trifecta

But the holiday trifecta of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas is coming up!

Every year, I gain weight over the trifecta. Every… single… year…

I plan for 2012 to be different. I want to lose weight.

I am not following the Body Revolution diet plan, but I am going to continue going to Weight Watchers, count my points, and eat real food. The Trifecta isn’t going to tear me down this year. I’m going to go into the holidays armed and dangerous for weight loss.

Future Plans

I plan to blog once every two weeks about the program, as that is how often the program changes. The first two weeks seem easy enough, but I’ve looked ahead, and I know there are going to be some modifications that will need to be made. I’m totally okay with that. My right knee is a cartilage nightmare, and my flexibility rivals that of uncooked spaghetti. But I also anticipate that the next 90 days will bring a lot of welcome changes to my body. I can’t wait to see what I look like on January 5th!

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Richard Simmons’ Day by Day

In the early 1990s, back when Richard Simmons was regularly on QVC and Deal-a-Meal was THE way to lose weight, he released a series of motivational videos called Day by Day.

Day by Day was a 12 volume set. Each video consisted of 30 to 31 five minute video clips of Richard Simmons giving weight loss tips, sharing success stories, or just being Richard with crazy antics and the occasional crying spell.


(picture blatantly stolen from an eBay auction)

I got volume one off of QVC, but I didn’t sign up for the full set. I was still a kid, and while I was able to talk my mom into buying one of them for me, I couldn’t convince her to get me all 12.

Well, I didn’t lose weight in the early 90s. At all. I did exercise, so I had that going for me, but the weight loss just wasn’t happening. In the late 90s, after the internet came about and eBay appeared on the scene, I was able to buy volumes 2 thru 12, completing my set.

And then, they more or less went into storage for the next fourteen years. I think I did watch through them all once, but… that was about it.

Until now. A few months ago, I got my Garbage Pail Kids out of storage at my parents’ house. While digging through my childhood, I found a box containing these twelve tapes.

It was like opening a time machine. I am currently in the process of transferring them all on to my computer.

I upload one to YouTube, which you can see below.

I don’t see myself uploading all of them (even though I would love to) because I don’t have the copyright to them. These are not available anywhere. But if Richard Simmons gave me permission to upload them, I’d happily upload all 365 of his motivational clips.

I may upload a few, here and there, as they strike me particularly motivating.

There is one thing I’ve discovered, though. These video clips ARE like a time machine; it’s a look back at the fitness and healthy living views of the early 90s. One of the first clips is about the evils of fat. Well, as we now know, fat isn’t evil.

It’s funny; Richard suggests eating “lite” versions of mayo, cheese, and other fatty foods, because it’s better for you. This isn’t something I see him suggesting now.

I don’t blame Richard. Everyone in the 90s believed fat made us fat.

And occasionally, The Biggest Loser still does. During the last season (worst season ever, also), they had a cooking challenge, and some of the contestants from a previous season were the judge. They were VERY harsh to Buddy because he used a TEASPOON of real mayonnaise. He said he wanted the flavor, and he’d rather use a smaller amount of the full-fat version. Oh, these previous contestant judges ripped him a new one. They actually stated that a fat-free mayo would be better.

The fat-free, chemical-filled version is better than the one made out of oil and eggs. Riiiight.

So yes, watch The Biggest Loser for motivation. Do NOT watch it for any kind of healthy living tips. Heck, just watch it for the trainwreck. That, sadly, is all the show is good for. The glory days of Ali Vincent and Tara Costa are long gone. (Oh, and I say the show should try to up their viewership next season by bringing Tara on as a female trainer, if they can’t persuade Jillian to come back.)

Wow. I ended up in a totally different place than I meant to. Oh well.

Richard Simmons’ Day by Day series was incredible. I wish he’d release another version, or heck, even release this version on DVD. I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

He’s made fun of because he is an easy target, but I truly believe that Richard Simmons wants the best from people. And one thing he is good at is motivating.

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Weight Watchers Countdown Begins

In my last post, I made my confession. The weight loss effort of the last year has largely been a failure. I have done worse than not lose weight.

I have gained weight. This morning, I weighed in at 352 pounds.

It isn’t my highest. That was 403.

It sure isn’t my lowest, either. That was around 260.

I’ve talked about what happened. I’ve given “excuses” for why it happened, but truthfully, there is no excuse.

I got sloppy, I got careless, and most importantly, I didn’t reach out for help.

Frequently, I find myself unwilling to ask for help. I often want to do it myself.

I do not believe I can do it on my own. That isn’t me putting myself down. That is me facing facts. I am envious and proud of those of you who can, but I must accept that I am not one of you.

I’m joining Weight Watchers. I’m joining a work chapter at my workplace, Western Kentucky University.

The Weight Watchers Work Chapter Open House was on Tuesday. I’m going to a community meeting on Saturday to learn about the new way to work the points.

Weight Watchers has just rolled out a new program called PointsPlus. The old program used calories, fiber, and fat grams to calculate how many points each food item. The new program uses protein, carbohydrates, fat, and fiber. I’ve heard from a few people who got to try the program early, and they have all absolutely loved it. From what I can tell so far, the program is emphasizing real foods over fake foods. It seems Weight Watchers may have an amazing new plan here.

On a related weight loss note, I have a love/hate relationship with The Biggest Loser. I hate the gameplay aspect, although I certainly understand how the promise of a $250,000 payday can do that to you. I frequently find the concept of people moaning about “only losing eight pounds a week” infuriating, even though I kind of get it, too.

But I also love it. I love the inspiration of seeing obese people get healthy. I love the tough love that Jillian and Bob throw down on the contestants. And in the most recent “Where Are They Now” episode, Jillian Michaels said something to the first season winner, Ryan (who regained over 100 pounds), something that really, really struck a chord with me.

“When you are losing the battle, reach out for support.”

Why didn’t I? I was too proud. I didn’t want to admit that I needed help.

No longer.

I need help with the battle. Weight Watchers is going to help me win the war. Hopefully, you can help me, too.

Whenever my first weigh-in is (either this Saturday or this Tuesday), I will report my weight here on my blog. I will record each week’s weigh-in, good or bad. I know that some will be bad, but many will be good.

I will share a tip for weight loss each week. I don’t expect to share anything so profound that you haven’t already heard it, but I’m going to post those tips for me. The act of crafting a blog post around each tip that I want to share will be helpful for me in making that tip a lifestyle change and not just a tip.

I will resume video blogging. One post a week will be a video blog (recorded as I drive to or from work) about something of importance to me as it relates to weight loss.

I will continue cooking. I’m going to keep sharing recipes over at 1,000 Meals, hopefully at the rate of AT LEAST one a week.

And I’ll periodically continue posting fun facts about myself. I don’t know that I’ll do one for every pound, because as I tried to make my list, I realize that I just don’t know that many things about myself. But I do have a small list of about ten or fifteen, and eventually, I’ll get around to sharing those.

I have big things planned. In December 2011, whether I am at goal weight then or not, I want to look back over the last year and say, “Wow, that was a heckuva successful ride, wasn’t it?”

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12-31-13 - 412.0
1-3-14 - 407.0 (-5.0 pounds total)