The Biggest Loser

I, like so many of you, woke up yesterday morning, and after logging into all the social media accounts, was bombarded by news of ‘The Biggest Loser’ finale.

For anyone who may have been sleeping under a rock, here’s what went down.

Rachel Frederickson was named as the winner of TBL on NBC at the finale on Tuesday night.  As of all accounts, she was looking fantastic during the finale episode, and in the months between that episode and the finale, Rachel managed to lose a decent amount of additional weight, and appeared, by many accounts “shockingly thin” at the finale on Tuesday evening.

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TBL via YouTube

Off of her previously 260-lb frame, the former athlete dropped 155-lbs, and nearly 60% of her body fat percentage.

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via NBC

The responses following the finale ranged from what seemed like genuine concern, to downright evil.

Here are a few of my thoughts on Rachel Fredrickson and her weight loss.

  1. First and foremost, I honestly feel/have felt conflicted about the situation since the finale.  Is she too thin?  Did she lose too much?  Is she healthy?  And the reason why I feel conflicted is that there’s really no way to know what’s going on in her head.
  2. Admittedly, Rachel seemed a little disconnected when she gave this interview to Reality TV World, however, it’s perfectly acceptable that she might be considered she’s been in weight-loss land for the better piece of a year.  She never directly addressed questions regarding whether she’d lost too much, but does she have to?
  3. When you lose weight, sometimes you lose sight of what you look like, or how other people may perceive you.  You see the same girl in the mirror every day, and though she’s becoming stronger, maybe smaller, and fitter, it’s hard to gauge when you’ve gone too far.  So, it’s entirely possible that as she’s been locked up in weight-loss land, and really has no sense of what’s going on.
  4. She obviously developed an eating disorder when she was doing the show.”  That may be, but that’s kind of a terrible thing to say and speculate on, especially considered that none of us have watched her throwing up her food, overexercising, or completely starving herself.  Yes, she appears extremely thin in the photos, and there is no denying that.  However, that’s a a really, truly serious thing to speculate on, and that’s really between her and her doctor.  And finally….
  5. I think we forgot something.  Rachel Frederickson is a human being who probably isn’t a hermit and read and heard some of the things that were said about her.  At this point, she’s gone from probably being criticized for the better part of her life.  She was a fit athlete who blew up, weight-wise.  That couldn’t have felt good.  She worked down to what she felt like was a great goal weight, and is now being criticized for where she is.  Would she look beautiful perhaps at 120?  Maybe?  But again, that’s really between her and her doctor, and not necessarily for me to say.

Like I said, I feel horrible for her, and I truly hope she feels strong, happy, and healthy.  Now, tell me, what do you think of Tueday’s finale?  Have you ever felt criticized for your weight?  How you you think this will change TBL in the future?  

My week in food.

I promised last week that I’d send what a week in my diet looked like.  I don’t break promises, so here goes!

Friday

  • Breakfast: A banana, almond milk, and peanut butter smoothie.  This is one of my favorite breakfasts to make because it tastes like a total treat.
  • Lunch:  Easy!  A salad with broccoli slaw and balsamic vinaigrette.  I garnished it with some feta cheese.
  • Dinn:  I went really lazy with this one.  I had a butternut squash soup that I bought from Harris Teeter.
  • Snacks:  Fage total split cup, a rice krispies treat, and green seedless grapes.  Not all at the same time.  Duh.

Saturday

  • Breakfast: A monster trail mix bar and green seedless grapes.
  • Lunch:  A creation that I like to call a zesty rice bowl.  I make yellow saffron rice, combine it with black beans, corn, salsa, and a dollop of sour cream.  It’s delightful, and super cheap, especially for students.
  • Dinner: The samsies!  I had some left over.
  • Snacks:  The Fage total split cup, a grande latte with skim and two splenda, and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Sunday

  • Brunch: French toast, and fruit.  About 1000 mimosas.  Sorry not sorry.

photo (12)

Monday

  • Breakfast:  I’m a creature of habit – I went for that same banana peanut butter smoothie.
  • Lunch: I had more zesty rice bowl left over.  So I ate that!  Cheap!
  • Dinner:  This.
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This is all vegetarian. Broccoli (which I inhaled), chicken fried tofu, and vegetarian mac and cheese. There was enough for me to eat for lunch again the next day.

Tuesday

  • Breakfast: My same naner smoothie and a large latte with skim.
  • Lunch:  Half of the dinner from the night before.
  • Dinner:  I was craving breakfast for dinner, so I made an egg and cheese sandwich on wheat, and baked some new potatoes (the little baby ones) in lieu of fried hash browns.  I love making comfort food a little lighter, and breakfast is definitely my comfort.
  • Snacks:  Before my workout, I made the nastiest concoction of beans – black beans, corn, and salsa.  I called it a bean salad.  I’m gross, I know.

Wednesday

  • Breakfast:  An Amy’s breakfast burrito.  Have you had these?  So good.

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  • Lunch:  Okay, today was a bad day.  I had another Amy’s burrito.
  • Dinner:  I went for the breakfast for dinner again. Yum!
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Two fresh eggs from my future sister-in-law!

Thursday

  • Breakfast:  A large latte with skim and two Splenda, and an egg and cheese on whole wheat.
  • Lunch:  Lunch was BORING.  Just another salad, with feta, Gardein, and broccoli slaw.
  • Dinner: This
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A Whole Foods Southern meal! Some BBQ Tofu, brown rice, a teeny bit of mac & cheese, and a corn fritter.

A week in my boring meals. They may be boring and repetitive, but they keep me moving.  What is your diet like throughout the week?  Anything that you consistently eat?  Anything that you won’t consistently eat?  

The Christmas Creep…

My dear handsome Austin does this thing where he records the first incidence of Christmas anything in his phone, to see if Christmas is creeping up earlier year after year, like they say it is.  Generally, the phrase “Christmas creep” refers to the phenomenon that is Christmas literally creeping up earlier and earlier each year.  Sort of a marketing/consumerism thing.  As a total side note, the Christmas creep doesn’t bother me at all, I quite enjoy Christmas any time of the year.

Fun fact: This is the best x-mas album ever, and if you grew up as a black child in the states, this and the Temptations x-mas album were a main staple of any holiday.
Fun fact: This is the best x-mas album ever, and if you grew up as a black child in the states, this and the Temptations x-mas album were a main staple of any holiday season.

But when I say creep, I’m talking about the pounds.  Conventional “wisdom” used to tell us that the average adult person in the United Stated would gain anywhere from 7-10 pounds during the holiday season.  But according to the Times, that number is closer to 1 pound, which doesn’t sound so bad, except that typically, we hold on to this pound for the rest of our lves.  So for all of the holidays that we do over our adult lives, we’re supposed to just hang onto that pound?  Over 20 holiday seasons that’s 20 pounds, for those of you who aren’t too math oriented, which is well above the +/- 15 you get when you’re at your ideal weight.  Total yikes.

What can we do to avoid the creep and avoid feeling like a slob kabob after December 31st?

Tons.

    • If you overdo it, go here.
    • If you know you tend to overdo it, create a plan of attack.  Take a teeny bit of everything, and not a lot of any one thing.
    • Walk. Walk walk walk walk walk after a big meal.  It just…works.
    • Drinks.  If you indulge, stay far away from the creamy, sugary alcoholic bevvies, and stick to simple, low cal bevs.  I get made fun of all the time, but I truly think Michelob Ultra is sorta refreshing, and I love a vodka and soda with lime.
    • Dessert. SKIP IT.  (Totally kidding).  But same rule as the food.  Take a little bit, and realize there will still be more pie the next day.
    • Get some sleep! Seriously.
    • And stick to some sort of workout schedule.  It can be really nice to sneak away from family for like 40 minutes for this.  A few years ago, I took the family dog for 5 miles on Christmas.  No one really missed me, plus I didn’t get knocked too far off my workout goals.

For me, to combat the poundage, and to avoid falling off the fit wagon, I plan to do a running streak between Thanksgiving and New Years Day, similar to the one I did between Memorial Day and the 4th of July this past summer.  It’s at least a mile a day, every day, for however many consecutive days that is.  I suck at math so that’s like….34 days right?  Someone get back to me if this is wrong…

I broke my scale.

[Insert joke here]

But no really.  I was rushing around yesterday, and I knocked my Weight Watchers glass scale over.  It was leaning up against a wall so it wouldn’t sit in the middle of the floor, and when I was rushing out the door, I knocked it over, and it made a horrid noise.  I quickly put it back in its home, and didn’t think anything of it before I rushed off to teach another class.

Fast-forward to this morning, after I snuck in a really quick run.  I decided to step on the scale, pre-breakfast, when I noticed that the digital numbers weren’t computing.  In fact, the little window was blank.  So I kicked it.  I turned it over and scrambled with the batteries.  Nothing.

I think, if you’ve ever lost any amount of weight, or if you’re watching your weight, or if you work in a gym with insanely beautiful and fit chicks like I do, you tend to get sucked into the scale.  It’s especially annoying when you read one of those articles in like People’s Bodywatch section that give an actor’s height and weight.  You start to compare.  Well, I’m 5’8″ too, but nowhere near 110 lbs.  Am I missing something?  No, I’m not missing anything, that could be a lie, or it could be true, but I’m in phenomenal shape, and my body looks good.  Who cares about her number?

Paris

It’s not a problem for most of us, but you have to tell yourself that no, stepping on it every day or multiple times a day isn’t good for you.

So in short, I broke my scale.  But for now, I don’t think that’s a bad thing – in fact, I think I’ll take a little while to replace it, and give my mind a break from obsessing over those numbers.

Too fat for your business?

I watch Morning Express with Robin Meade on HLN each morning as I get ready for work.  HLN is CNN’s sensational sister network, and I think I got attached to it when I was like 20, and I had to get up super early to drive out to my internship that was an hour away when I was still attending Elon.  At any rate, I still watch each morning and was part intrigued, and mostly horrified at the story I heard last week.

Laura Smith

The half: So the lovely lady pictured above is Laura Smith.  After training since last fall with both a trainer and a nutritionist, and peeling 47 pounds off of her 6’3″ frame, on Sunday, January 20th, Laura embarked on her first half marathon, the Arizona Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon.  She ran for the American Cancer Society, and was covered in ACS ribbons.  “I actually had to stop by the med tent after the first three miles because I had horrible shin splints.  The doctor took one look at me and said, ‘there’s no way you’re gonna finish if you’re hurting this bad three miles in’.  And I was like, I can’t stop.  You could probably see in the pictures I was covered in ribbons.  And each ribbon had the name of a person who’d died or who’d been affected by cancer.  So I shoved some ice packs in my compression tights.  It took me a little longer than I’d hoped,” she chirped in a cheery voice.  And for a first half, you’d have to admit, she didn’t do too shabby!

The massage:  Laura purchased a Groupon and scheduled a massage at the Natural Healing Center, in Aurora, close to where she lives in Denver, knowing she’d be in dire need following the half.  This is where the story just gets absolutely horrifying.  “We were in the room and I thought she [Dr. Wells] was gonna take me back and say, ‘take off your clothes and lay down, I’ll be right back’.  And we were just standing there and staring at the table.  And I thought, ‘Oh my God, am I gonna be too tall for the table?’ And she [Dr. Wells] just goes ‘I’m sorry you’re too fat and I’m afraid you’re going to break the table’.” (At this point in the interview, I was in absolute disbelief).  Laura went on to say that “Dr.” Wells told her not to worry, that she could call Groupon and get her money back.  And Laura was left to scoop her Groupon up, and leave the facility with no massage.

The press:  So how did this get to HLN?  Laura’d tagged her visit with Wells at the Natural Healing Center on Facebook, and said she was excited to go, still high off her success with her completed half marathon.  When she left (without the massage), she’d also written it up on Facebook.  Some friends saw, and next thing she knew, the center had taken it’s Facebook page down.  And that’s when she said the press came calling. “Fox News got ahold of it.  And if they’d [the massage establishment] called, I may not have spoken.  And now, if they were to call today?  It’s the principle of discrimination.”  Kinda cool to see what the power of social media can do, right?  She got my attention, and I’m not the only one.  She’s been featured on CNN, HLN, ABC, Fox News, and Inside Edition.  And the best part?  The owner of the business claims she never called Smith fat.  She claims she called her “large”.  Cue the side eyes.  “I know what she said,” Laura said matter-of-factly.

Laura 2

Why is this sort of discrimination still acceptable? So Penny Wells isn’t really returning phone calls, and has deleted the center’s Facebook page, and largely avoided the firestorm that is inevitably brewing.  However, in the brief statement that she did make in response to Laura’s claims, she (in addition to essentially calling Laura a liar), also stated that she was concerned because a 165-pound man had broken a table earlier.  Um.  What the frig is wrong with your massage tables if they can’t hold normal amounts of weight?

That aside, why did the owner feel that it was in any way acceptable to turn away a customer (whose money was just as green as anyone elses’) by making a rude statement about her weight, especially in this case where she essentially discredited all the wonderful work Smith had just done in losing 47 pounds, running a half marathon through some serious shin pain, and signing up for three more halves.  It makes no sense.  And just because the owner was discriminating on the basis of Laura’s weight, doesn’t make it any less offensive than if she’d told her, “I’m sorry, we don’t serve women here.  But if you call groupon, I’m sure they’ll be willing to give your money back!”

So I’d like to take this opportunity to commend Laura for not being silent about what happened to her.  It was discrimination, plain as day, and it wasn’t acceptable.  When I told her how blown away I was at how much weight she’d already lost, she responded, “Well…47lbs doesn’t seem like much when you’re 6’3″.  I still have a long way to go.”  Well, whether that’s true or not, you keep up the good work, doll!  You’re gorgeous, and you’re doing a great thing by responding so openly and positively to everyone who’s reaching out to you!  Laura will be in Raleigh next October, so she and I will be raising a glass to her awesome progress.