April 16, 2008

And the Winner Is......Ali

Last night was the finale for The Biggest Loser, and fan or not you have got to admire a girl who can lose 112 lbs in 6 months with nothing but hard work.

I won't go into the details of the show, if you're a fan you know, if you're not, you don't care; this is about what you can do.

Six months ago, 20 contestants started filming the latest season of The Biggest Loser that ended last night. The final 4: Ali, Kelly, Trent and Mark, were on the show for 15 weeks and then at home working out for 6 weeks before the finale. That is a long time to put your life on hold, so why do they do it? One of the players, Bernie, said it best. “People don’t go on this show to win the money.” Curtis’ goal was to lose enough weight to qualify for health insurance for himself and his family. He did it. Finalist Kelly, wanted to lose enough to be able to have a baby. She did it too. All of them cited health and family and wanting a better life.

You see, there aren’t really many fat people on The Biggest Loser. The winners are those who happen to be fat. There is a big difference between people like them and people who are inherently fat. The winners are fat because things have happened in their lives and they took it out on their bodies, hid behind their weight, or just didn’t know any other way. They are not gluttons, slobs, or hedonists; they are people who lost their way. Naturally the show throws in some fat people, but the ones who go the distance are the people who happen to be fat.

I have auditioned for the show because I don’t believe I am a fat person either. I have never thought of myself as a fat person, and I have always tried not to act like one. There have been times when my mind was shut down and my body bore the burden. I felt asleep and unable to wake, but now I have been recalled to life, and so I auditioned. And not because I want the money. Of course I would take it, but it would not be worth the humiliation of the whole world watching my struggle unless it made the difference for the rest of my life.

I drove 3 hours to the audition. I looked around and boy did I see fat people. I almost didn’t go in because I did not want to be associated with this herd. I thought I could just act like I was not there for the audition and no one would notice me. Just then two other non-fat fat girls invited me to go in with them. We had a great time. 6 hours in line, most of it on our feet and we managed to laugh our way through it.

We started out telling each other about ourselves but then we got hungry, so my new friend suggested we order a pizza. By this time we had been in line for nearly 4 hours and we were deep in the middle of the crowd. By our estimation the pizza delivery boy would have to squeeze past 300 to 350 starving fat people, some of whom had been there a lot longer than us. They’d have torn him limb from limb. Had he lived to tell about it, that pizza guy would have come out of there missing not only his pizza, but possibly a leg or an arm if the pack could have figured out a way to make a fire.

Luckily one of my new friends had some gum. Any port in a storm right? But then she came up with an idea! Looking around at the ever weakening band of stout rivals she reasoned that we might be able to sell our treasured cache of Trident. A buck a piece we reasoned. $1.50 for the kind with sugar in it. We settled for chewing away and making fun of some of the more flamboyant fatties. They must have thought they were dressing for a Let’s Make a Deal audition.

Three Grande Amigos dreaming of working out with trainers Bob and Jillian, while praying somebody would pass out or give up and leave so we could have their seat. It turned out we did not get picked that day, but have since sent in a video as a team. Keep your fingers crossed. I can’t complain, I made two new friends who aren’t fat people either, and I have since lost some weight on my own. So I will continue to watch Biggest Loser and cheer for all the people like me who just got lost and are looking for the way back.


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