Last night's episode of The Biggest Loser may have the title of most emotional episode.
It was the week where three of the contestants on the black team had major breakdowns. And the end result was emotional, dramatic and completely inspiring.
The breakdowns always happen in the gym during one of the show's infamously difficult workouts.
It was Amanda who kicked off the breakthrough episode when she walked away from the treadmill while working with trainer Jillian Michaels.
The pressure of the cameras started to get to the 19-year-old but it was more than that. "I"m used to being the fat girl," she said.
"I feel like you have high expectations of me," she told Jillian. "I've never been a leader. I've always been the fat girl in the back."
For those who can relate to that sentiment, it was a powerful moment. When you've always been in a certain role -- in school, in work, with friends or with family -- it's scary to change that role. Even if you don't like it. Even if you want to change it. There's comfort in what you know, even if what you know makes you painfully unhappy.
For Shay, her role in life has been to search for a mother's love. She broke down with Jillian, talking about her mother who was a heroine addict. The 30-year old who weighed 411 pounds at the start of the episode put herself in the role of her mother's keeper. She felt guilty and responsible for her mother's addiction and for the fact that she never got her mother's love.
"I couldn't make her love me," Shay said.
"And you couldn't save her," Jillian added. "When are you going to forgive yourself for that? Until you do, you will be killing yourself. You blame yourself because you couldn't save her. It's not your fault."
Finally, it was Abby who shed tears in the gym. The 35-year-old lost her husband and two children in a car accident nearly three years ago. And after that, Abby stopped living. She stopped dreaming because it reminded her of the plans she had with her husband. The pain was just too much handle.
But in working at The Biggest Loser ranch, she was able to start dreaming new dreams. She rediscovered herself, got the light back in her eyes. She learned to be president of her own life.
"I'm gonna make it and I'm gonna be all I'm supposed to be," she said.
Which is why she asked her teammates to vote to send her home when the black team ended up in the elimination room.
She was ready to start living her life again.
Speaking to an auditorium of students and teachers upon her return to Texas, she hammered home her message.
You can always choose different.
Of all the messages I've heard on the show, this is my favorite and I believe most important lesson.
We all can choose different.
We can accept the roles we've been assigned, the ones we've become accustomed to. Or we can look to create something different for ourselves.
Abby talked about being the person she was meant to be. It's about living authentically. It's about first finding out who you are and then being true to that.
You don't need to take a year off and soul search. You don't have to be accepted as a Biggest Loser contestant. You don't even need to lose weight in order to do that.
Every day, we all get a choice on how we want to show up in our lives.
Every day we choose again.
Do we choose the same thing and get the same results? Or do we choose something different and let magic unfold?
--- Amy Moritz
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