Weigh in on “The Biggest Loser”: Gimmicky or Real?


I hate to admit it, but I am a regular watcher of “The Biggest Loser.” I use it to motivate myself to keep on a good eating and exercise program, but I have some problems with the show.

Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition winner

Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition winner (Photo credit: audiovisualjunkie)

Problems I have with this show

First of all, trainer Jillian is a real witch. She’s really mean to people, then she does  pop psychology on them. She seems like she has a split-personality. On one hand, she is nasty, then she puts on her happy face and sweet voice. (She calls everyone sweetie when she’s being nice.)   I really hate when she gets contestants to drag her around as a weight. Plus, her smile is crooked which gives her a devious look.

On the first episode this season she threw most of her team out the door and told them to consider leaving.  (The poor people were all throwing up because the tasks she made them start out with were too hard.) Did she have to start them out with such difficulty?   Several contestants considered their options and went home. Can you blame them?

Last week she made some poor woman go in a coffin for a few minutes. It was to help her realize that she needed a new lease on life. She was fooling around with serious stuff. It’s a good thing the woman, who is claustrophobic, didn’t end up going crazy.

The other trainers are easier to take. Why Bob has tattoos going all over his arms and everywhere is beyond me.  Why get your body in shape, than disfigure yourself.  I like Dolvett, who is the boxer. He seems to have his head on straight. He, like Bob, have a more positive approach then Jillian.

The challenges

I have to hand it to the writers for thinking up those bizarre challenges. Traveling through bubble gum, slogging through mud. throwing them off heights. Contestants on that show are either desperate for money or attention. Some of the stuff they make them do seems downright life threatening. Last week they had to hold up weight, and when they couldn’t anymore they were dumped into water.

It does manage to hold my attention, so I guess the writers know what they’re doing.

The weigh- in

What kind of person would get up with all their flab hanging out to millions of people? All the contestants on “The Biggest Loser.” The weigh-ins are really odd. Who loses 12 pounds in one week? Either they’re starving them to death or working them too hard. They make it seem that this is a healthy weight loss. If someone loses 4 or 5 pounds in one week, you’d think the world had come to an end. I think this give people the idea that losing 10 to 12 pounds a week is normal. I wonder how many of the contestants end up with eating disorders after the show is over?

You know, some of those people are going to regain most of their weight after the show is over. They never talk about that.

Although I find some real serious  problems with this show, it does manage to motivate me. I think about what I look like, my health and what I’m eating.

I do like the promotion of exercise, but at my age, I’d never attempt half the stuff they do on the show. I do a lot of water aerobics, elliptical machines, and walking. I would never be willing to leap off of high places. Not even for money.

They added kids this season

Thank goodness they’re not making the kids put on embarrassing clothes, and put them on the scale. It’s mostly a promotion of exercise and healthy eating. Naturally, some of the parents of these kids are also overweight. Last week, they showed a teenager pleading with her mother to also try to lose weight, so she won’t die. Wasn’t it real exploitation  to show this on national TV?

Do you think this show is exploitation or it’s an earnest attempt to motivate the viewers? Or just get ratings? Is it ethical to humiliate people on TV to get good ratings, and people like me watch?

 

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Imitation of Life: We’ve come a long way: A movie about racial differences and independent women


Imitation of Life (1934 film)

Imitation of Life (1934 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you want to see how far our society has advanced since 1934, watch “Imitation of Life.” The prejudice of the time is reflected in this movie.  It also tells a story about  women trying to make it on their own.

The story revolves around two women, Beatrice Pullman (Ms. B), a white woman,  portrayed by Claudette Colbert, and Delilah, a black woman,  portrayed by Louise Beavers.  They both have two daughters, the same age, but Delilah’s daughter is light-skinned and desperately wants to pass for white. She’s figured out that in 1934, life’s a lot easier in the white world. Fredi Washington, a black actress, gave the character believability.

Ms B is a widow with a young child Jessie, and Miss B. is trying to make a living selling maple syrup on the Boardwalk. She offers Delilah and her young child, Peola, a room in her house in exchange for Delilah’s  housekeeping. Although they have an almost equal friendship, Delilah’s total devotion to Ms. B might bother you. In one scene she is rubbing Miss B’s feet and telling her how important it is for her to find love. (Why doesn’t Miss B tell Delilah she should find love too?)

Miss B is delighted when she tastes Delilah’s secret family recipe for pancakes. She knows Delilah’s pancakes will sell better than maple syrup.   She decides to open a restaurant featuring Delilah’s pancakes,  then markets her mix and they both make a lot of money. Ms. B. offers Delilah 20% of the company. (This seems hardly an equal partnership.)

After they get rich off of Delilah’s recipe, Ms. B meets a potential husband, Steve Archer (Warren William) at a posh party she throws in her fancy New York apartment. Delilah and Peola have to sit outside the party dressed in their finery. You can feel Peola’s heartbreak.

The plot surrounds the girls upsetting their devoted mothers. Peola doesn’t want anyone to know she’s black, so she doesn’t want her mother hanging around. Jesse Pullman (Rochelle Hudson) plays your average sweet rich ingenue. Let’s just say that she takes a shine to her mother’s boyfriend. That’s all I’m going to reveal.

Although this movie will embarrass you at times,  it’s worth watching.

This movie was recommended for Best Picture in 1934. It didn’t win.  Why would it? It was about independent women and friendship between a black and white woman. Miss B eventually shows Delilah more concern and caring, but we know who is the most valuable person.

Although these actors are all long gone, their performances still hold up. It’s really amazing when you think about it.

I caught in on AMC, but it is sold on Amazon. I understand there is a version with narration, that explains what life was like in the good old bad days.

Baltimore Raven’s win Superbowl 47: Honest observations by a Baby Boomer Lady


Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore Ravens (Photo credit: Keith Allison)

 

In the pre-game show Jennifer Hudson is singing with children from Sandy Hook Elementary.These are kids who lost their classmates because of violence. At least nobody is shooting semi-automatic weapons on the field. But would it really surprise anyone? Alicia Keys does her own slow version of “The Star Spangled Banner.” I liked it, but a lot of people on Twitter and Facebook were critical.

 

I occasionally watch Ohio State football games. These pro guys are like animals. They are faster, stronger, and bigger. It is faster to watch. Why do all take this game so seriously? I am not invested in this game because I don’t have many feelings about the teams. I’m interested in this game because both coaches are brothers. They look-alike too. Can you imagine the rivalry between them?

 

I feel conflicted about the Baltimore Ravens. I’m originally from Cleveland, and the old “Cleveland Browns” were sold by Art Model years ago to Baltimore. A lot of fans were really angry. At the point I’m writing this, it looks like the Ravens are going to win. After seeing them tackle each other, no wonder they all get concussions.

 

I’m liking the commercials. I usually just DVR favorite shows, and don’t watch commercials. Physical fighting between the teams. San Francisco quarterback intercepted. Raven got first down. You can almost hear them saying,” fight, fight, fight.” Ravens are smoking the 49’s. The whole thing is making me feel nervous, and I don’t care about the football game. Maybe violence makes me nervous.

 

I should’ve auditioned for the Taco Bell commercial about old people escaping from the nursing home. Bad taste!

 

Twenty- one to six at halftime. Ravens are smoking hot!

 

Half-time show

 

Why does Beyonce wear hardly any clothes. but, she has a terrific act. Is she supposed to look like a hooker? We’ve come a long way baby? At least she looks curvy. And all the girls with her are curvy too? And also looking like hookers! I feel the generation gap. I’m wondering if that was” Destiny’s Child” joining her.

 

Second Half

 

At the beginning of the second half the Baltimore Ravens make a touchdown right off the bat. It’s starting to get boring. Not boring now! Power goes off in the stadium. I’m thinking, something is going to happen that’s disastrous. So what do you think? Maybe they better do a prayer service. I’m sure the higher power, whoever or whatever it is, really cares about the outcome. The power goes back on one-half hour later Now San Francisco is only one score below in 2 minutes. I guess they needed a rest to get their act together. Is that fair?

 

Fumble by the Ravens, and recovered by the 49’s. Now the 49’s are smoking hot! Seventeen points in a four-minute 17 second stretch. Now the Baltimore Ravens are running a lot. Getting knocked down. Ouch! Pierce is leaving the field. That hurt! Now it’s getting excited. I am rooting for SF. They are cooler! And I like their uniforms better. As soon as I do, the Ravens gain momentum. Am I responsible for this?

 

Inside the two yard line, no goal. Field goal coming instead of a touchdown. They’ve got it! It’s still anyone’s game? This is the longest football game in history. (Not faster, as I originally thought when I started this post! )

 

Waiting for the end already 12 minutes and 22 seconds left! San Francisco! Touchdown! They tried a 2 point conversion, to tie the game. Failed! Baltimore Ravens get a field goal! Up by 5. San Francisco has the momentum at the two-minute warning! Time out. Lost a chance to get a touchdown. Ravens kept them away! Only 1 minute and 42 seconds left

 

 It’s finally over!! Baltimore Ravens 34-31

 

 

Mitt Romney is my idea of an old Eddie Haskell


Remember Eddie Haskell? (surely you’ve seen him on reruns of “Leave It to Beaver,”

June supervises the boys and their friends, To...

June supervises the boys and their friends, Tooey and Eddie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He’d tell June Cleaver whatever he thought she wanted to hear.

What I can’t understand is why people don’t see through him. Aren’t they as smart as June Cleaver?

He says whatever he thinks people want to hear. Who knows what he really thinks? I don’t even think he knows.

Visiting the real Mayberry: Mount Airy, North Carolina


My husband and two friends  were coming back from Myrtle Beach, and we decided to visit the home of Andy Griffith, Mount Airy,  North Carolina  It was the town that The Andy Griffith Show’s Mayberry  was based upon.  The four of us used to watch it every now and then.
Why did we want to go there?

I guess because we all grew up on that hokey show. I used to dismiss it as being hillbilly like and something I wasn’t interested in, but I did watch it.  It painted a picture of a really simple life: one where everyone knew everyone,  and everything had a happy ending. Like other 50’s and 60’s shows, there was a lesson to learn at the end of the show.
Andy Griffith Museum

We found an honest to goodness Andy Griffith Museum, with a statue of Opie and Andy on the outside.  There were a few flowers strewn around because Andy had died several weeks before.

Price of admission: $3.00
What I liked was Sheriff Taylor’s desk, and Barney’s suit he wore on special occasions. There are various posters, and memorabilia  of Andy’s career. Posters, and various items from his movies, “No Time for Sergeants, “A face in the Crowd” A few things from his TV show, “Matlock”. I watched it every once in a while. It’s proof that Andy did have acting ability.
While reading he memorabilia, I realized Andy had 3 wives. His first wife was his college sweetheart, but they eventually got divorced.  Maybe fame was too much for their marriage. Who knows?

We had a malt at the drugstore, where the real Andy Griffith had supposedly worked in high school. But the owner never met him although he contended that he met all the other members of the cast. The servers were wearing old 50’s clothes, a nice touch. The ice cream was good. It tasted genuine, like the town.
Recreated parts of Mayberry
You can go by the prison, the Goober’s (George Lindsay’s) filling station, and the barber shop ( Howard McNear). It was fun to get locked into the jail. (Only for a minute of course)
Going by Andy’s little house
Like all movie stars and rich people Andy had a big house somewhere else, but he kept a modest house in Mount Airy. It’s now a bed and breakfast where you can stay.
What were we looking for?
A piece of our childhood that was not real?
Aunt Bea
For this posting I did a little research about Frances Bavier, the actress who played Aunt Bea.  It was interesting to find out that the actress  At the museum I learned she  had settled into another town in North Carolina,  Siler City. Was it a case of fantasy interacting with reality? Maybe she was hoping to lead a happier life.
It was sad to find out that she’d led a lonely life.. She’d actually been a difficult actress. Later, she contacted the real Andy Griffith and apologized for her behavior.
So, in the final analysis, life wasn’t like Mayberry to the people who played the roles. Divorces and isolation had plagued them too.
I would recommend Mount Airy if you want to recapture a part of your childhood. It’ll make you feel young, and happy.  Just for a little while.

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A Baby Boomer Recalls the Andy Griffith Show


Barney, Andy, Aunt Bee, and Opie in "The ...

Barney, Andy, Aunt Bee, and Opie in “The Pickle Story” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am sad to find out Andy Griffith passed away. Although, he starred in another TV series, Matlock, and did several movies (No Time for Sergeants, A Face in the Crowd), I will always think about him as Sheriff Andy Taylor on the Andy Griffith show. How many of us grew up with that show, and feel like it was really a part of our lives? (Boomers do feel attached to some of those shows.)

I enjoyed watching Opie,(Ron Howard)  although he was  much younger than me. After looking him up, I realized he was only 4 years younger. I guess 4 years is a lot more meaningful when you’re 10. (We’re all proud of how successful the real Ron Howard became as a director and producer.)

It was a show about a small town somewhere in the South, Mayberry. I’ve always thought it might be fun to live in a friendly small town, a place where everyone looked out for everyone else.  I’ve never really felt that way in places I’ve lived. Although I’ve always lived in the suburbs, everyone keeps a polite distance.

Too bad I’ve never had an Aunt Bee, (Frances Bavier) an outside relative, who was especially devoted to the family.  She was another one of my favorite characters. My favorite episode was when Aunt Bee went out-of-town, and Opie, Barney, and Andy cleaned up the house.  When she came home she didn’t feel like she was needed anymore.  So, they reverted to being slobs again, and Aunt Bee was  happy she was needed again. Message: Everyone needs to feel important.

There was always Don Knotts who played  the inept Barney Fife. Aren’t there times when we  want to feel important, but we really aren’t? Andy didn’t just put up with Barney, he seemed genuinely fond of him.

And there was Andy Taylor  the real hero. Competent, quiet, and solving everyone’s problems.  Do we all have an Andy in our lives somewhere?

With  Griffith’s death, most of the family (including Knotts)

with the exception of Opie, are gone now. I hope they’re having a good reunion.

Rip Andy Griffith.

Extreme Makeover Weight Loss: Mike’s Story


Tonight, I watched Extreme Makeover Weight Loss. This is the TV show that follows a very obese person for a year.  I occasionally watch these programs to inspire myself to lose weight. It’s kind of like attending a Weight Watchers meeting.

We have the adorable personal trainer, Chris, who picks a person to work with for a year. He tortures them in the gym. He makes them lift weights, run, and want to scream bloody murder.  He makes them move their fat all over the place. Despite all the hardship he puts them through, they usually end up being best buds with him.

What I found truly inspirational about Mike’s story was his family.  They all pledged to lose weight right along with him. They did it too! That is real love.

How did he get so fat? He was a shy guy, and  spent a lot of time in front of his computer, TV  and turned to food for comfort. Sound familiar?

One of Mike’s goals was to run a triathlon. Eventually, after losing gobs of weight, he gets to the point where he can attempt it. Cute Chris runs right with him. Mike struggles and struggles, but finally makes it across the finish line. Talk about an extreme race. I was glad he didn’t have a heart attack.  But, we love to watch him triumph, so what’s better than a triathlon?

Meanwhile, he’s met the first girlfriend of his life. Every time they show her, she’s crying because she’s so happy that Mike is in love with her.  I’m wondering why Mike is picking such an obese girl for his girlfriend. It doesn’t seem like she’d be good for him. After all, he’s going through agony so he’s not obese anymore. It’s kind of  like an alcoholic living with another alcoholic. Not such a great idea.

Time marches on, and Mike loses a whopping 232 pounds. He also has skin surgery, and looks fabulous at the weigh-in. He’s a hunk. His family has also lost weight too. Everyone is happy. Too make things even more glorious, Wal-Mart has supplied him with a $50,000 gift certificate. (Shouldn’t they give that to a hungry family?)

Epilogue

The next time we see Mike, it’s a couple of months later. He doesn’t look quite as buff as he did in the reveal. As a matter of fact, he looks like he’s put some weight back on. He dumped his girlfriend.

I hope he keeps the majority of his weight off. But the problem is, excess weight has more to do with emotions than it does to running marathons, or doing 400 push ups. Besides, who can keep up that training schedule?

Am I expressing sour grapes? Experiences with regaining weight after spending hundreds of dollars at Weight watchers? Watching so many people lose and regain weight?

But, it does inspire me, and I’ll watch the next episode.  After all,

My Weight Loss Coach

My Weight Loss Coach (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

hope is eternal.

What do you think? Is the show exploitive or inspirational? Should we watch it? Is it a crime to be obese?