Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Inspiring Ali Vincent is the First Female Biggest Loser!

STANDING ON STAGE last night, Ali of the Pink Team looked like a strip of beef jerky: skinny, yes, but all muscle. She lost more weight than everybody else that season, dropping 112 pounds of blubber to become a 122-pound piece of iron. I am thrilled for her.

It is good to see a woman biggest loser. Over the past five years, the men have dominated. That's because they simply have so much more weight to lose. Honestly, when the American public decided to vote Roger into the finale, I thought that Ali might be at a huge disadvantage. She was already tiny when the "on-campus" period of the show ended, and contestants were sent home to fend for themselves for the next six weeks. Roger, on the other hand, still had significant weight to lose. And he had been losing double digits each week.

In the past, every other winner has lost approximately 1/2 of their body weight. This time, however, nobody broke the 50% mark. Roger may have been able to: he started at over 360 pounds. Get below 180? Definitely doable with $250,000 on the line! However, when Roger weighed in, he was only down to 199. At that moment, I knew Ali was a shoe-in. She had lost 99 pounds on the ranch, and now in order to win she only needed to lose a total of 106 pounds. Seven pounds in six weeks? For the most dedicated and intense Biggest Loser competitor in ages? No problem!

Indeed, she ended up losing 112 pounds to finish at a sinewy 122. In the process, she had changed her entire lifestyle and focus. She began to believe that anything is possible. Indeed, as ├╝bertrainer Jillian "Beatings Beatings Beatings" Michaels likes to say, "when you connect your mind and your body and your intention, anything is possible."

Ali inspired me to get off my ass this morning and spend an hour at the gym. I did 25 minutes of intense bodyweight and dumbbell exercises, followed by 20 minutes of interval training on the recumbent bike, and afterward, I felt great. I was wearing my technical T-shirt that I got at the Cherry Blossom run, and the trainers there asked me how it was. I told them it was rainy and cold but exhilarating. I love having a race T-shirt! Not only does it make me feel proud, but it also lets other people know that, apparently, I'm a runner! Who would have thought?

I was also inspired to work out by the fact that yesterday at choir rehearsal, someone came up to me and told me that I look "skinny." What? Me? Skinny? Yes, she said, perhaps it was all the running I had been doing. Maybe, I responded, but my weight has basically been holding steady. The people around me nodded: that often happens when people start running, they said.

Well, yes, of course I know that. Muscle builds, fat melts, weight stays the same... but I didn't realize it was happening to me to such an extent that others noticed I look thinner! Anyway, that little bit of encouragement was enough to get me out of bed this morning and into the gym -- if I can look "skinny" after just a couple months of sporadic running and a few strength training sessions, imagine how I might look this summer!

Anyway, take a look at Ali's interview this morning on the Today Show. So inspiring!

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