Archive for January, 2008

The Biggest Loser: Couples – Meet the Enablers

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

I wasn’t sure how this twist was going to play out. Parents and their kids. Brothers. Newlyweds and long-time marrieds. Friends. Even a divorced duo. They’re in it together, through thick and thin, so to speak.

The premise seems like a no-brainer, right? A trusted teammate you can count on. Someone to go through the journey with you. Someone who knows you and understands you and is in Obesity Hell, too.

But then Jillian came on the screen and said she didn’t like this approach one bit. I couldn’t figure out why, until she used a word I hadn’t thought about much:


She said this is going to be extra hard for her and Bob, because the people she’s training have their enablers with them. Interesting point of view, isn’t it? Instead of looking at it as having a source of motivation, she’s seeing nothing but the enemy.

Oh, but when those gigantic weight loss numbers came up on the scale – 10 lbs, 19 lbs, 26lbs lost by single people in a given week, and combined duo losses of 209, 30, and 40+ lbs – it’s hard to believe that working with one of those “better half” types is a hinderance in the battle of the bulge.

I kept thinking that the teams must’ve all pulled a Neil, which is a technique named after a guy from last season who chugged two gallons of H2O right before the weigh in, so he logged in with an unprecedented 17 lb gain. It was a good strategy, too, since the following week he got to claim the benefits of a 30 lb loss.

It’s hard to come to terms with the fact that so many people can lose so much weight in one hard-working week, even with all the “they’ve got trainers and guidance and blah blah blah” caveats. Especially when it happens to be January 1st, the day of the year when all fat people are looking down the barrel of the gun of a NEW YEAR.

“Is this THE year? The year I lose the weight, once and for all? The year I defeat whatever psychological demons I have within that possess me and convince me I’m perpetually hungry? The year I sweat so much at the gym that gallons of fat literally melt off of me, week after week?”

What a brilliant move, NBC. Get us while we’re scared and vulnerable. Kick us where it counts. Then show us that who we think are our lives allies may really be the ones we need to watch out for in the biggest way.

As if being fat didn’t suck enough!