The Biggest Loser

Bodybugg®: Weight Loss Secret Weapon

Think you're accurate about the number of calories you're burning every single day?  Sure you may know approximately how many calories in general someone burns walking or cycling.  But what about what YOU personally burn for that activity based on your own individual effort and metabolism? 

And what about all the calories you're burning (or not burning), throughout the day?  How do you count the number of calories burned walking around a giant big box retailer like Costco for awhile?  What about chasing after your kid or pet?  Activities like those also are burning calories, but are tough to quantify. Bodybugg 

For example, I've been helping my Mom pack up to move to a new place.  On those days I haven't been doing an official workout, but I know I'm working really, really hard.  Yet what was I burning calorie-wise?

Well if you have a bodybugg® (now known as BodyMedia) like I've owned for the last four+ years, you know!

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Weight Loss Lessons Michael Ventrella Biggest Loser Season 9 Winner Taught Us

Maybe you were thinking the same thing I did when I saw Michael Ventrella take the scale during the first episode of The Biggest Loser Season 9.  How does someone get to be 526 pounds?

I've had my own struggles with maintaining a healthy weight over the years, but we're talking about a worstMichaal biggest loser case scenario of a few pounds, not a few hundred.  I've generally been healthy, but when injuries or an inability to deal with life's challenges other than with food have kicked in at times, I've been vulnerable to small weight gain myself.  But at that time, a natural circuit breaker would kick in and I'd say "enough's enough" and reverse course.  Obviously that didn't happen in Michael's case.

Yet there was something about watching this huge man (the heaviest man ever on the show). do his best to work out at the high level demanded by his Biggest Loser  trainer Bob Harper, that made you respect Michael Ventrella and hope for the best for him.

Each week Michael made progress even as he kept dealing with the emotional demons that had contributed to his weight gain in the first place.  He was eventually able to jog on a treadmill--and I must admit that was something I never tried myself.  So Michael got me jogging on a treadmill.  I figured if a 400-pound man (at the time) could do it, what was my excuse?

I felt for Michael when it was "makeover week" on The Biggest Loser and he had to still go to the "big and tall" store while all the other contestants were shopping for regular sizes.

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3 Biggest Loser Weight Loss Lessons Learned, Lesson 3

In this last installment of my series on The 3 Biggest Loser Weight Loss Lessons Learned I'm discussing what I think may be the most important lesson you can learn from Biggest Loser of them all!

Weight Loss Lesson 3

Not Being Nice Enough To Yourself, Lesson 3

When inevitably trainers Bob Harper or Jillian Michaels pull aside a Biggest Loser contestant who's still stuck in discovering what it is that triggered their large weight gain, the conversation will often end up being about how they tend to put others first.  That's supposed to be a noble thing in theory, but in reality it can easily lead to weight gain.  And with the right personality, huge weight gain and obesity.

Take the example of one of the super popular teams on the current Biggest Loser Season 9--the grey teamBoy with thumbs up of Koli and Sam.  They obviously would do anything for each other and are often fond of saying "family first."  In fact, in this past week's episode 14, Koli ate over 4,000 calories to win a "challenge." 

Why would he do this when he was doing so well with his own weight loss?  To ensure that his cousin Sam was protected from being voted off the show should he not lose much weight that week.  That's very loving and admirable, but it's still a way to short-change yourself  that can get in the way of losing and maintaining a healthy weight.

And it's not necessarily a sign of a weak personality at all.  Even the strongest personalities can sabotage themselves.  I know I've personally gotten myself into trouble when I've not eaten what I wanted to for a particular meal, when my husband wanted something different.  So not wanting to cook two dinners (like I do when necessary), I put his choice first and put mine on the back burner.

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3 Biggest Loser Weight Loss Lessons Learned, Lesson 2

The current Biggest Loser Season 9 is really hitting home another Biggest Loser Weight Loss Lesson take-away for me.  I think Trainer Jillian Michaels correctly commented during this week's weigh-in, on why one of the key reasons that the green team of Migdalia and Miggy is battling being very overweight, is that they don't let their emotions out.

Emotional eating is a tough nut to crack.  I know because it's something I've struggled with in my past, and every now and then during stressful times, it fights hard to rear its ugly head.  There's a reason why many favorite food types are called "comfort food" (and why I learned to not deny myself my favorite comfort foods as discussed in my book Have Your Cheeseburger And Keep Your Health Too!)

Weight Loss Lesson 2

Pent-Up Emotions Can Lead To Emotional Weight Gain

From the time we're babies, we're taught to be comforted by a pacifier in our mouths, and then when we're sad, a parent might attempt to make us feel better with a treat.  When we teach ourselves (or get taught) to soothe any painful emotions with food, it's easy to let your weight get out of hand if you don't confront your emotions.  And when you hear the different stories of Biggest Loser contestants, inevitably there is something they've experienced that triggered this "eat to feel better" response to life. 

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3 Biggest Loser Weight Loss Lessons Learned, Lesson 1

It took me until the week 12 episode of The Biggest Loser Season 8 to finally watch most of an episode.  I had accidentally seen a few minutes a couple of years ago--the weigh-in part--and was very turned off by the process.  I wasn't turned off by the contestants' physiques as I realized they were a work in progress; I was disturbed by what I felt was an unnecessarily public display that didn't need to humiliate the way it did.

I disliked the show so much, that when a PR rep tried to pitch me on putting something about the show onWeight loss this blog a couple of years ago, I immediately said "sorry, not a fan."

So a couple of weeks ago I was trying to un-clutter my mind and was clicking through channels on my remote and I found I had stopped on The Biggest Loser, but what intrigued me was that each contestant in the final group of four was about to run a marathon.  As someone who's only walked a half marathon I had to admit that this was something I had to see.

I meant to stop after a minute or two, but I had to admit they got me.  Before I realized it, I was watching the full episode--even the weigh-in that I didn't care all that much for.  And then I had planned to watch The Biggest Loser Finale, but a delayed return flight from a day trip to Phoenix made me miss all but the last 25 minutes.  But I did see Danny Cahill win.  So I started watching the season from the beginning online while waiting for the replay of The Biggest Loser Finale to be available (I'm up to week 8) as I had time to spare.  I hate to admit it, but I am now hooked.

There's still a lot I don't like about The Biggest Loser (yes, that will be another blog post), but I think it's now a case where the pros outweigh the cons.

So here is the first of the three lessons I learned from The Biggest Loser (watch for parts 2 and 3 shortly--better yet, please join my list or subscribe to The Healthy Food Review RSS feed so you'll never miss another post):

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