September 10, 2014

Cross Country

Today was such a lazy day. I'm back to a running schedule, and today was a rest day, so I took that quite literally. It rained all afternoon, so Jerry and I watched the season premiere of Sons of Anarchy and the season finale of Extreme Weight Loss. I had been really excited for Sons of Anarchy, but both Jerry and I agreed it wasn't a very good episode.

The Extreme Weight Loss episode was awkward, to say the least. I think I'm done watching that show. There was a 15-year old girl on last night's episode (along with her father), and throughout the episode, there were several things that I just didn't agree with. I've already mentioned how I think the initial (very public) weigh-in is degrading to the contestants, but to have a 15-year old girl go through it was awful to watch. I think the show should have had her weigh in privately, and not reveal her weight. Also, she was given a very lofty weight loss goal for the first 90 days, and I think they should have given her a goal that was much less intimidating, or no "numbers goal" to focus on at all.

*SPOILER ALERT* (Skip to the next paragraph to avoid spoilers)--She doesn't reach any of her weight loss goals through the entire year, which couldn't have been good for her self-confidence. The worst part of the episode, in my opinion, was when Chris and Heidi were driving around, following the girl and her dad to catch them in the act of cheating on their diets and cutting their workouts short. Then, Chris and Heidi confronted them, and they lied about it--of course they shouldn't have lied, but the way they were confronted made it seem like an attack. Heidi shamed the teen for drinking a 200-calorie coffee drink with her friend, by discussing that she should have been eating just 1250-1300 calories per day, and working out at Crossfit for two hours, along with walking an hour or two after school. I'm no dietician, but that sounds a little "extreme" to me--1300 calories for a teenage girl doing 3+ hours of cardio each day? (Yes, it's "extreme" weight loss, but I don't think that a 15-year old should be on the show in the first place).

Anyway, I just feel like the show has changed its purpose. In the beginning, I felt like Chris Powell was truly passionate about helping people with their weight loss goals, but the show this season really felt like it was all about exploiting overweight people. Does anyone else feel that way? To me, it seemed similar to what happened with The Dr. Oz Show--at first, he was all about helping people, and later, it just felt like one gimmick after another.

On Friday, Noah brought home a sign-up sheet for cross-country at school. He said he was thinking about joining, and of course I encouraged him to. It's only six weeks (so if he didn't like it, it wouldn't drag on), and I would love for him to get involved with a sport in addition to summer baseball.

His first practice was yesterday, and I was so nervous all day for him. Noah is a worrywart, just like his mom, and he said he wished he didn't sign up because he was so nervous about it. I gave him some tips on not going out too fast (when you tell kids to run, they usually sprint--so I told him not to try and keep up with the kids in the front, because he'll burn himself out).

His practice was at 2:35, and he told me to pick him up at 4:00, but of course I went to the track at 3:00 to see how things were going. The high schoolers were on the track practicing, too. When I first got there, I saw the middle schoolers, including Noah, running around the track. He looked like he was pacing himself well, so I was glad! Two of his friends had joined the team, also, so he knew a couple of kids there (easing his anxiety). It looked like the kids were running a lap, and then taking a break or walking a lap.

I was really interested to watch the high schoolers practice. They were running 400-meters, two kids at a time, and they were fast! Being the running nerd that I am, I used my phone to time them, because I was curious if they were as fast as they looked from the bleachers. The faster kids were doing the 400's in 60-65 seconds--that's pretty fast, especially considering it was the first day of practice! They did 50-meter sprints after that.

Seeing the high school kids practice made me really wish that I'd run track or cross country in school. I actually never even really knew what track or cross country was! I knew it was something to do with running, and that I hated running, so I wasn't interested. Noah really liked his practice yesterday, so I'm hoping that he continues to enjoy it. I'm glad he chose cross country and not football--watching kids run is so much more enjoyable to me than watching football! ;) His practice today was canceled because of the storms, but he has another practice tomorrow.


  1. I still like Extreme Weightloss over Biggest Loser. I don't like the new format though of EW. The contestants know going in that they have to weigh in in front of the public so I have no issue with it but then again, I'm someone at the doctor's office that gets down to as little as possible and gets on the scale and I don't care who is around. To me, the more people that see, the better because it helps hold them accountable. The teenager did work with a pediatrician that specializes in obesity so she was guided in the process by a medical professional. When I was a teenager I was really heavy and worked with a dietician and my guideline for calorie intake was 1200-1500.

    I can't wait to hear how Noah ends up liking Cross Country!

  2. That's awesome! I joined my school's club XC team in college and it's the best decision I've made. I don't know what middle school XC would be like, but high school/college races are generally 5k and run on really cool trails or golf courses. It's also a great opportunity to make really close friendships! Best of luck to Noah :)

  3. I felt so weirded out by the episode, too! Why on earth did they let her do the show anyway? It was exploitative and they shamed her for doing what teenagers do, not to mention that their "investigations" to catch them in a lie were totally over the top. Yes people need to be honest but they were treating them like addicts of a different sort, all for TV. Not cool.

  4. I get what you're saying about the show but at 15 she was 265 pounds. That's not a little over weight. Although she didn't hit her weight loss goals she still lost 90+ pounds which only helped her. As for following contestants I think with this pair Chris and Heidi knew that Jeff (the dad) didn't feel like he could be honest. And because her dad couldn't be honest Julianna followed suit in lying. The lesson Chris and Heidi taught them was everyone has days they mess up but you just have to be honest and get back on track. Honestly I think EWL is 1000 times better than biggest loser. There's no game playing and it's all about transformation.

  5. Love that they kept her shirt on for weigh ins- they definitely had some boundaries with her age. Also, asSomeone who works with teens I think the message of a restored relationship with her father is bigger than the weight loss and worth it in some ways. Too bad we don't see the after it airs story and what they think.

  6. If it makes you feel any better, MI high school sports practices actually started August 13, so they've been at it a while. Middle school starts later and has far shorter seasons.

  7. I agree with your opinion of the show. I was very worried watching that this girl was being pushed to the other extreme and towards a poor body image or eating disorder. I felt the show was uncomfortable. It also really bothered me when they were surprised with running a half marathon. On past shows the 6 month goal is something contestants work towards. While I am sure these two has been doing some running I felt the show down played the amount of effort and training a half marathon takes.

  8. I didn't like this episode either. I didn't agree with a 15 year old being on the program, and while they did make some consessions for her, there should have been more, like more guidance once they went home.

    This is such a petty thing about the show, but I really don't like the make overs/reveals on the show (in general, not just on this episode), but one this one, I really liked her hair short and then when she added the extensions, and those jeans were not flattering on her.

    I also agree, springing the 1/2 marathon on them like that? Usually they are given advance notice, and seeing that there was nothing in the show previously about running, made it seem really awkward.

    I'll be tuning in to the Biggest Loser tonight - I haven't watched it in years and while I am not sure I will like it any more, there isn't any other new TV on yet for a few weeks :)

  9. That is so great for your son. If I could go back to middle school and high school I would definitely join track. I must admit, I did join track in high school but only did shot put and discus.

  10. I agree! I saw like 2 minutes of that episode and it was when Chris and Heidi were confronting them about skipping their workouts and lying about it. It was uncomfortable. When the daughter and father were telling them that they were Crossfitting 2 hours a day plus walking I was disappointed Chris was okay with that. A Crossfit workout shouldn't be any longer than 15 minutes! Anyway, my mom turned the channel after that so that's all I saw...but it was enough!

  11. What happened on EWL is REALLY wrong and wronger b/c they were dealing with a 15-year-old! This is close to home for me as I have two teen-age daughters. I'm calling the dad out, too - his job is to protect his daughter from such treatment teaching her in the process that she is worthy of better treatment than that - regardless of what she weighs. Further, just yesterday there was yet another article published in the journal, "Obesity" entitled, "Fat Shaming Doesn't Encourage Weight Loss". Two things about this: 1) I get that these research results don't come as a surprise to anyone reading this. 2) The folks on EWL supposedly have some "expertise" in working with obese folks. Either they are not aware of a significant cluster of research that reflects that shaming just makes things worse, or they are ignoring it. Not good, either way. Most sadly, they are violating the golden rule. Would they want to be treated this way when dealing with their most private, most difficult, most "flaw-revealing" personal issue? I think not.

  12. My son ran track and cross-country when he was in high school. I was always in awe of people who could run, because I can't. To this day (he just turned 42), he still runs. It is a good way to start a habit that can continue well into your adulthood.

  13. Ahh that's awesome that he's doing CC! I wish I had done it back when I was in school too but all I knew of running was having to run a mile in a certain time limit. Two girls were talking about how they were in cross country at lunch yesterday and I was a bit jealous ;) My kids don't really want to run other than every once in awhile Trevor will.

  14. Glad Noah is enjoying cross country!

  15. I'm really conflicted about EWL last week. On one hand, I do think they deserved to be caught in their lies. The show is a HUGE opportunity, and it's unfortunate that they were throwing it away and deliberately lying to the people giving them thousands of dollars worth of coaching, equipment, and help.

    On the other hand, the discussion about the calories Julianna was eating makes me upset that fitness and weight loss professionals would recommend such a drastic diet. YES, she was very overweight, but at 200+lbs and with 2-3 hours of working out a day, there is NO WAY she should be eating only 1300 calories. When shows like that perpetuate the myth of 1200-1300 calorie diets, it's no wonder the participants often become so disordered and gain the weight back at the end.


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