Small Changes Challenge #2…and The Biggest Loser reality

biggest loserTuesday is Biggest Loser night and I have been watching…goodness, I don’t know how many years.

I relate well to those that are in those pink shirts.  We aren’t there yet in this season, I know, but they are coming.  Pink.  Awesome color…and their progress seems to stand out for some reason for me.  Their stories, their behaviors…they might as well be putting my picture on that person because it could have been me on several different seasons.

In fact, I applied to be on The Biggest Loser.  Back when the numbers weren’t quite as big as they are now for the starting weight…my name was somewhere in that pile of applications.  I was in that severely obese category and I knew I needed a change.  I thought that I had to have someone show me how to do it.

I never did get picked for the show and I applied for other similar things as well.  Our city had a Biggest Loser Challenge for teams one year and you had to apply for that to be picked.  One of the most expensive gyms in our town would be available to use and I knew that if I was picked that this would be it.  This would be what would make changes happen for me.

I wasn’t picked for that either.  I took pictures and everything…and I still remember standing by our tv with one of my favorite shirts on that I thought was my nicest.  I was excited but also had this feeling that was ashamed of who I was at that moment…I shouldn’t have to be taking a picture of fat me to prove that I am fat and need help.

Failure again.  Not getting picked for what I thought what the answer to my issue with weight.  I could hardly look at the picture and it was deleted not too long ago.  I couldn’t handle the memories of seeing that face and knowing that I was asking for help, in an odd sort of way, but that I just didn’t realize that I could do this on my own.

I think at that point of my journey the answer was The Biggest Loser style of weightloss.  You go all out…or you are going home.  Weightloss numbers were huge and really were just unreal…but truly amazing.  Losing 10+ pounds in a week…how awesome would that be?!  The boxing aspect of the workouts weren’t featured then.  The crossfit type that Bob seems to favor now wasn’t shown.  What was shown is people throwing up, falling down and passing out and working their butts off after they somehow managed to get up after doing all that.  That first workout on the show…and some workouts after…looked like pure torture.  But, these trainers are well known and know what they are doing…so it must be right.

I would be at the gym or walking/jogging on our treadmill watching the show wondering how I even get my body to lose 1 pound.  10 pounds was a goal…not a weekly weightloss number for me.

Last night I was watching the show and there was a shocking twist.  It all just seemed kindof odd to me.  Was it producer played to get people talking?  Possibly.  Was it the truth?  I don’t know.  Did Jillian really cheat…according to The Biggest Loser rules?  Well…I’ll never really know.  Did they ask the players on camera?  No.  Would the players tell us the truth on camera?  Can they?  If we think that the truth is being told on The Biggest Loser 100% of the time we really are just fooling ourselves.

About the time that Jillian was being shown as “the trainer who cheats” a blog post came into my view about a former contestant on The Biggest Loser.  Kia.  It is a 3 part blog post from Body Love Wellness that reveals some of the back story from a contestants point of view…the stuff behind the scenes that isn’t talked about or shown on camera.  You can find part 1 here at this link:  Kia’s story from The Biggest Loser.  Some of the same info is shared in this video:

Some of what is said by the former contestant is what I thought was happening.  I don’t think that The Biggest Loser is the way to lose weight for most people because the contestants job is to workout on the show, which isn’t our reality…but I watch it.  I also know that this is a tv show and that it is more than just helping people lose weight.  This is a game.  This is about numbers.  This is about ratings.  We are shocked when people gain weight or don’t lose more than 4 pounds.  You know what…that isn’t even normal anyways.  We really should be shocked that they are doing that in the first place.  But we aren’t.

Other parts of what Kia has shared is being criticized by others…and the thought of “just leave if you don’t like it” keeps coming up in the comments.  You know…that is all fine and dandy if you are skinny and ok with your body.  If you aren’t ok with who you are and that body image comes into play, saying the words, “just leave if you don’t like it” may not be the simple solution that the average person thinks it is.  This is not only physical but a mental battle…and that mind can be so powerful.  Plus, who knows what stipulations the network has if a contestant leaves the show.  We don’t know those details.

After all that talk…we all know that The Biggest Loser is just a reality show.  It isn’t reality.

Reality is this.  If you want to lose weight…do it the safe way.  Do it in a way that is in small steps.  Let your body get used to the change.  Mentally get there and wrap your brain around the concepts that you are working on, one small step at a time.  Make this not just about numbers.  Make this about your life.

small changes 2Our Small Changes Challenge started last week and I encourage you all to join on in…and go step by step with me.  I’m not posting Biggest Loser style numbers on the scale, but I am learning how to develop new habits safely.  I share what small change I focused on, how my week went and give a little breakdown on some of the high & low points, and maybe a few tips too that might help you out.  You can find the post for Week 1 here.

Week 2 is here and the focus this week was: SUGAR

It really is amazing how much sugar is in the products that we buy.  I was reading through some of Cori’s posts while she was writing about her Paleo Diet experience and at one point she said that sugar really is everywhere.  She is right.  It is.  For me, that was something that I had to conquer because my body just turns that sugar into stored fat, right in my tummy and butt, and that is what I’m trying to get rid of.  Here is how my week went going cold-turkey with that sugar:

Week 2:  No sugar

Day 1.  It was an Ok day. I was mentally ready and had it in my head that I was going to do this.  I need this.  I really have to do this if I want results again.  Sugar is such a huge problem for me…and it is everywhere…including the banana bread still sitting on my counter that I did not eat.  For me…that is tough.  I think I went several weeks while I was pregnant with my first where banana bread was all I wanted to eat, including one meal where I actually ordered that at a restaurant and nothing else.  No joke.  Good thing though…no cheating today…even with Halloween candy around.

small changes 2 quoteDay 2.  Things just got interesting.  Even with coffee my head is about ready to explode.  Today is also a big day for me and a group I work with…so a tad stressful.  I decided I’m going to eat when I’m hungry and make healthy choices even with my head pounding out of control.  Went to bed pretty early for me with the headache…maybe I need more water?  Maybe I need sugar?  I didn’t cave though.  It was a long day.  My body is tired.  Not the best choice of days to be in sugar withdrawal.  

Day 3.  Slept bad.  lots of tossing and turning.  I was up about an hour before i needed to be and was hoping I could close my eyes and feel good.  my head was hurting all night.  I had to pop some meds.  Teaching spin with a throbbing head is never a fun time.  🙂 headache left pretty fast and the rest of the day was more of a realization that grazing was a part of my day at specific times.  There isn’t anything unhealthy I want to eat in the house so grazing on junk really isn’t an option.  I ate more veggies today than I have in a long time…and they weren’t bad.  Finished the day with Greek yogurt and fresh berries.  It wasn’t ice cream but it was really good.

Day 4: busiest work day for me.  I had to have food ready to go and just be ready.  Cravings were there but I didn’t cave.  We made turkey chili for supper which was really good.  It had a bit of kick and was mostly meat but at least everyone ate it.  I did eat an entire container of raspberries from Costco today.  Fresh.  No sugar.  Pure delish.

Day 5:  this is the day I’m usually tired and today isn’t any different.  I had an awesome class this morning though and that always gets me going.  My day was basically me being hungry.  I wanted to eat everything.  I didn’t have anything but good stuff though so I reached for some leftover chili.  My afternoon was spent trying to read for the Made to Crave study and help my 6 year old read books at the same time.  Not easy.  I did take a nap and woke up with a tad of energy.  At the Bible Study a woman was eating cake right in front of me.  The smell was amazing,  I didn’t eat any but did watch her and smelled every morsel.  Watching the sugar being eaten by someone else is ok.  😉

Day 6:  time to start thinking about the next week and what the next small change will be.  At the moment I have no idea.  Eating wise today was tough.  Today was a celebration meal and I was looking forward to a lovely salad from Buffalo Wild Wings.  Rest of the day and food was challenging but I got through today.  I’m very proud of myself and that I did it this week!  Plus today I outlifted two guys at the gym this morning.  I did my stuff and was going to put the weights away but the guys took it before I had a chance…and they couldn’t do it at the same amount. Yep, awesome feeling.  😉  One even said, “that’s a tough one” and I just agreed.

Day 7:  We had some very tough days with the kiddos and it was one of those mom moments where you have to think of something to get their attitudes to adjust for the better.  Today was reward day for the kiddos because they have been so good (the big chat from mom probably helped with that).  Our reward was going to a new restaurant in town; Texas Roadhouse.  Can I just say that I thought Buffalo Wild Wings was my celebration meal.  I changed my mind.  I’m picking today.  Have you had their bread?  Food was amazing but I have to say that it was so sugary that I couldn’t eat all of it.  Even the green beans…very sweet.  I’ve never had sweet green beans before.  I enjoyed it though but knew that I would be saying goodbye to that sugar again and that I could just take that moment and enjoy each little morsel that I ate right then.

Another challenge that we have had in the past at The Journey related to sugar is The No Sugar Month Challenge.  You can find the details at this link:  No Sugar Month Challenge

Week 3 has already started for me…and let me tell ya…it hasn’t been an easy one.  I’m trying though and this week really is going to help boost that metabolism and help my body work better.  One small step at a time…that will get me to the big picture.  I’ll write next week about week 3, what it is that I am changing/working on and how it all went.  Check back next week for the Small Changes Challenge #3 post or subscribe via e-mail to get updates sent to your inbox.

Are you joining us for the Small Changes Challenge?  We’d love to hear how it is going for you.  Send us a message at or write a comment below.

20130717-222549.jpgThanks for being part of The Journey



One thought on “Small Changes Challenge #2…and The Biggest Loser reality

  1. Cori D.

    Good for you!! I think giving up sugar is the hardest thing, but once you get used to it, it isn’t so bad. I’ve had some lately, and it makes me feel horrible! I’m ready to go back to avoiding it.



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