I think anyone who watched this week’s episode is still cringing in disbelief by what Arthur did. If you missed it, the challenge was the person who ate the most chocolate was able to switch two team members from their team to the other team anonymously. We won’t discuss the appropriateness of a food-based challenge with food addicts and binge eaters but that was definitely not the most disturbing part of the event.
Arthur, our 500lb man, binged his way to gorging down 35 chocolates in 3 minutes giving him the win and the power that came with it. Now first, if you have seen these kinds of Biggest Loser challenges where teams have been switched around, you know that Biggest Loser contestants resist change like all the rest of us. They have been together for a number of weeks, are bonded and feel comfortable just the way things are. It is a reoccurring theme that the contestant who wins the challenge and actually moves team members around is always hated for the rest of the show. I actually can’t think of any exceptions; it has been the downfall of everyone that breaks this sacred covenant (Don’t mess with my team).
So here we have Arthur, someone that needs to keep every ally he can, who makes one of the greatest blunders game wise in Biggest Loser history. He makes one of the most ridiculous choices that befuddles everyone (contestants and viewers) and then without prompting, admits he did it and why. While some could give him credit for having the moxy to admit what he did, it actually created more anger as his reasoning was so self-centered and illogical.
Anyway, if you’re used to my writing you know I am always looking for the message or learning we can take away from the different events on the show. I think we all cringed because if you’re human you have done dumb things before. I can certainly feel some compassion for Arthur.
A couple of things really impressed me about the entire situation. First, Jillian’s insight into Arthur’s motivation was both insightful and caring. She saw Arthur’s motivation was based on fear; somehow if he manipulated things in this way he would be protecting himself and his father. She was compassionate and honest with Arthur at the same time. His tears showed she really connected and got it right. I don’t know if what Jillian said will help Arthur in the long run but at least now everyone understands it was done out of Arthur’s fear and need for protection.
The other thing, and I think a huge lesson for everyone struggling with food addiction and diet addiction, is Arthur still lost 9 pounds that week. If you look at your past and your reaction to traumas or even mild upsets, how many times was that the catalyst to blow your food plan or even gain 20 pounds? Here we had someone who really blew it, was called out by his own team mates with a TV camera shoved in his face and must have felt horribly ashamed. Talk about wanting to crawl under a rock!
But Arthur did not throw in the towel, he did not give up even though he had a great excuse. He persevered and did what he came there to do: lose weight … 9 pounds. If this would have been some other devastating issue, we probably would have all been cheering for him for sticking with it.
Now I won’t nominate Arthur for an award but I can certainly look into my life and see where I have blown it in the past and what my reaction was. It is certainly food for thought.
Please comment below and let me know what you think.
All the best,