Originally posted Jan 15, 2013 – edited
I watched The Biggest Loser last night. For the uninitiated, this is a U.S. reality TV show that has been airing for many years. I got hooked several years ago via my girlfriend Sydney, and have been a fan ever since. Watching last night was different for me though.
Now, I feel that I’m no longer just passively watching a TV program, rather, I feel uniquely connected to it.
I’ve actually experienced ‘a day in the life’. Scratch that. I’ve truly experienced an entire week in the life, having stayed at a Biggest Loser Resort two months ago, in November 2012.
I won’t lie, the Russian Princess and I were super disappointed when we realized that the resort we were staying at wasn’t the place where they actually film the show. Oh, but you better believe that the minute we found out that the “real” Biggest Loser ranch was just a few miles down the road, our GPS was pointed in that direction immediately.
Here I am at the entrance to the gym. Look familiar?
While the exterior grounds are open to the public [or so we told ourselves], most [probably all] of the buildings are off-limits [not to mention under the vigilant watch of security guards]. Likely due to the fact that they were actually filming season 14 at the time we
Being the naughty monkeys we are, the Russian Princess and I decided that rules don’t apply to us, so we began exploring.
First we snuck into the gym:
Then we discovered the weigh-in room, an annex to the gym, and ….SQUEE!!… we even got to stand on the scale!!
Sadly, it wasn’t turned on, so we never got the answer to Alison Sweeney’s famous opening… “And your current weight is…”
Regardless, here I am, playing all nervous at the results of my ‘weigh in’.
We approached the main residence to see if we could sneak in; unfortunately that’s when the Po-Po shut us down.
We even tried flashing them our official “credentials” (our name badges from The Biggest Loser Resort). No dice. They told us we didn’t belong.
Thanks a lot, Fun Police, way to kill our dreams.
Watching the show now, having had the experience of visiting the ranch, is a lot of fun – but also evokes some strong emotions. After the two-part premier last week, the Russian Princess and I exchanged texts.
hey, just watched it…got pretty emotional, said she.
me too… cried like a baby, I replied.
It’s the contestants’ 3rd week at the ranch; their individual stories are starting to unfold. And, for the first time in all the seasons I’ve been watching, I find myself feeling embarrassed; as though I’m being obscenely voyeuristic, in observing their raw emotion; their deep-seated pain and fears.
Perhaps because, for the first time, it really hits home for me.
One contestant, Pam, has touched a nerve with me. She has done a lot of crying. She has told trainer Jillian she can’t. She has told herself she can’t.
I found myself so angry with her last night.
And then I realized why.
I’m angry with Pam because I am Pam.
My week at BLR Fitness Ridge started out badly. Epic fail badly. It all went downhill following the very first workout, a 2.5 hour hike first thing Monday morning.
Despite being a regular hiker, I found myself inexplicably struggling.
My heart rate was off the charts; I was in an anaerobic state the entire hike.
This gave me huge anxiety. I got way too deep into my own head. “If you’re anaerobic, you’re not burning fat. You’re here to burn fat. What are you doing? Slow down. I can’t slow down. I don’t want to be last.”
My physical struggle took a back seat to the psychological struggle and self flagellation.
This craziness lasted for FOUR of my seven days at the resort.
Yup. I’m stupid that way.
But, hold on, no I’m not.
I’m smart. I’m capable. I’m driven. I’m goal-oriented. So….. WHY WAS I SABOTAGING MYSELF???
I will tell you that I cried more that week than I have in the previous 10 years. I was an emotional basket case. I didn’t even recognize myself. It was …gross. Awful. Hard. Embarrassing.
It truly was… My Week of Tears.
Enough tears to fill a dry river bed with white water rafting-style currents.
I was terrified, but I had a decision to make. I could either give into my fear or acknowledge that fear and do it anyway.
I decided to grab some paddles and a life jacket, and navigate those choppy waters.
And something magical happened. I had a breakthrough. One that I promise to reveal more about in coming posts.
But for now, dear readers, I need, no, I WANT to go workout. Today is day 15 of 365 consecutive days of sweat. And off I go.
To read part two of this series, click here.