Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Biggest Loser

I've been a fan of The Biggest Loser reality TV show for a while now. I'm not sure why. It's schlocky and repetitive and, some would say, shallow. The contestants and trainers frequently gush, and creative editing insures melodrama and faux suspense. ("Your current weight is...." Skip to commercial.)

But something about the show keeps me watching. Actually, two things.

One is that sooner or later, an authentic change--not merely weight loss--comes over one or more of the contestants. Now that is interesting. All my life I've heard the lie that people don't change, and here are people who do it in twelve weeks or less!

Then there's that magic when the new man or woman emerges from layers and layers of triglycerides. It always reminds me of Michelangelo's half-finished sculpture, the muscular torso of a slave writhing free of a block of stone.

Two is that I relish the irony of the show's title playing out. In order to win, the contestants have a lot more to lose than weight alone. They have emotional or psychological baggage that is as much a part of their physical problems as their eating habits.

I recognize myself up there on that scale, not because I'm obese, but because, as a writer, I sometimes defeat myself before I even start. What I say to myself is that powerful.

The way to approach big weight loss as well as any other big project is simple--which is not to say it's easy. But it's as simple as kicking yourself into gear. Get up on that treadmill, pick up that keyboard/paintbrush/guitar. Not just today. Today. Tomorrow. The day after that. And the day after that. The change will come.

And when you see your new shape emerging or your novel taking shape? That's what you've been waiting for: the action that gets results. A body in motion tends to stay in motion.

All that stuff in your head? That's what you really need to lose.

1 comment:

  1. Great stuff, as usual, Muse. Keep it up! You'll have that novel sooner rather than later . . .