'Biggest Loser' Recap: The Fear Factor

Julie Ryan Evans
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biggest LoserAnd so it all began ... the workouts, the tears, the yelling, and the sweat, as the newest contestants on The Biggest Loser moved into the ranch and got down to business on tonight's episode.

There was no gradual immersion, they just jumped (or were shoved) in full force and started the process ... which was a bit frightening to watch.

I know they have doctors on hand, but when people that big and that out of shape are puking in buckets, flying off treadmills, and passing out (both this week and last), I just have to wonder if it's all a little too much and done more for good ratings than the good of contestants.

Also, I know it's her shtick, but does Jillian Michaels really have to be that mean? She's freakin' scary.

After a week's worth of workouts and some healthy eating lessons, the contestants were subjected to their first weigh-in -- a surprise.

What was really surprising though was how MUCH the contests lost so quickly.

Mark lost 41 pounds already! And plenty of others lost 20 and 30-plus pounds. We're talking fantastic amounts of fat, here ... in just a week.

Impressive, but, again, a bit frightening. Is that healthy? It certainly goes against traditional medical advice that slow, steady losses are the way to go.

Some past contestants have said practices to get such numbers on the show are downright dangerous, and after watching tonight, I kept wondering if they might be right. And if promoting such an extreme approach to fitness to the masses is safe or an unrealistic example?

But, of course, being morbidly obese is rife with dangers as well. When contestants visited the doctor, their health reports were terrifying -- from diabetes to high risks of heart disease and stroke -- which perhaps trumps any of the other fears.

Most of the show wasn't any different from what we've seen in past seasons (even though they keep promising big changes), though during the weigh-in, the rules changed a bit when the "yellow line" shifted up, and instead of the traditional bottom two being up for elimination, it was 50 percent of the group who had to compete to save their spots.

In the end, Allie, the 22-year-old from Oklahoma, who had weight loss surgery at 14(!), was the one sent packing.

It was an emotional goodbye for her compounded by the stigma of being the first loser to lose out on the experience. But when they showed her today, she's lost 60 pounds already since leaving the ranch and is determined to keep going despite a lack of support from her family. Go Allie!

Even though many people likely sit there on their couches watching The Biggest Loser, having skipped the gym to watch it, and eating ice cream while they do so, it does provide a nice boost of motivation and inspiration for the masses. It would just be nice if it could do so in a less frightening and more realistic manner.

Did you watch The Biggest Loser? Do you think the intensity of the program promoted is dangerous?


Image via nbc.com


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