I’ve decided that this season I am going to watch NBC’s The Biggest Loser as a bit of homework for myself.  I know this has been a controversial show among fitness professionals in the past, with the contestants being in extremely unrealistic situations where they achieve incredible, but highly unrealistic results in a short time period.

I can sympathize with those people, but you can’t argue that the message is an important one: if you are in a situation with your health that is that dire, you sometimes need to take drastic measures to get back on the right track.  Also, I happened to tune in to one episode several years ago where the contestants RAN A MARATHON.  Think about that for a minute.  Most people, even healthy people, will never run a marathon in their lives, and here these people are – people who months earlier were so overweight that they couldn’t walk for five minutes on a treadmill – finishing 26.2 miles!  I was in tears at the end of the episode because of the pure emotion that comes with accomplishing something so tough and practically unfathomable for those contestants.

Anyway, this season the show is tackling an issue that is near and dear to my heart: childhood obesity.  I was very curious to see what their approach would be.  After all, the show has been made so famous partially due to Jillian Michaels yelling.  I had to assume they wouldn’t try this approach with kids, but what would they do to encourage major changes for these kids?  What would they do to involve their families, who play the biggest role in determining their kids’ lifestyle habits?

Well, it’s only been one episode, but I’ve been encouraged and inspired by what I’ve seen so far.  They stressed that the best way to encourage kids to live active, healthy lifestyles is to make fitness a fun, activity-based part of their everyday lives.  Incorporate it into games and other activities and make it a social experience for them.  This fact alone nearly brought tears to my eyes (yes, I know, I cry a lot): that means we are ON THE RIGHT TRACK with Tri 4 Schools!  By offering a variety of activities that are meant to be fun and encouraging for kids, while involving a social aspect (teams, getting schools involved together), it’s bound to be a positive experience, albeit a challenging one.

I’m pumped to see more of this season and am really rooting for these kids.  Sunny, Lindsay, and Biingo, keep up the great work!