My emotions were schizophrenic as I watched the long (oh so long) premiere of Biggest Loser Season 10 tonight.
Part of me was completely appalled and grossed out by the masses of fat people I was seeing as they came out in droves across the country to be part of the show.
I know the stats -- two out of three Americans are obese -- but seeing them all there together in big masses just made me shudder to think so many have let themselves reach such obesity.
Sorry, but it did. (I'll get to the nice side of my reaction later.)
Then as Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels traveled the country selecting all the candidates through a series of contests, each one got up and gave some sort of excuse for being fat.
And I started to get angry.
No one got up and said, "Hi, I'm Joe Blow and I like Twinkies too much and would rather watch TV than exercise."
Rather, each one had either suffered a family death, or were abused, or had an alcoholic parent, or something on which they blamed the excess weight.
"Just stop eating!" I found myself thinking loudly at them (my children were sleeping so I couldn't actually scream at my television).
But on the other hand (here's where my nice schizo side came in) with each story I sat there sobbing -- with real tears, pouring down my face.
Because their stories were so sad.
The one that touched me most was Anna, the mother who lost her young son to cancer. When she talked about how she fell asleep rocking him and when she woke up, he was dead in her arms, I lost it.
And then I started making excuses for her -- dammit, after that she should be able to eat anything she effing wants to, forever.
But see it's that justification problem again -- so easy to slip into the mode for each and every one of life's ups and downs, big and small ... and so hard to get out of it.
Anna didn't actually make the show, but there were plenty of others with heart-wrenching stories that did.
Overall, it was actually a pretty long, boring two hours for the most part -- it doesn't really promise much more new and different from what we've seen the past nine seasons.
That's OK, I guess. Since the show has been around so long and is launching resorts and cruises and the like, clearly they're giving people what they want.
While the show's formula is the same, the individual stories are always unique -- just as every person's problem with weight is complicated in its own way.
So I'll still continue to tune in to see them ... and cry and scream along the way.
Did you watch Biggest Loser? What did you think?
Image via nbc.com