Today on Alphabet City: Biggest Loser Finale reminds Jon Paul of his own struggles with weight loss.
Here’s a question for our time: what do you serve at a dinner party while watching NBC’s Biggest Loser Finale? I’ll admit that I’m a Johnny come lately fan of this show—becoming obsessed halfway through this season chronicling the struggles of chronically obese men and women struggling to lose huge amounts of weight. To do it, they get to go to a magical (or hellish place) known as The Ranch and assisted by a couple of fitness experts—one of whom, Bob, is now my TV Trainer Boyfriend, between the accent and the sleeve tattoos, I can’t get enough.
The one thing that does bother me about Bob is his seeming willingness to shill any product placement on the show. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a realist and not a purist about this stuff. I’m willing to overlook the blatant recommendations for gum and Glad bags. But Bob totally lost me recently when he told contestant Amanda that when she goes to a party she should take with her a Subway Party Platter (I’m not kidding), so that she would know there would be healthy choices at the event.
There’s a part of the show that really speaks to me. As someone who has dealt with weight issues since the age of 10—until just a year or so ago I always hovered around 33 pounds above my goal weight—I identify with the difficult struggles the contestants are facing. And like they teach on the show, I know you need a community of support around you to help you make healthy lifestyle changes. I’m terrifically lucky to have a life partner in Chef, who has made a career out of cooking healthy; and a best friend in Susan, who has become a workout buddy encouraging me to ramp up my activities so that I actually did lose that final bit of weight before I turned 40.
The three of us watch Biggest Loser true to our personalities. Susan likes the dramatic back stories, and wants to know more about the exact workouts they make them do. I like the make over portion of the show, when Tim Gunn appears, and worry about the plastic surgery they might need to trim the extra rolls of fat. Chef, a trained economist, only wants to show up for the final weigh in—it’s all about the numbers for him.
For our party, I chose not to order a Subway Platter, and instead chose a recipe from the Fast Easy Fresh section of Bon Appetit (see, I’m not adverse to product placement). I appreciate that the magazine breaks down the calorie, fat and fiber content. So I chose the Poblano and Mushroom Tacos from the Nov 2009 issue—this dish was super easy and a crowd pleaser. You can cut down on the fat by not frying the tortillas in oil, but rather wrapping them in a wet paper towel and microwaving them for a few seconds.
My biggest problem of the night? My TV dancer boyfriend Jakob is on So You Think You Can Dance at the same time—and phone lines are only open for 2 hours after the show. I made it just in time, voting 5 times for him.
Now off to the gym—I’m living every day as if it were a “Last Chance Workout!”