My Reaction to the Biggest Loser Finale

It’s after 10pm in Colorado (on a school night!) and I just got done watching NBC’s Biggest Loser.  While I told myself that I was going to take my happy self to bed, I just can’t.  Too many things are going through my head about the show I just watched.

Right after Bobby appeared  on-stage showing off his slim and trim self, I posted this message to the NTTC Facebook page.

Biggest Loser 2014 | No Thanks to Cake

I have always loved this show.  Not because of their lose-weight-fast techniques (that’s topic for another post), instead because I see that look on people’s faces that I recognize so much: that look of pride and elation for having lost the weight as they step across the finale stage.  I’ve seen that look on my very own face many times since I’ve freed myself of 65+ lbs over the past three years. On a small scale, I get what they’re going through…

Before After | No Thanks to Cake

I think Bobby’s comments were the most relatable to me… he said that he was finally proud of himself.  And, he didn’t even have to say it.  You could see it all over his face and in the way he carried himself.  That man is forever transformed… I am honored to have had a chance to see a glimpse of his journey.

For me, the show has always represented hope. It helps people believe they can achieve what they never thought possible.  And, for all of those sitting on the couch at home watching… it offers you a moment to think that MAYBE, just MAYBE it could be you in the spotlight.

Biggest Loser Finalists | No Thanks to Cake

Now, the nature of this show is that it is a weight loss competition, so he/she who loses the most weight wins.  Clearly this year, there was a contestant who pushed this “contest” to the limit, much further than we’ve ever seen before.  I anticipate the press will cover it over and over today and criticize the show intensely.

Doctors and dietitians are going to swoop in and make the call on what has happened.  For this, I feel confident and appreciate.  I also feel confident that the winner will be guided toward greater health… and new rules will be established in the contest.  I think we all saw that lookon the trainers’ faces.  This was not what they expected to have happened during the at-home portion.  It has never happened before, and I am hopeful that the contest portion of the show will be guided differently in the future to assure contestants don’t take extreme measures.

I feel in many ways that as a weight loss blogger, I am expected to have a critical opinion on tonight’s show.  That I am expected to take a strong stance on the contestant and show.  And, that I am expected to provide an expert (or at least an educated) opinion on what happened this season.

Disclaimer: I’m not an MD, nor dietician.  I’m not involved in any part of the weight loss process associated with this show.  Instead, I’m merely a spectator who pressed the right buttons on my remote and landed on the right channel to watch it.  I’ve also experienced a small fraction of the weight loss we saw tonight and kept it off.  Note:  That doesn’t make me an expert.  It makes me a fan of watching a show that has helped people who achieve their dreams.  

I’ve also watched these men and women struggle with their weight.  I’ve had a glimpse of their breakdowns over what got them to their obese state.  I’ve watched them participate in herculean challenges and been in awe by their newfound strength. Lastly, I’ve cried with them as they’ve revealed their final weight loss to America.  And I’ve related to so much of their beautifully-imperfect journeys, the part of the journey that we watched this season on the ranch.

When I carried around my excess weight, I judged my body way too harshly. The words I had for myself were more intense than what anyone could have ever said to me.  Whether it was criticism over the number staring at me from the tag on my jeans, that I couldn’t resist the meal I just devoured, or even that I really couldn’t cross my legs properly, the self-criticism was intense.  There was only one person saying this to me… judging me, telling me I wasn’t good enough, and it wasn’t millions of Americans (thank goodness!)

As a result, I have a pretty firm position on weight loss and judging other people’s journey.  I really try not to do it.  

Instead, I wish anyone battling the scale my support, good health, and peace, and I think it’s incredibly important to reserve judgment.

So rather than casting my judgment on these contestants today, I’m choosing to send love and support… and from the few comments I saw on my personal Facebook feed last night, Twitter, and the internet so far, there will be plenty of judgment for you to read elsewhere.

I just can’t contribute to it.

Instead, I choose to send my best to all of those we saw on last night’s Biggest Loser.  (Did you see Tumi, Marie, and Ruben?  WOW!)  There were a lot of success stories on that stage tonight, and I suspect the process has really just started for all the contestants.

As we all know, there is no quick fix to losing weight.  There is no magic pill, nor magic procedure that will make it all go away (and stay away.)

What does exist every once in a while is that magical moment in time where you feel motivated to change your life, when you find yourself inspired to dream, and when you finally feel compelled to change.  I have to believe that there were many people who experienced that moment while watching this show over the years, and for that I am grateful.  Grateful as well to the contestants who put themselves out there and share their stories…

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The World Series of Weight Loss {Season 13}

Oh… it’s been four days since the finale.  If you haven’t yet watched the final episode of my favorite reality show, I’m going to tell you that you probably should leave this page as I’m going to SPOIL the CRAP out of it.

SPOILER ALERT!!!!

I like to call the Biggest Loser Finale “The World Series of Weight Loss” or “Super Bowl of Slimdowns.”. To me, seeing people change their lives and get healthy is SOOOO much more exciting than seeing grown men chase after a ball on TV.  So without further ado… let’s discuss!

Three contestants faced off in the finale this season:  Jeff, Danni, and Jackson (after a viewer’s vote.)  Oh, how I adored these three from the beginning.

Jeff – – That blue-eyed cutie pie who seemed very unemotional throughout the series.  I rooted for him just the same, and sprung MAJOR tears when he and Bob bonded in the final episode.

Danni – –  I related to Danni so much, especially since her starting weight was only TWO more lbs than mine.  I totally could have been on this show back in the day…

Jackson – – Oh, Jackson… I loved you from the beginning.  Truthfully, I loved your constant puking.  Not when I actually saw it happening.  It reminded me of how very hard those workouts were, and it made us kindred spirits.  If I had to work out for 8 hours a day, I’d be puking right next to you, brotha…

At Home

As usual, BL paraded out all of the folks who had been eliminated throughout the season.  Something I found interesting this season was that the at-home transformations were not nearly as dramatic as in years past.  For example, Michael and Alex had the most significant transformations.  Aside from those two, the others reflected more realistic weight loss.

I think we normally see these contestants going nuts at-home and wow’ing us all… this year was different.  Losing weight takes time and takes persistence.  These folks are well on their way, losing at a pace that’s more manageable than in years past.  Most of their journeys are still underway… but gosh, they looked happy.  LOVED that!

I wasn’t at all surprised to see Gina win the at-home prize.  She competed so well on the ranch… and had lost so much on the ranch, it just made sense.  Truth be told, I would have liked to have seen Michael or another that spent more time on his own take the prize… especially after watching Gina complain most of the season.

The Kids

I LOVED the Kids!  I absolutely loved the kids!  They REALLY made the season… and I loved seeing their little personalities pop when they lost the weight.  They absolutely deserve every bit of the recognition they received and I hope that they continue on their healthy journeys forever.

I especially loved how Biingo’s family had gotten healthy in the process… and Sunny, she just looked so stunning and so happy!  So fantastic to see all of these kids’ achieving their goals!

And the Winner Was… 

Having been my favorite throughout the season, you can only imagine how excited I was to see my girl Danni take the stage.  She.  Looked.  UH-MAZING.  Not sure I could have rocked this hairdo… but she sure did.

She also looked NERVOUS.  I can only imagine how she felt on that stage… but she had every right to stand proudly and to rock that new bod she built.  She looked incredibly TONED!  Her body shaped by Jillian was absolutely gorgeous.  {Can I have her arms please??}  I even thought the two bared a little resemblance in the after-show photos.  What do you think?

In the end, Danni’s hard work more than paid off with her winning the title of the Biggest Loser and associated cash and prizes.  Her before and after below says it all… she rocked this season!

I felt a little bit for Jeff, since he lost by just ONE POUND.  I can’t imagine being that close to winning… but in the end, he won his health.  I also read that Danni is taking him on a vacation, which I think is awesome.  They both deserve to celebrate!

So… another season comes to a close, and I feel like we’ll have to wait an eternity for the next season.

What did you think of the finale?  Did you expect Danni to win?

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Biggest Loser Makeover Week

Did you guys watch Biggest Loser this week?  It was my ABSOLUTE favorite episode of the season… it always is.

Makeover Week!!!

The contestants looked UH-Mazing!  My absolute favorite of the bunch was Gina.  How stunning did she look??? She is not my favorite contestant… but that blue dress?  Nice work, Tim Gunn!

(Source)

Danni, the contestant I relate most too, also rocked it and just looked so COMFORTABLE in her skin.  Her words during the reveal were really telling.  She talked about the fact that she’d changed her life… and that she didn’t realize how bad it was until she started her program.

(Source)

I loved Jackson’s new look, and I KNEW that Jeff was going to look great.  From the very beginning, he was one to watch with those pretty blue eyes.  Last but certainly not least… the kids.  They looked SO GREAT!  I loved each of their style expression, and especially loved Sunny’s reveal look – – She looked so CONFIDENT!

(Source)

Now, I didn’t have the professionals involved this weekend, but I did have a little mini makeover of my own…

BEFORE

After month of going closer to my natural hair color, I decided it was time to stop the insanity and bring on SPRING!  And, I felt like a little retail therapy might also be a nice pick me up!  After spending a few hours in the chair transforming my hair color, I headed to JCPenney to see what they had for me.

Yes, I said JCPenney.  Yeah… I hadn’t shopped their since I moved out of my parents house, but after reading Skinny Emmie‘s posts recently, I wanted to check it out!

Here’s my before look (after my hair appointment, of course.)  Oh… and the photography below?  Totally my own work.  Mad skills, I know…

Shirt: H&M, Jeggings: New York & Company, Boots: Forever 21

I found some super cute workout clothes!  That’s why I was there… Emmie had talked about the Xersion line, and I LOVED it!  They have bold flourescents and 80s inspired mesh sweatshirts (LOVE!)

Wore this cute shirt to the gym last night. I’m going to have to get it in another color too… cute, cute

I think this is supposed to be worn to workout… but I like it as a top with jeans, too!

Continuing to channel the 80s,  I NEEDED a fluorescent infinity scarf too… I’m always a sucker for accessories, afterall.

Trying not to laugh at myself for taking pics… Let me assure you, this fab scarf will be worn with more than my cami…

Last but not least, I found the CUTEST dress for spring.  I’m thinking that I can wear this work on Fridays with a sweater, or maybe out to dinner.  I can’t wait for it to be warm enough to wear it!!!

Imagine it without that weird belt. It will be replaced…

A walked out with a nice little bag of clothes at a FRACTION of the cost I usually spend on new pieces.  I was SO excited!

Not a bad little shopping spree…

Overall, I think the new JCP is worth checking out!  I picked up workout clothes, a few little staples, and that cute dress!  Thanks, Skinny Emmie for the suggestion!

Have you tried the new JCP?  Thoughts?

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Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

Do you ever get introduced to a clever new recipe and you think…

How the heck did I not think of this??

I had this experience this weekend when I saw the latest video post from our friends Olivia and Hannah from Biggest Loser.  I’ve mentioned many a-time that I am HUGE fans of these ladies, and I find them SO inspiring!

They’ve started posting a lot of videos on YouTube, as well as maintaining a blog called MyFitspiration.  If you haven’t checked them out yet, click here to see what they’re about.

Now, when I saw on Twitter that they had posted a PB and Chocolate Hot Chocolate this weekend… I literally gasped.  When I watched the video and found out that they used my favorite secret ingredient PB2, you know what… I gasped again.

By the way, I had shared previously that PB2 was available online… I’m finding it my local grocery stores now.  I’ve seen it at Whole Foods Market and at King Soopers/Kroger.  Start looking for it locally… it’s out there!

Being Picky McPickerson, of course… I decided to make some modifications, and I came up with the following UH-MAZING and UH-MAZINGLY EASY peanut butter hot chocolate.  Thanks, Olivia and Hannah, for this delicious Fitspiration!  I heart you both!  xoxo

Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

Inspired by Biggest Loser’s Hannah and Olivia 

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

1 packet Sugar-Free Hot Chocolate

8 oz. water

1 Tbsp. PB2 Peanut Butter Powder

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Fill a mug with 8 oz. of water.  Heat in the microwave until boiling.

2.  Pour contents of the hot chocolate packet into the mug.

3.  Add 1 Tbsp. of PB2 to the mug, and mix well.  Note:  I used a small whisk to combine the ingredients.

4.  Drink your tasty new drink, and enjoy!  Note:  I moved my cocoa into a new mug so it would look better for this picture.  In doing so, I noticed all the PB2 didn’t quite combine, but it definitely gave a PButtery flavor to the hot chocolate.  At the very bottom though, you might have some PB2 residue.  Don’t let it deter you, as it tastes delish!

Per Serving:

CAL 83; CARB 14g; FAT 2g; PROT 5g; FIB 1g; SOD 297mg

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