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2fat2jump
10-21-2008, 10:55 PM
I wasn't sure where to post this but here goes...

I'm watching Biggest Loser at the moment. I think it may only be the second time I've watched it this season. I understand that someone on this program does a ridiculous amount of exercise, and I've read articles about old contestants saying it wasn't unusual to starve themselves. One contestant went as far to eat nothing but asparagus for a week. I noticed the contestants this season were losing 7lbs a week! The one woman who only lost 2lbs had a look of complete devastation on her face. I'd be absolutely thrilled to have lost 2lbs!

Is this discouraging to anyone else?

I feel like this show puts pressure on me to drop an unrealistic amount of weight in a short period of time. I feel like if I don't lose 7lbs a week, society will consider me a failure. That if I tell someone how long I've been exercising and eating better they'll say, "...and you've only lost how much?!! Maybe you should cut more calories or work harder at the gym.." Deep down I know that taking my weight loss day by day is the right thing to do. I know that this is a life style change and as long as the weight is coming off, and I am doing things that are good for my body I am a success. Still - if I step on the scale and lose anything less than a pound I feel like I'm not trying hard enough.

At least for now, I'm DONE watching the Biggest Loser.


PhotoChick
10-21-2008, 11:00 PM
I absolutely HATE loathe and despise this show for the exact reasons you've described. I know some people find it inspirational, but the idea of kicking someone off the show because they "only" lost 3% of their bodyweight makes me want to throw up.

All the information that's come out about how the contestants lose weight - the not eating, the water fasts before weigh-in days, the eating canned asparagus for 2 days straight as a diuretic ... all of that is just disgusting to me.

Then again, I hate all these staged reality "kick em off" shows.

.

GatorgalstuckinGA
10-21-2008, 11:01 PM
i am watching the program right now too...i do feel that this program can be very devistating for those without realistic goals. I too was sad to see how disappointed someone was for loosing 2lbs. Holy cow..i jump for joy when i see a 1/2 lb lost. i personally don't feel pressure from the show...i guess becuase i realize this is a program where people aren't doing things "normally". You can't loose weight and exercise like them if you actually have a life. I guess i'm more realistic and realize it would never happen for me with my life and situation. But i do worry about some who have unrealistic expectations. I can see how it would be horribly disouraging.


Blue Serenity
10-21-2008, 11:34 PM
This is my first season watching this show and those are my thoughts exactly. That's Hollywood for ya! Bigger, better, more ... whatever!

7 or 8 pound weight loss ... REALITY show? Not my reality!!! I will gladly take a 2 pound loss any week!

EZMONEY
10-22-2008, 12:28 AM
I think most of us know the show isn't "real" but I think we can also learn a lot from it and I will say Angie and I love to see the improvement they have made.

It is about as real as the daily news/paper these days but entertaining...

just wish they made it a 1/2 hour show!

Thank goodness for dvr!

JulieJ08
10-22-2008, 12:38 AM
Being a TV show, I don't feel any pressure from it. But I also cannot see how it relates in any way to what I am doing and will be doing for the rest of my life, so I can't see why I would watch it.

vixjean
10-22-2008, 01:55 AM
I am very split on this issue;
Firstly, yes it is unrealistic for us to lose that much a week. But they are doing that all day long, eat, sleep, workout, workout, workout... There are some people on there to win 250,000 $ but others are on there to save their lives.

Why I love the show and watch is because I need the motivation. I see people 200, 300, 400 lbs on there that are BUSTING THEIR butts, it often brings me to tears. They do things I can't do and won't do. It is so amazing to see what people can do when they are pushed and motivated. I love hearing how they are off their medicines, and have no more symptoms of diabetes, things like that. That's why I love it! Yes, it all might be in fast forward when we compare it to our lives, but that's part of the motivation, for me.

kaplods
10-22-2008, 02:16 AM
I had mixed reactions to the show from the start, but I have to say they've become more negative with each season, as the risks the show takes with people's health seems to rise. Reality shows in general seem to be getting more and more unsafe as seasons progress. If the trend continues, it won't be long before we see "Running Man" come to life, and even sooner before deaths occur.

I was reading that eating disorders among teens and preteens are on a dramatic rise again, and in some of the cases young girls are running their own amateur "Biggest Loser" contests, mimicking what they see on tv, without medical or adult supervision or even knowledge. In part, I think this is a parental problem, in not being responsible in teaching your children what safe weight loss should look like, and discussing why the show is not showing safe, realistic, or responsible weight loss. And on the other hand, when I was a teen, it wouldn't have mattered - if I saw it, I would have tried it, because of the social pressure just to be "normal." An overweight teen is often desperate enough to gladly risk their lives to be thin.

Heck, a lot of adults are too. Many of the parents may have no idea that there is anything unsafe about the show. Because the show doesn't show the health screening process for potential contestants, nor publish the releases the contestants have to sign, I think the general impression is that the activities on the show are "perfectly safe." The super quick "don't try this at home," disclaimer at the tail end of the show doesn't really communicate the risks of attempting to do so. Especially when contestants are shown being not just encouraged, but bullied into ignoring and working through serious pain, a person at home could definitely get the impression that not being able to breath, chest pains, vomiting, excruciating joint or extremity pain is perfectly normal, and to be expected during exercise.

I think it's possible to watch the show, know it's limitations, take the good and ignore the bad. I just stopped watching it at the point that for me, there seemed to be more bad than good.

jimaterry
10-22-2008, 03:58 AM
i havnt watched the american version in a couple years, but i do watch the australian version on youtube. its a television show and i use it for entertainment purposes. what Does motivate me is seeing the changes their bodys go thru and knowing that mine can do the same albiet at a much slower pace lol...on one of the australian shows there was a contestant named John. he had had a heart attack and couldnt do any training other than walking.. and then only for 40 mins three times per day and couldnt let his heart rate go above 100... he had to wear the monitor every waking hour. he still lost weight.. that was inspirational to me as im so big i just can not do much exercise ...
if the x factor or american idol took 52 weeks to find the Winner i think we would all get bored with the contestants long before then and quit watching. if dancing with the stars took a year to find a winner i think we would get bored watching that as well... as for biggest loser, we had to wait 1 year to see a 80-100 lb weight loss with only 1lb -2lbs per week, i think it would get wayyy too boring... its a show, it has ratings, it has to keep an interest, which means in this day and age, it has to go fast.. i still think even tho their weight loss isnt the 'norm', we all know that going in (for the most part) anyway, so ..i take from it entertainment, and yes, motivation.. if they can do it in 2-4 months i KNOW i can do it since i dont have a time limit:)

Blue Serenity
10-22-2008, 09:27 AM
Entertaining? yes. Motivating? yes.

However ...

Reality shows in general seem to be getting more and more unsafe as seasons progress. If the trend continues, it won't be long before we see "Running Man" come to life, and even sooner before deaths occur.

if the x factor or american idol took 52 weeks to find the Winner i think we would all get bored with the contestants long before then and quit watching. if dancing with the stars took a year to find a winner i think we would get bored watching that as well... as for biggest loser, we had to wait 1 year to see a 80-100 lb weight loss with only 1lb -2lbs per week, i think it would get wayyy too boring... its a show, it has ratings, it has to keep an interest, which means in this day and age, it has to go fast

Yep. All about the ratings. It's like how far can they push it? (In the name of entertainment.) :rolleyes:

PhotoChick
10-22-2008, 01:37 PM
as for biggest loser, we had to wait 1 year to see a 80-100 lb weight loss with only 1lb -2lbs per week, i think it would get wayyy too boring... its a show, it has ratingsI guess my opinion is that not everything has to be a TV show. Some things ARE too boring for TV. Making them "TV-worthy" is not necessarily an admirable goal - or the right thing to do.

.

jahjah1223
10-22-2008, 03:32 PM
They need to seriously realize thats its not about who "WINS" its about changing your life to the better!. I think they should have rules and regulations for people not to starve themselves, and i think they should get kicked off the show if they do.

kelly315
10-22-2008, 03:54 PM
I try to watch the show without thinking about time. Although each episode is only a week, they are doing the amount of work and calorie cutting that most of us do over a few weeks or a month. If you just ignore the fact that its a week, it becomes much more enjoyable and then, you can think

wow, that could/will be me!

thatgirl1024
10-22-2008, 04:08 PM
If only I could lose 7lbs a week. Its not even possible for me. Those people are there to lose weight and to lose weight only. Nothing else. We have lives and other things to worry about. :(

sarahyu
10-22-2008, 04:26 PM
I stopped watching it because I get depressed seeing how much they work out and keep to a good eating plan and only lose 2 pounds a week.

It made me want to quit trying to lose the weight because if these guys who's job it is to excercise in a top-of-the-line gym, eat what is prepared for them and have a personal trainer and they aren't losing every week, how am I supposed to be able to lose weight when I'm working full time and don't have a good gym or a personal trainer or a cook that plans and prepares my meals for me?

So, I find it easier not to watch at all.

Sarah in MD

LandonsBaby
10-22-2008, 04:39 PM
I think most of us know the show isn't "real" but I think we can also learn a lot from it and I will say Angie and I love to see the improvement they have made.


You would be amazed at how many people don't realize it's not realistic and refuse to believe it when you tell them how it's actually done. :(

jimaterry
10-22-2008, 06:46 PM
when im feeling lazy, and dont wanna go for my walk, or get on my exercise bike, i think back to some of those people i saw that are my size and bigger and all the hard work they do in the gyms and it gives me the incentive to get off my rear and go for my darn walk lol..
we are all different and i understand why some dont like it.. why some get no motivation at all, but i personally enjoy it..and its obviously grown in popularity as its in loads of countrys now..
as for tv ratings etc... i only watch tv to be entertained.. otherwise why watch it lol?

JulieJ08
10-22-2008, 07:58 PM
They need to seriously realize thats its not about who "WINS" its about changing your life to the better!. I think they should have rules and regulations for people not to starve themselves, and i think they should get kicked off the show if they do.

Yeah, I want to be entertained too, but I just don't get what's entertaining about sending successful people home every week.

2fat2jump
10-22-2008, 08:14 PM
You would be amazed at how many people don't realize it's not realistic and refuse to believe it when you tell them how it's actually done. :(

exactly. That was the point I was trying to make.

leela0730
10-22-2008, 09:30 PM
I think everyone's got good points. The media has gone haywire lately with the reality TV...

...but, I really like Biggest Loser. :) I like hearing the personal stories, and I like seeing the "look where they are now" stories about each of the kicked-off contestants.

Whether or not they're doing it wisely for themselves, I don't know. They have doctors on staff who monitor the contestants, or at least that's what they say. But everyone above is right: it is completely unrealistic for anyone in the normal world to think that it's going to happen that way for them, and maybe the show should be a little more overt about making that point, to help people distinguish between what is manufactured in strict conditions for a show, and what is possible in "real life."

A side note, something I thought during the end of the last episode: maybe it's a testament to the limitations of the body that some of these people are working out like mad and dieting like mad, and they only lose 1 or 2 lbs....it's almost like the body says "Look, I can only do so much, and no matter how far you push me I'm going to regulate and protect myself from starvation or injury." Just an interesting thought.

My biggest reason for watching the show every week is that I get inspired by the interesting and unusual ideas the contestants are given to work out. Like, the episode where they went to the grand canyon (and no one did ANY work besides walking!), everyone kept saying "What, like I'm gonna go pick up boulders?" And I was like, "heck yeah, people, let's go outside and carry some rocks around or something. I don't know I just like finding out new ways to burn calories besides the usual gym-style workouts. Would have been cool if they'd come up with some outdoor games or something where they do a relay race or a tug of war or something.

Anyway, that's my two cents. :)

EZMONEY
10-22-2008, 10:26 PM
My brother in law was so bummed this morning as we car pooled to work. I got him hooked on BL...neither of us saw the end...getting up at 4am causes that!

Angie and I dvr it so we watched it tonight....I will tell him tomorrow.

He too loves the "success" of the ones kicked off.

I enjoy the show...know it isn't real...believe it does more good than harm...think most people realize reality TV is not real (gosh I really hope so!...if not people we have much bigger problems!) I learn new things...

that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

jimaterry
10-23-2008, 04:00 AM
one thing that totally amazes me is peoples faces as they lose weight.. when you lose is slow and right, you dont ( or i dont) notice the differences as much.. but with the contestants it is awesome to me to see how different they look in the face.. sometimes by the finale it really looks like a totally different person.. because of that, i have taken loads of face shots as well as full body shots as i lose weight so i can see the diffs..

Ufi
10-24-2008, 10:12 PM
I think the concept is interesting but the way they go about it is dangerous. Even that its compared to newspapers concerns me. It's called reality television, but it is so far from reality and what is realistic for many people that it sets up false expectations.

Ookpik
10-25-2008, 01:08 AM
I like BL because I get some good tips from the trainers. However, I do realize the show is far from realistic. I prefer a Canadian show called "X-Weighted"...nobody gets kicked off (they follow one person through a course of six months and just that person is featured in that episode), the people aren't taken from their homes (they have to find a time to exercise, etc., while juggling jobs and family), and they don't win prizes, just better body image and self esteem. If they're lucky, they might lose around 40 pounds or so in six months, definitely not in one week. It may seem boring but it really inspires me.

kaplods
10-25-2008, 01:33 AM
I do prefer the realistic portrayals of weight loss, and I find them more applicable to my life, and more motivating, but I think the documentary style is often seen as "too boring" for most viewers.

But I think that's becoming more and more true, as "fast food journalism and entertainment" becomes more the norm. If it isn't exciting, people stop watching. So, if you WANT the boring, in-depth details, you're often in the minority, or at least seen that way.

It's interesting to see what some people will do to be on tv/win 250,000 when living in a secluded, dedicated environment without the stress and distraction of ordinary life, but not much of it applies to my weight loss. In fact, I need to remember it, because of health issues that make trying to imitate the contestants, even in a limited way, potentially very painful and even dangerous for me. I've got a master's degree in psychology and am usually a pretty level-headed individual, but I've even had a hare-brained scheme or two after watching TBL. For me, it's usually physical activity related. My husband says I have two speeds, comatose and energizer bunny. And it's true that with fibro, on a bad day, getting out of bed is hard, and on a good day I want cram in as much activity as I can to make up for everything I've missed and then some. From my fibro group, it sounds like I'm pretty typical.

So, on a good day (besides wanting to clean the house top to bottom and go grocery and clothing shopping), I want to do a BL workout on the treadmill or at the pool.

Of course the more I cram in, the more likely the next day will not be so good. But geez, pacing yourself is so difficult and boring.

I think different people have different issues with weight loss, but for me the extremes were never my problem, sustaining for the long haul was my problem. I could go days without eating, and I could spend hours exercising (one day), but the long, boring haul was where I had difficulty. One week of eating nothing was a lot easier than months of eating sensibly. One day of crazy exercise, was a lot easier than a reasonable amount of activity every day.

In that sense, I think TBL is something that isn't terribly healthy for me to watch, because it can still be somewhat tempting to go back to the extremes rather than investing in a more reasonable, more practical long haul.

modcat44
10-25-2008, 01:43 AM
Ookpik--that show sounds so interesting to me! Too bad it's in Canada.

I look at it like a boot camp, or a fat camp re-hab, if you will. In re-hab, or in a boot camp, you are in a bubble focused on a select goal or set of goals 24/7. Of course most of us know that, and without real life in the way, a lot of progress is achieved in a condensed amount of time.

What is neat, however, is seeing that ALL the kicked-off contestants still went on and lost weight and got into better, healthier habits. While back in their "real" life. It really did become a huge watershed experience for them. Better success rate than a true re-hab, it seems.

Something to be said about being on tv and so being more accountable? Or just being made to face up to their other problems, stop trying to deny or hide their existence with food?

kaplods
10-25-2008, 03:51 AM
I wouldn't call the success better than rehab, as we don't have the actual statistics to compare, as many (perhaps most) of the contestants from former seasons have regained a good portion of their weight. I believe that last statistic I remember reading for the season 1 contestants was that they had maintained an average of about 20 lbs. as Season 3 was about to start. Every contestant had a lot more than 20 lbs to lose, so that no doubt means some gained nothing and some regained it all and maybe some extra too, and many faired somewhere in the middle.

That's not to say that any of the contestants who maintained any of their original losses doesn't have an achievement to be proud of, it's just difficult to say whether the boot camp approach is any more effective than a more moderate one. Although the television depiction implies that it is, as they don't often show the contestants who gained much of the weight back.

kaplods
10-25-2008, 04:02 AM
This discussion has made me wonder what the true long-term success rate
of the contestants has been, and whether their success rate is better or worse than traditional methods, or if there are health problems they face because of their experience on TBL. I think the health problems would be almost impossible to guage (was it the weight, the weight loss, the stress, or destined to happen anyway), but the long term success (at least up to this point) might be available somewhere. I'd rather have group and individual statistics, but most likely only a few individual stories are scattered here and there, but if anyone has seen any they might post the information and where they found it.

I did find Ryan Benson's story here (he has regained most of the weight):

http://www.celebritydietdoctor.com/ryan-benson-biggest-loser-follow-up/

More follow up stories:

http://www.diet-blog.com/archives/2007/07/04/the_biggest_loser_where_are_they_now.php

kaplods
10-25-2008, 04:34 AM
It's weird, usually I can find almost anything in a few minutes on Google, but I've really only found follow up on about five former contestants.

Ryan who regained nearly everything

Mark who gained about 35lbs back at last count

Poppie who may be keeping it off

Kelly Minner who may be keeping it off


I would have expected it to be easier to find follow up stories, but not many of the stories about the follow-up were dated less than a year from the show. I'd love to know who kept it off and how, and who gained and why they think they did.

KforKitty
10-25-2008, 07:20 AM
It's weird, usually I can find almost anything in a few minutes on Google, but I've really only found follow up on about five former contestants.

Ryan who regained nearly everything

Mark who gained about 35lbs back at last count

Poppie who may be keeping it off

Kelly Minner who may be keeping it off


I would have expected it to be easier to find follow up stories, but not many of the stories about the follow-up were dated less than a year from the show. I'd love to know who kept it off and how, and who gained and why they think they did.

I know what you mean as I tried to find some information on TBL contestants long term weight loss and did not come up with much. I suspect that they may have something in their contract about talking to the press afterwards, either that or they've all gained substantial amounts of weight and keeping a low profile. It does seem odd however.

Kitty

Ookpik
10-26-2008, 01:08 AM
Modkat...I believe the show airs on Discovery Health channel in the States. Check it out if you get the chance...the "real life" experiences of the participants are what makes me love the show and get inspired.

modcat44
10-26-2008, 06:34 AM
Ookpik--Thanks! Always looking for new inspiration! :)

kaplods, kforfitty--you are right! Not much info follow-up to be found! Probably they do have something in their contracts but I would hope it has a time limit on it. Maybe someday some talk show or news magazine will be able to do a thorough follow-up story on previous contestants. That would be so interesting!

Probably end up being just like all of us, some with set-backs, some with permanent changes to healthy lifestyle and weight.

I still think the "intervention" aspect of the show is helpful to a few people, at least. Not to say that they wouldn't have eventually on their own at a later date started to get healthy--those that are sticking with it are the ones most likely who would have been driven to do something anyway, I guess. :)

katieonaplan
10-26-2008, 08:31 PM
When I found out that the contestants work out for 6+ hours a day, I was stunned. I don't think I could even think of exercising that long, seriously. I know I wouldn't last long on that show. ;)

kaplods
10-26-2008, 09:13 PM
I think that contestants who have gained back some or all of the weight are probably unlikely to talk to the media even if their contract allows. There's still quite a culture of blame attached to unsuccessful weight loss attempts, so I'm sure many would rather avoid the negative attention.

It's hard enough not to feel like a huge, fat failure when you gain weight without knowing that the world is watching.

EZMONEY
10-27-2008, 12:04 AM
Could you even imagine what they may be going through if they did gain all that weight back...with all that help. I bet some are in some very sad situations with "everyone" around them knowing they failed again. Can't be easy being them.

Loriann7
10-27-2008, 08:21 AM
I stopped watching the show. I think I seen part of the first or second epi this season, that is it. I have a hard time with the media focuses in again and again on the sob stories (once is alright, but throughout the season they show and say the same things, drives me nuts)... Also, I know that the situation the contestants are in is not ideal, and often worried about them once they went back into their real life situations. As one poster posted a few links to follow up stories, I can only say, "point proven." Kelly with 4 hours of exercise a day? um, not sure about the rest of you, but I have a life outside of maintaining my body which, when we all die, goes back to dust anyway! And the winner of the first season gaining most his weight back? yeah, thats more like reality.

As for me, I'll continue to lose my measly 2 pds a month when I'm lucky, knowing my blood chemistry is better, blood pressure is lowered, and more energy than ever! Knowing that what I am feeding myself is better for me, thats reward in and of itself!

As for entertainment, I'll stick to my books, or crime shows ;).

Amy8888
10-27-2008, 10:54 AM
I'm often looking for TV shows about weight loss to help my butt into gear, I really do like to see before and afters. But I just can't watch this show. I think it might be more for the manufactured drama than anything else. I hate waiting for the scale to register and how they always go to break then come back and repeat the entire scale sequence, I hate the challenges where they can eat a roomful of donuts in order to see their loved ones (or whatever). I like when they go home and you get to follow them in real life, because that maintenance is what really matters. And of course, I hate how unrealistic it is and how people feel like a failure when they only lose 5 pounds. Isn't it pretty much a fact that 2-3 of those pounds are water weight?

So yeah, not a big fan. There was a different show and I can't even remember what it's called, but it featured people walking day in and day out. It was criticized for overdramatizing stuff, didn't get big ratings, but at least it showed real people losing decent amounts of weight, and they did it by walking. That was much more realistic.

Anyway, if you are like me and like before and afters, I've learned that you can pretty much record the Biggest Loser season finale and in that one show you can see the people's stories, get a glimpse of the effort people put in, and you get to skip of the manufactured drama for the most part and get right to the before and afters that can be motivating.

kaplods
10-27-2008, 01:07 PM
I had to stop watching the show, I think because I was having too much empathy for the contestants. I started feeling like the stunts they were putting people through were getting more and more dangerous, and someone was going to die or get seriously hurt on camera. I couldn't get the thought out of my mind, that even though each contestant probably had been informed of the risks and had signed pages and pages of releases -- if someone died or got seriously hurt, it would be partially my fault for providing an audience for the events. In a real sense, I feel that most reality shows aren't far removed from blood sports. Part of the draw is that someone could get hurt.

I mean, reality shows are really not much different from the Coliseum except that most of the participants are volunteers (the exception being the targets of some of the scary practical joke shows). Many gladiators were volunteers also, risking their lives in exchange for fame, social status, financial gain and sex appeal (hmm, sounds familiar).

I do wonder about the long term effects of being on the show. Whether they are positive or negative for most players. Did they leave the show with practical skills that would help them manage their weight in the real world? Did the experience enrich their lives or add stresses? Did any of them experience post traumatic stress from the boot camp environment of the show? (or were the screaming insults at workouts just for the cameras). Did they have mental or physical injuries or illnesses that might have been triggered by the physical and psychological stress. We do know that many vomitted, some had stress fractures, panic attacks, and cardiac events. Are those risks really acceptable in the name of entertainment, whether or not the person signed a release?

For those that gained some or all of it back, I wonder how many felt it was worth it anyway.

I wonder how many people at home are trying to duplicate the results they saw on the show. I've seen a lot of "Biggest Loser" competitions crop up in the workplace sponsored by employers, and among social and community organizations, and just among friends online and in person. Generally with no supervision from medical staff, and it makes me wonder whether the emphasis on speed rather than health, will not have adverse long term consequences.

Scarlett
10-27-2008, 05:53 PM
The thing that pissed me off about the show is that they treat the fat people kind of like a side show. It humiliates them to the greatest extent that they can without too much negative back lash. Weighing them on a truck stop scale, making the girls show their stomachs for weigh ins (which for a fat girl is never fun), plus the big foot/horror music that plays as the camera zooms in of their large guts and behinds.

I think that if the show would just focus on the human intrest stories and not degrade the contestants it would be MUCH better.

lifechange
10-27-2008, 06:40 PM
Just a quick scan through this thread- we all know and understand the premise of the show accept it for what it is. There is no question there are some negatives- the $ have made this a competition so people play games with water and food intake. But ultimately it shows that with dedication and hard work you can change the way you live your life, eat and lose weight. We have also seen the reality post show- some people succeed and stick with it and others fail- it is a great reminder that this is truely a lifechange not just weightloss. It is great to see the success, it is disappointing that people who are working so hard are booted off so early but.... look at how they are motivated to continue to change their lifestyle at home. I like seeing that some weeks despite all of the hard effort they only lose 2 lbs and other weeks they lose 6. It can be translated to what we all experience- just in smaller numbers. Some weeks your body is holding onto more water. I enjoy the show and take it for what it is. In fact I would love to have time to just focus on only me-fitness, diet, health. I have been considering taking 1 week of my vacation and doing that at home- can't afford a retreat. A big part of it is the mindset- do we look forward to exercise or dread it. I want to spend a week looking forward to it- get up in the morning and go to the gym for cardio and weights. At lunch time spend 30 min swimming lengths. Before dinner go for a bike ride. In between -a hottub and a magazine, put conditioner on my hair etc. Of course I would still have to take care of the kids and make dinners etc- but the rest of the day would be all about me. When do we ever get to complete focus on ourselves and our health/fitness. I am going to do this! Re followup- Just saw that on Thursday Oprah has some of the old contestants on her show to follow up on journey/success or relapse.