Okay--So this whole situation with The Biggest Loser, the walk-out of a couple of contestants, etc has led to what I am certain is the death of a dream for a lot of people. As a person who is overweight, we (I shouldn't speak for everyone, but I feel comfortable that most would agree with me) just want to be able to be "normal". Most of us have tried about everything possible to do it, including surgery, pills, diet plans, personal trainers, you name it. For the last 13 seasons, The Biggest Loser has been that magic pill for hundres of people who have lost thousands of pounds collectively. They have gone on to give back to their communities, they have opened boot camps, started their own gyms, gotten certified as personal trainers, and just been amazing people. There are a lot of critics to the Biggest Loser and what it is, and the speed with which these contestants lose weight, but you really can't argue with success. I know in the early seasons there were some pretty questionable tactics used to "dehydrate" the contestants, but for all I'vve read, those are things that haven't been happening on recent seasons.
If I'm being 100% honest with myself and everyone else, I have to say, I think the death of this show is going to fall on the producers who decided that casting an entire season of selfish drama queens with a million excuses would be a good idea. Most of us folks that are tipping the scale have legitimate reasons why we are the size that we are, but a million excuses for why we haven't been able to change it. casting and entire season of nothing but those people had "drama" and "entertainment" written all over it. Unfortunately, It also had failure written all over it. The long-time fans of the show have been polarized, there are even entire facebook pages set-up to degrade and talk about the contestants that some viewers don't like this season. The reality is, this season is going to be the train-wreck that derails one of the most inspirational shows about weight-loss that I have ever encountered.
Last night on the show, the remaining 5 contestants got wind of a challenge that would bring back one of the eliminated contestants and give them the opportunity to earn their way into the finale. The sad fact is, the remaining 5 snowballed into a pile of self-pity and selfishness that left them sitting around a table by the pool on a huge ranch built to help them succeed, offering another woe-is-me story of how they were being treated unfairly. What didn't appear to matter to them was that the same contracts that they signed were also signed by the other contestants indicating that the eliminated contestants would be given this opportunity, and the final 5 felt that they were being duped and taken advantage of. There was absolutely no concern for the eliminated contestants who likely went home, busted their butts, and continued to work, knowing they were going to get this opportunity, and hoping for that one last shot to prove themselves, succeed, and make it to the finale and a 1 in 3 shot at $250,000. I was literally yelling at my TV saying, "What if you had been eliminated, and were chomping at the bit for this challenge, and the show took it away from YOU because of the final 5 spoiled brats threw a temper tantrum and threatened to quit." But alas, the footage was over 2 months old, and they couldn't hear me.
The reality is, I feel horribly sorry for the thousands of people who sat in line at a casting call for hours on end for that 1 ten minute opportunity to talk to a casting director with 10 other people at a table in the hopes of getting this amazing opportunity. I feel horribly sorry for those people because the opportunity was given to people who were too selfish to be good stewards of the opportunity they were given. I have been there.
In March of 2011, I showed up to a casting call at 7:05 in the morning and was #162 in line to see the casting directors. I chatted with the ladies around me in the line, and got to know a lot about them. I didn't see the casting director until 1:30 in the afternoon, and our group got an unheard of 16 minutes, rather than 10 with that casting director. I then sat by the phone until 11:30 that night, waiting for either a call asking me to come in for an interview, or Holland Weathers to post on her FB page that all call backs had been made, and if you didn't get one, "Be sure to send in a video too, for us to consider." I had already done my video, and never heard another thing from the casting directors, so I wasn't going to get a chance at BL12. The casting for BL13 started, and I didn't go to a casting call or send in a video. I did, however, pre-register for the season's casting, and was ecstatic to get an e-mail from a casting director. I later learned that the e-mail I had received was a glitch, not intended to be sent to me, and they were sorry. I have been in the shoes of every person who has ever applied and not gotten the opportunity to go to the rance. I have felt like BL was my only chance. If I could just get the chance to train with Bob, Jillian, Dolvett, Cara or Brett or any of the other trainers that have been in the BL gym in the last 13 seasons, I would finally have the tools to not only get rid of all this excess weight, I would have the knowledge, tools and confidence to keep it off. Here's the catch....
All of the people who have auditioned for the Biggest Loser, like me have felt like they needed a huge amount of help to get to that goal of being fit and healthy. They took the first step toward that goal by asking for help to get there and recognizing the need to get healthy. If you know someone who has auditioned for this, or any other weight-loss show, offer them some support. Offer to go to the gym with them. Be their Jillian, Bob or Dolvett for them. Most of us want nothing more than to get healthy, but that is an overwhelming concept when you have half of your body weight to lose to get there. I need the support, love, understanding and help from the people in my life. I need for someone to offer to watch the kids, so I can go to the gym. I need someone to go to the gym with me because, quite frankly, do you know how intimidating it is to walk into a gym at twice your healthy weight? Let's just say, it feels like every person in the gym is staring at you constantly. I need for someone to go shopping with me and help me buy healthy foods. I need someone to teach me how to cook those healthy foods in a way that is delicious and doesn't taste like either a science experiment gone bad or a piece of cardboard. All of us who have auditioned for The Biggest Loser know we need help. Since we didn't make it on the show, and in all liklihood there will never be a BL14 and so on, offer your help, support an encouragement to someone who needs it. We don't like being overweight, and we need the love and support to get healthy.
The Biggest Loser has been the "Magic Pill" for weightloss that thousands of people have hoped for since it premiered years ago. I know for sure there are people who have auditioned 5-10 times. It isn't that we don't want to get healthy, we just don't know where to start. Since it appears that yes another "magic weight loss pill" is going to be taken away, are you willing to help your friends and loved ones get there without it? Are you willing to stand beside them, help them, cry with them, go to the gym with them, and help them get there without a TV show? If so, please offer them your help. It will mean more to them than you can even imagine. Trust me on this one, I know....