12 May 2009

REALITY BITES!!!

I am talking about the so called reality show craze...I was never excited about any of them. Then one day I was checking my yahoo email and saw a headline on the home page about a new show, The Apprentice. I read the article and was instantly excited for this show...it was about what so much of my work life had been destroyed by, the dreaded office politics! I have watched every season of this show. I miss the days of just sort of regular people, but don't know that they can ever go back to that now! I have even enjoyed the celebrity versions, although have been greatly disappointed in the finales for both, so far. I read recently that there is going to be a third season, so I will be watching for the release of the celebrities for that one....he's had Trace Adkins and Clint Black, so I can't help but hope against hope that Clay Walker could make an appearance and work for his own charity, BAMS!


The second season of The Celebrity Apprentice just ended two days ago. Joan Rivers (her official site would not come up) won out over Annie Duke (read the bio and in her blog post about the finale, she encourages everyone to visit her charity site, research it and if you can donate because they are the ones who lost, not her...great attitude!), who played the game exactly as Donald has liked in the past. Her style of play was no surprise, Annie said early on that she has watched the show in the past, she knew the things he liked and didn't like in how people played the game. After Donald fired Melissa Rivers and she left like the high school aged spoiled brat baby that she is, it is no wonder that Donald took the wussy way out and hired Joan! One can only imagine what kind of temper tantrum would have been displayed if Joan had been fired! Again, office politics win out over most anything! Last night I just happened to catch a few moments of The Tonight Show, Jay said something along the lines of "between Donald's hair and Joan's face, not much reality going on there" which made me laugh right out loud! But, enough about that, even though The Apprentice is my favorite, it is not the reason for this post!


Over the years, I have watched several finales of several reality shows. I have even watched one sesaon of Survivor, when Neleh was on it and coming in second. I have also watched one season of The Amazing Race and could probably get hooked on that one, but so far I'm ok not watching it! I have tried watching one season of Dancing with the Stars, but couldn't keep up with the million episodes on each week, so I gave up. Steve watched Cops before we were together, so now we watch cops, which is strangely considered a reality show, although not in my book. To me, the typical reality show involves an elimination process and challenges, not just a camera following people around doing their job, kinda. Oh ya, I also watched the end of the season for the The Rebel Billionaire. Ok, if you were paying attention, you would have noticed that the ones I have only watched one season of are one season when people from Utah were on it and it was well publicized locally. The one reality show that I have successfully avoided since the start and will work to keep avoiding, the only problem would come if I personally know a contestant because there have been a few contestants from Utah already...that show? American Idol! Ok, even after that, these are still not the reason for my writing this post....no, that is saved for my most disliked "reality show" of all....The Biggest Loser!!!


Sigh, ok, now I want to warn you here and now, I am NOT a fan of this show. I never have been and even after now watching one season, I never will be a fan of this show! If that bothers you, then you may not want to finish reading this post! Remember you have been warned! The best thing about this show? Allison Sweeney! I have been a fan of hers since she started on Days of Our Lives and was not pleased with the crap over her being FAT, whatever! Allison keeps everything positive no matter how the contestant did or what others think, this makes her a great host for this show! For the record, much to the dismay of the fans out there, even this show CAN be rigged!!!


Just a few notes on some of the characters, er...contestants! This was the biggest season ever, literally! They had the "oldest, heaviest, sickest, youngest" contestants ever. To note on a few of them: Jerry, the oldest at 63 (now 64), he was on campus for 2 weeks, then he went home, he came back to the finale to win the $100,000 for having the highest percentage weight loss of all eliminated contestants. His final stats, started at 369, final 192 losing 177 pounds or 47.97%. Dan, he was the heaviest starting the season at 454, ending on the finale at 312 for a loss of 142 or 31.28%. In his 'video', he said, "If you want to change your life you can. I feel like a fit person trapped in several winter coats and I can't wait to get them all off." Ok, he didn't win any monetary prizes, but I like his attitude, overall. Ron was the sickest, he started out at 430 ending at 238 for a loss of 192 or 44.65%. The entire time he was there, he played the game to the hilt, ensuring his son was in the finals. Mike, Ron's son, was the youngest ever starting out at 388 ending at 181 for a loss of 207 or 53.35%. Mike was one of the final three, losing an additional 17 pounds since their last weigh in a few weeks ago. Neither Mike nor Ron won anything, YAY, their game playing crap didn't pay off!


Ok, there are several others I would like to mention, then I'll really get on my soapbox! Helen, the winner or as they say the "Biggest Loser" started out at 257 ending at 117 losing 140 of 54.47%, guess sacrificing her daughter was worth it, now that she is $250,000 richer! Helen looked sickly, she has lost too much, having lost an additioal 30 pounds in the last few weeks. She needs to learn the art of maintaining her weight and not continue losing it, there is another extreme, you know! Tara was the third finalist and the absolute favorite to win the entire thing, she won 12 challenges throughout the show, a record. Also, now holds the record for the most weight lost for a female while on The Biggest Loser campus. Over 18 weeks of the show, she never fell below the yellow line, so was never up for elimination. Although, they never say that at least once she would have been had she not won immunity for the week! Tara started the season in tears weighing in at 294 ending at 139 losing 155 or 52.72%. Tara lost 20 pounds since the last weigh in a few weeks ago and missed being The Biggest Loser by just 6 pounds.


Ok, now for my soapbox, this is the part I warned you about earlier! You ready? I AM FAT! I am not ashamed to be FAT! There was a time that I was ashamed to be FAT because everyone around me was ashamed of my being FAT and I thought I was supposed to feel that way, too! I have plenty of family and not so good friends that would constantly bombard me with hypocritical comments about understanding what it is like to be FAT! Some of them even used to be FAT and lost weight, saying this made them more understanding. Ya, right! From my perspective, they quickly forgot what it really was like to be truly FAT! I had one aunt who tried over and over again to get me on one diet or another claiming to be worried about me! Oh brother, you be you and let me be me!


Ok, let me take a minute here to detour to another soapbox, this one about The Biggest Loser. Over and over on the show, you were bombarded with so much negative CRAP about being fat! They give a clear impression that just because a person is FAT they are depressed, lazy, overeaters who "can't" do this or that "because of the weight". ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME?! Seriously, it isn't the FAT that is holding anyone back, it is their attitude about being FAT! Do a marathon, I can't, I'm FAT...BULL, even Ron on the show did a marathon...he walked every step of it and had to rest, but he finished it in just over 13 hours! Have a man, get married? BULL, tons (no pun intended) and tons of FAT people are married and a great many of those happily! Some of these marriages are where both partners are FAT and some are not! To the one or more contestants (this year and next) who say that men don't like them because they are FAT....BULL, it is WAY more about YOUR attitude than the number on the scale! Look at the one contestants, Nicole was engaged BEFORE being on the Biggest Loser! There are instances where the man is FAT, which is more common...BUT...there are instances where the woman is the FAT one! Yes, believe it or not, there are men out there that are not scared of FAT women, in fact, I went on a blind date with one that only dated FAT women and he was not FAT himself! He just liked his women to be FAT! I don't remember this guys name and the date pretty much sucked because the gal that set us up was just trying to deter him from her and it didn't work, he really really really liked her! One of this years contestants said she wanted to lose weight so she could have babies...guess what? FAT women have babies, too! It's true, I promise! Kristen was shown as saying, "I was 29 and 360 pounds! What is scarier than that is that I would have told you I was healthy." Honestly, people...FAT people CAN be healthy...but I will admit that not every FAT person is healthy, obviously! Kristen was another favorite being eliminated late in the game as a game move by Mike, the cocky loser boy. She started out at 360 ending at 193 losing 167 or 46.39%, missing the at home prize by just 6 pounds!


The Biggest Loser campus makes huge claims of helping people learn a lifestyle. They justify their 'style' by having Dr H on there. They admit training these contestants like athletes. THEY ARE JUST PEOPLE!!! Tara lost 21 pounds in one week, early on, and I'm sorry, under no circumstances can this be healthy and is definitely not REALISTIC to ordinary people! Nicole went home early on, came back later in the season and won her way back on the show. After just a week on campus and living this lifestyle, she got on the scale to find that she had GAINED 5 pounds!!! Hmmm, that speaks volumes to me!!! Maybe this Biggest Loser lifestyle isn't all it is cracked up to be?!


Ok, back to my FAT soapbox. On BL, a lot of contestants complain about being depressed and that they are dying. We are all dying!!! A lot of people are depressed and many, if not most, of them are not FAT! In 2002, I was introduced to the book Fat!So?. I read it and loved it!!!! My first thought was that everyone who has ever met me has to read this book! If for no other reason than to just understand ME better! I mentioned earlier about the feeling that I should be ashamed of my 'number' on the scale! Well, guess what? I AM NOT ASHAMED!!!! One of the things this book talks about is that it boils down to 4 words: EAT RIGHT AND EXERCISE! Not everyone is meant to be a petite model or whatever your viewpoint in on this subject! Everyone is different in about every way! If you eat right and exercise, your body will do what it is meant to do! Sure, you may lose weight, but you WILL plataeu at some point and maintain the weight that is meant for your body! Ok, more on that book another time.


You may be wondering why I even watched this season of The Biggest Loser? I have asked myself that almost every week. I guess it started because my mom and cousin decided to do the Weight Watchers thing and were trying to work out starting it and so my mom was interested and we happened to watch the season premiere. Now on these silly reality shows, if I happen to see the premiere, I am stuck and I end up watching it all, so there you go. I get caught up in the game side of it! My cousin and my sister are big fans of the show and I'm sure that I may have very well offended them with this post, but they have their opinion and I have mine. This is just another thing we will not be changing each others mind about! Now, as we watched it, sometimes together, I listened to tons of comments that bothered me, but I was a good girl and ignored it all. As I watched the finale tonight, they had a contest for America to choose the final contestant for next season, Erinn, who said "My weight has held me back in relationships. We've done trainers, we've done dietitians, it just doesn't work." Amanda (who won and will be on next season) said, "I've missed out on way too many things because of my weight. I just want to go out there and have fun and do everything a normal girl wants to do, but my life is on hold. I can't do what I want to do because of my weight." Oh my...again, it is the attitude about the weight, not the weight itself!


After reading Fat!So? I gained a new confidence, because it was now ok for me to not be ashamed of my weight! This confidence grew over the years and then I watched this show and with the sidebar comments and the comments on the show, I could hear my brain eat at me with those old doubts. I had to wonder, again, you know the world seems to expect FAT people to be depressed and lazy and overeaters and never EVER happy. One of the biggest impression given by the contestants on the show is that they "thought they were happy", but they were just hiding it! Come on, people, I know several FAT people and there are many of us (some I know and some I don't know personally) that are in fact very happy! REALLY, not hiding it or faking it or whatever, just really happy! We live our lives, we do what we want, if you don't like it is your problem! Ok, with these doubts creeping in, I made the choice to go and read Fat!So? again, so you will see the review right here on my blog soon!


Three more things, my favorites to win were Sione or Filipe, but they weren't that close and that is ok. I have always had a love of the Tongan and Samoan people, but especially since my mission. It is hard for me to not like them. I am happy that these guys are taking what they have learned and trying to help others in their culture. I wish I could find a link to the clip of them doing "the dance"! They rock! After watching the finale, my favorite is David who started the season at 393 ending at 350 losing 43 or 10.94%. He is not my favorite because he lost the least! He is my favorite because he is losing it at a more realistic and healthy rate!!! My mom and cousin did finally start Weight Watchers and they are doing ok, honestly! They don't always seem to think so and I lay a big part of the blame on watching shows like The Biggest Loser for leading many people to very unrealistic expectations in their weight loss journey! On his video, David said, "I just want to live the life of a regular 24 yr old." David, you go on and you live that life! Living life isn't about how much you weight, it is about choices! You can still work on losing weight and live the life YOU want! Finally, Max, who is Ron's other son and Mike's brother...during the season, there was a lot of pressure being placed on this 17 yr old to follow in Mike and Ron's footsteps. Watching the show and watching his face, it was sometimes hard to tell if he really wanted this for himself or if he was just falling to the pressure of everyone else! I hope he can be strong enough to do what HE wants and not what everyone else expects of him! If that is to follow in their footsteps, then good for him, but, please let it be HIS choice!


In closing, some mistake my soapbox to mean that I am against losing weight! I am not, I think there are certain people that may be better off losing some weight. None that I know personally, but I do know they are out there! For myself, I am comfortable with myself and it is my burden to carry, literally. If I can accept it, then it is my opinion that everyone else should respect me enough to accept it, too! I wish my mom and my cousin the best in their goals, but I pray they keep in mind that it is just a number and remind them to please do not let that number define who they are! I respect your choices as I hope you would respect mine and love me anyway! Obviously, this is a HUGE soapbox for me and you WILL be seeing more about it and not just in the review for Fat!So? I make no apologies for the length of this post....and, I am opening the flood gates for the heat I'm about to take for such a post! Bring it on!!!
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