Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Gut-Wrenching Loss


The first part of The Biggest Loser was…interesting. Blue Jay, with his 16 pound loss last week, was the biggest loser of the week and went on the hike to claim the prize. He was faced with three question mark envelopes. He chose the far-right card and found out that he had won a trip to Vegas. Not only for himself, the trip was for all the Blue members. Trainer Bob didn’t like the idea.

Bob pointed out that the trip is coming at a critical time. Black and Blue are even with 4 members apiece. With his big guys losing so much weight already, the stall period, the plateau, could come up for any one of them now. When you lose big numbers, at some point the body’s gonna say ‘wait a minute’ and take a break. And Bob wouldn’t be with them in Vegas. Big deal, right? The previous week they had been on their own at home and mowed all over the WI.

They go to Vegas, they have a suite at Planet Hollywood. For the 21-yr-old Dan, it was his first time. Right away, they reach the hotel, but hit the gym. They get back from the gym and they check out their suite. Waiting for them was an outfit for each guy, courtesy of Bob, HANDSOME suits.

As they got dressed, room service arrived with some ono-looking foods, courtesy of the Black team. They had shown just prior to this the Black team back at the ranch and cooking up this very childish scheme with the room service. I have no time for that. Blue didn’t touch any of it except to push all of it back out into the hallway. They went to have some fun at the crap and blackjack tables. Dan’s videotaping all of this, it’s his first time.

It got late and Mark and Jay went back to the suite to sleep. They planned to go to the gym in the morning; the game’s still on. Roger stays up and shows Dan around. They get back to their rooms at 6 a.m. Mark and Jay get up at 7 and go to the gym. Roger gets upset that Mark didn’t wake him up to workout, he goes to workout.

Then they all go for tattoos. Dan probably thought maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea that the other guys sent his mother home several weeks ago. His first trip to Vegas, he’s out late meeting ladies, he gets a tattoo….

They get back to the ranch, show the tats, share a laugh with Black about the room service. I think it was Black Maggie who said something like, ‘we love you guys, really.’ Ugh. Bernie’s confessional was about the tattoos, the Blue tattoos all said ‘pride,’ their team thing. Bernie thinks it’s dumb ‘cuz one of them’s gonna hafta go home sooner or later and that’s a permanent way to say good-bye. He missed the point; yes, unity in team and in their goal for the game, but pride for the rest of their lives for what they were doing, for changing their lives.

The Challenge is an obstacle course: flipping a huge tractor tire, transporting sandbags, rolling a ball while military-crawling under rope, and a ½ mile run. Blue won. They each got expense-paid trip for two to Puerto Rico. Could I try that obstacle course please?

The WI: Black weighs first. Kelly, 6. Maggie, 8. Brittany, 6. Bernie, 10. Big numbers for the smaller people, 3.69%, but nothing that Blue can’t beat. Dan, 7. Roger, 8. Jay, 7. Mark needs a 13, which he had the week before, which is not a problem for him. Mark steps on the scale, the scale goes through its obsessive computing and spits out a 1.

Mark had hit the weight-loss wall, the plateau I mentioned earlier. He’s confounded, everyone is. When it comes to losing the weight, Mark does not do game play, there is no game play to be made here anyway. He’s the fierce competitor that never quits.

Blue gets together to make the decision as a team. Dan has immunity because he lost the biggest percentage although Roger lost the most in pounds, but the percentage is more important. Blue had a plan in place that the one with the lowest number would go, to be fair, which would be Mark. Mark had said weeks ago that if he came down to where he couldn’t lose more weight to help in the WI, he’d sacrifice himself. Two weeks ago, Mark said it was between Trent and himself because they were the injured ones, but Trent sacrificed himself. Now it’s decision time for Mark and Jay because they’re brothers and don’t want to vote each other out. They can’t vote for Dan. Roger is left.

Roger and Mark argue. Yes, Mark had the lowest number, but he wasn’t done losing weight. He could come back next week with a huge number. He didn’t want to go out on a pound. He’s a competitor, he’s been hurt the last several weeks and still put up huge numbers, he can do it again. He’s not going to vote his brother Jay out. Roger walks out, pissed.

Mark and Jay go to their room to talk more. Jay understands why Mark doesn’t want to go, he’s not a quitter. He came to do a job and Mark’s the kind of guy to finish the job. And Jay doesn’t want his brother to go. Mark says he doesn’t know what he can live with. If he sends Roger home and doesn’t have a big number next week, it’s not fair to Roger. Mark says he just doesn’t want to leave Jay. Jay says he’ll do whatever Mark decides, but is he sure? They cry, they hug.

They meet with Dan and Roger again. The others sit, Jay’s quiet. Mark’s standing. Mark apologizes and says he just didn’t want to leave Jay, goes through all of it. Mark tells them to vote for him. He specifically tells Jay, that means him too, Roger voted for Trent when the time had come. He apologizes to Roger for being selfish and for even questioning what should happen. Mark told the guys to take of his brother like he was their own brother and they said of course, they are brothers. They all hug, they cry, they break the huddle with ‘pride’.

At the E-table, they are all calm, until they start their speeches about who they voted for, of course. Big points for Dan, whom I think has matured so much if only that he didn’t have his mother to depend on. Dan said that his vote that night was not a revenge vote and I think he was sincere. Roger said words of admiration and honor. Jay…could barely get words out, face reddened, choking back tears. Mark consoles him, it’s okay. They say their goodbyes. Mark walks out.

Well, I cried a little with them. Imagine that ‘cause very few people in the world has ever seen me cry, other than to release some anger ‘cause I hate being angry, but still that is a very small number of people. Add to that the fact that this was a 50/50 situation that Mark would step down. Do we not all come to moments of decision between our own gains and prides and the best possible situation for others? Mark’s been stubborn and tough and just mean at times during this season, but I feel like I know him, in the sense that he reminds me so much of Favorite [nn].

Besides, there’s a little stubbornness to me as well, but I’m more like Jay. Overlook the fact that I’m female and Jay is male, I am also a younger sibling to a vibrant and successful older brother. Whatever my brother has begun, that he has finished. I wouldn’t say that Brother’s my hero, but he is certainly one of my most trustworthy protectors and someone I look up to in many ways. I’m the quieter sibling and follow what my brother says very closely. If Brother and I were running a race as a team, it would tear me up to see my brother walk away, leaving me to continue on without him.

Sometimes my summaries are a little quick and leaves a lot out; that’s because I sometimes tune out of the parts of the show that bores me. I probably would have tuned out of the Vegas part; I’ve been there several times and have observed the male behavior there, I don’t need to see it again. I didn’t tune out because well, I wanted to see what a Planet Hollywood suite is like and there is something to a man in a good-fitting suit. Jay’s outfit included a smooth hat ‘cause he was the one who won them the trip.

Tattoos. Hmmm. In general I don’t have a problem with tattoos on guys, but I have yet to see a real good tattoo enhance the appearance of a woman. I turned on the TV the other day, waiting for the news or something, and there was a girl on TV that looked like she had a really hairy back. I looked closer and I guess it’s a tattoo all the way across her back that were wings? It looked like it was just black lined, so…it looked like a hairy back.

That’s it. Mahalo for indulging me.

Brother looking after me.

Yes, I climbed this tree myself.