Just to let you know- this blog is no longer active. I'll be keeping up my 101 in 1001 list until its completion, but will not be writing new posts. You can read the post below if you want the long version. Thanks for the journey to all my friends in the blogosphere!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Excuse me, Jillian, have you ever run a marathon?

You've heard me sing Jillian Michael's praises before, right? I have the book, the DVD, have watched approximately 5 seasons of Biggest Loser...yeah, the whole 9 yards. Even though she sometimes takes things to the extreme (i.e. yelling at people who are barfing and falling off treadmills with exhaustion.), I've always had a great deal of respect for her and her methods.

Until last night.

Last night, they aired the "Biggest Loser Marathon." They've done this for a few seasons now and in fact one of my marathon goals last October was to beat Tara's 4:55 finish from last spring. Each time, I've wondered how much actual marathon training the contestants have done. Most runners (like myself) devote months to preparing for their first marathon- building up to longer runs, trying out different fuels, drinking massive amounts of water, and rearranging their eating habits. They don't show any of this on the show. In fact, they don't show any of this (aid stations, water, GUs, etc.) along the run either. They completely downplay all the preparation that goes into an event like that. Bob and Jillian only seem concerned about the weight loss and don't question the contestants at all about their marathon training.

I know this season's winner, Daris, was taking his training seriously though. He smashed the previous Biggest Loser record by crossing the finish line at 4:02 last night. (Anybody want to guess what my new marathon goal time is?) It was clear that he had crossed over from "reality show contestant" to "runner" and I was happy to welcome him into our fold.

A few hours (or maybe a day, I'm not quite sure about the timeline) later, however, it was time for Daris to defend his title as a "weight loss contestant" and step on the scale. I cringed a little. I lost about 6 pounds training for my marathon and I thought that was pretty lucky. Many marathoners gain weight from all that necessary carb loading. The week of the race, however, as I geared up for the big day, I ended up gaining back a few pounds. The day after, the scale showed all 6 of those pounds back on. It was just a temporary increase from all that extra water and food, but that water and food got me through 26.2 miles!

So, I was not surprised at all when Daris had a 2 pound weight gain. He said (without really any regret or apology) that he had been more focused on the marathon than on weight loss. "Hurrah!" replied me and runners around the globe. Obviously, this guy has found a healthy activity that he's passionate about and will continue with in the future. He's already under 200 pounds and in great shape.

Bob and Jillian did not share our enthusiasm. Bob was livid and Jillian dropped something that had to be bleeped. "What do you mean it's hard to lose weight while marathon training?" "Don't tell me about how you are just running and gain weight. That doesn't add up. It doesn't make sense."

Beneath all their accusations, Daris' pride quickly morphed to shame and backpedaling. I was h.o.r.r.i.f.i.e.d. Bob and Jillian know that gym backwards and forward; they know all there is to know about weight training and cardio pump and "last chance workouts" but apparently they don't know _____ about running a marathon.

I've been lurking around the internet (obviously, this has been irking me!) and discovered that Bob has, in fact, run 3 marathons, but I'd be real interested in seeing his times. I cannot find any evidence that Jillian has completed a marathon. I did however find a lot more people irked by all this! Like Jamie, Tall Mom on the Run, Run, Momma, Run, J at Kissing Frogs, Amy, and Laura.

So, Jillian, let's see you lace up for 26.2.


  1. I know! I was so sad for Daris! I hope he stays on the show. Thinking about it, how hard would it be to be training for a marathon and on a low low calorie diet?! No wonder he binged at night, his body was craving some fuel! Hopefully even if he gets kicked off, he rocks it at the finale.

  2. 100% behind u.
    i was yelling at my tv yesterday! omg. i was so angry.
    i like daris and thought he did amazing. its so hard to find an exercise or physical activity that you like, and daris found it in running, so yay for him. too bad that b-word Jillian had to rain on his parade!

  3. Now I'm even more mad knowing that Bob has actually done multiple marathons and still reacted like that. I think it is a pretty well-known fact that weight-gain is possible, especially during your first marathon!

    I totally agree that if he was trying to stick to a 1200 calorie diet like on the ranch that he would be prone to binging at night. That is CRAZY! In this case it is not about weakness, it is about needing to eat! Poor guy.

  4. thanks for the shout out!

    very well written post - and it's interesting to read that bob has actually run several marathons. and so surprising that he would then turn around and join in with jillian on berating daris for gaining during his training.

    god, that episode was frustrating on so many levels.

  5. I have never run a marathon, it is something that I am physically incapable of doing. So, I have the utmost respect for people who can accomplish such a monumental undertaking. What I hate though, is how the BL directors/editors downplay the intense amount of preparation that goes into something like that!! And not showing water or aid stations? Or showing the contestants eating/drinking anything on the course? A marathon isn't something that you just decide to do and one week later complete....without water, training, gels, etc. It is dangerous!

    And poor Daris, he is actually making progress as a person...and is probably more capable of succeeding off the ranch than any of the other contestants. So unfair :(

  6. I thought the exact same thing when she made that comment to Daris!!!!!!

  7. I heard about this but not the full story. That's crazy! I never lose weight running a marathon! doesn't seem like a weight loss plan to me!

  8. I agree. I saw that episode and they shouldn't have gotten mad like that! I doubt jillian has ever run a marathon, especially if you can't find any details about it. I'm happy for daris and his new found love for running. :)

  9. I think it was more important to him to run the marathon that it was to drop the weight. I applaud his decision. He accomplished much. And he described himself as a runner. People on those shows sometimes regain the weight. I see Darris doing better long-term than any of them.