NBC’s image – Teenage contestants Lindsay, Sunny & Noah (who calls himself “Biingo”)

Biggest Loser returned Sunday night with vengeance and purpose.

First, BL welcomed back alumni trainer Jillian Michaels back to the program. Jillian, wildly successful health & wellness guru and workout DVD queen, did not disappoint fans who love to watch the morbidly obese be yelled at by a hot lady with an even hotter temper. Me likey. Though not everyone appreciates or understands her training style..

Next, BL broke new ground by taking on the childhood obesity epidemic by – for the first time ever – having three overweight teenage contestants on the show. The kids will not face elimination. Jillian said in her podcast that the producers took special care to make sure that the children would be handled sensitively. Each of the trainers – Jillian, along with fan favorites Bob Harper and Dolvett Quince – rotate the opportunity to work with the kids, showing their softer sides.

The issue of childhood obesity is close to my heart. In the late 80’s I was on the forefront of this epidemic – one of the first wave of fat kids who had to deal with low self-esteem, embarrassment, judgement, bullying and so on. It was painful to experience then, and to watch more and more children become heavier and heavier hurts even more than I can describe – because I know what they are going through and thanks to the Internet and social media the world can be remarkably smaller, colder, and more abusive.

I am curious and interested to see how BL producers and trainers continue to work with the kids and uses/highlights them on the television program. Last night they were an integral part of the challenge, with the kids suspended above a huge ball pit, moving themselves around on a pulley system, directing their teammates to where different letters were located to spell out a phrase. It was cool – they looked like angels up there. I love their spirits – they all seem like genuinely good kids. Click here to “meet” them.

It is my hope that this will inspire families to take a long hard look at their habits and lifestyle choices – it’s not only about what’s in your kitchen cabinets and refrigerators, but also about being active and setting that example for your kids. “Do as I say” does not work here. Show your kids what you value by doing the work yourself.

At dinner the other night, a friend said to me, “it’s hard isn’t it..losing weight?” I said yes. And it’s even harder when you started life as an overweight child – because it’s not like someone who was fit and then got comfortable and gained a bunch of weight. When you start life as an overweight child you are not only behind the eight-ball with self-esteem and bullying issues, but you have to totally rewire everything in terms of how you view food, activity, your relationship with those things, and yourself in the world at large. Pun unintended.

Tune in to NBC tonight at 8/7 central for Part Deux of the season premier. I’ll be live tweeting again. That was fun! :)

Until then, be well*



By | 2017-04-15T20:00:23+00:00 January 7th, 2013|Biggest Loser, Childhood Obesity, Health, Postaday 2013|2 Comments
  • Fab

    I don’t want to take anything away from this post, but as someone who knew you as a child I wanted to chime and let you know that I never attached “overweight” to you in my mind. You were a badass goalie, an artist and writer, a joker…a lot of things besides the body you were wearing. I don’t pretend that there weren’t other things going on in your life but I wanted to share my perspective.

    I’ve been away from BL for a few seasons but since I’m back on the healthwagon I’ll tune in and follow your tweets. xo.

    • Cattio

      Thanks for that, Abby. There’s a reason why we were friends! :)

      Definitely check out the BL this season – I’m in love already.