I don't watch much reality tv, but The Biggest Loser is one I try to catch each week. I find it inspiring to watch people tackle and succeed in a fight they have lost at all their lives. Even though the contestants are trying to win a contest, it is more about changing their lives for the better.
Of course they have the help of professionals, live in a gym, and there aren't many fatty temptations stocked in the fridge. They fight to stay on the show each week not only to try to win, but because it will be tougher to lose the weight outside this bubble.
But they are still doing the work (and lots of it) whether they are on the ranch or if they have been sent home. Not only the workouts, but changing their habits and way of life. These changes are difficult, even though they have sabotaged their health and happiness up until now.
I was at the gym Monday to get in a swim. I am in the two week taper period before my marathon - the time where you are working out less, and freaking out more. You question if you have done enough to prepare, so it can be tough to back off. I was planning on a leisurely swim, just to keep my body moving, but ended up pushing it anyway.
When I finished, a guy in the next lane commented that I was really 'tearing it up', and asked if I was on a swim team. Have to say it made me feel pretty good, and we got to chatting. His name is Tim, and he told me his story. He needs surgery on both of his knees, but his doctor won't do the operation until he loses 100 pounds. There is no reason to fix the knees if the additional weight is just going to damage them again.
He confided that he needs to go from 282 to 180 before the surgery. He is determined to lose the weight, and has even made $20 "bets" with friends and family that he will succeed. He said that he is already up to $500, and will throw a huge party for all his supporters when he succeeds.
He joined the gym 28 days ago - and has been to the gym 28 days in a row. And he has already lost 23 pounds. He was in the pool before I started, and was there when I left. You see these people on tv and YouTube videos changing their lives, and the stories are wonderful. But to be there in person, see the determination in Tim's eyes, and see how far he has already come, it makes it that much more real. And inspiring.