It's one of the highlights of the show The Biggest Loser -- the makeover. At some point late in the game the contestants get a celebrity-style treatment of hair, makeup and clothing. On the surface, it seems a bit like an exercise in vanity, but there is a symbolism to it that runs much deeper than just getting a new look. As Tabatha Coffey, a hairstylist and reality show maven herself, described, the contestants are letting go of the person they once were, the perceptions they once had of themselves in order to step into the person they are becoming.
The makeovers were in conjunction with a task they were given at the beginning of the show -- each of them had to give a speech to an auditorium of 300 people. They had to use the platform to inspire and motivate others, just like previous contestants on the show inspired and motivated them.
And while speeches don't make for as compelling reality show television as say, accusations of game playing between Rudy and Rebecca did later in the episode, I wish The Biggest Loser spent more time wit this segment.
Because this is where the power lies.
Each of the six left had the opportunity to share his or her story.
For Alan, his moment of truth came when, as a firefighter he found it difficult to protect the lives of other people when he was in fear for his own life. He began to feel he was a liability with his weight and his health.
Danny had a turning point when his daughter came into the living room, jumped on his stomach and said "Daddy I want to have belly just like you when I grow up." He told her that no, she didn't. And that moment turned the light on for him.
Rudy revealed for the first time that when he was 12 years old, his big sister was diagnosed with cancer. He ate to deal with the feelings, but his sister told him she wanted him to make a change and lose the weight. He was finally on his journey so that he could play with his kids.
Liz, in her late 40s, talked about putting everyone else first -- family, business, friends. "I tried to be everything to everybody," she said. "And somewhere along the way I lost myself." She recalled watching the first season of The Biggest Loser, eating ice cream while watching the weigh-ins and claiming that she would do better next time. Eventually, she got her next time and realized how important it is take time for herself.
Amanda and Rebecca both talked about being the fat girl. Amanda said she didn't have any tragedy in her life that led her to gain weight. She just always saw herself as overweight and it held her back from too many opportunities. Rebecca, too, said she had been overweight since she was 10 years old and always saw herself as the chubby friend and the chubby sister.
Rebecca's sister was in the audience and during an interview with the show, said she never saw Rebecca as her chubby sister -- just as her sister.
That's the story that resonated with me. Both Amanda and Rebecca come from a place where they believed they were the fat girl who belonged in the back. And they became the fat girls in the back because that's what they believed about themselves. We become what we think about all day long.
Not only did Rebecca become what she thought about, she projected that feeling and belief onto others who are closest to her. We often guess how other people see us, but really we have no idea. We're merely projecting our own beliefs about ourselves onto the eyes of other people. More importantly though, it doesn't matter how others see us. It only matters how we see ourselves.
Because how we see ourselves is the person we become.
If we change our thoughts, change our definitions of ourselves, than our life experiences will change with it. The people in our lives will start to reflect this new definition. And more joy will come our way.
Rebecca was the eliminated player last night. But as she changed the way she viewed herself her outsides and her insides finally began to match.
--- Amy Moritz
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