'The Biggest Loser' casting call this weekend in Venice
But you can get yourself on "The Biggest Loser" without my help: There's a casting call this weekend in Venice.
So if you enjoy the thought of getting on a scale in public, here's the skinny. The casting call takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Boys & Girls Club in Venice, 2232 Lincoln Blvd. Ideally, they're looking for teams of two. But don't be discouraged if you don't have a partner -- you never know, they might find a partner for you. (Remember Brittany and Bernie? Exactly!)
It might help if you also bring a good attitude. The show in recent seasons has, thankfully, steered away from stocking the ranch with contestants who will manufacture chaos and controversy beyond that already caused by the competition. No doubt there are haters who want all that drama. Me? These tearful eliminations are providing all the real-life drama that I need, thank you very much.
Take this week's eliminee: Mama Marci. Den mother. Mama to all. I was hoping they would come up with some reason to keep her around. Maybe eliminate her from the competition and make her second mom to all? (And by "all" I mean all Americans. Seriously, who wouldn't want Marci in their corner?) There wasn't a dry eye at the elimination table when they sent Marci home because they were all following her wishes. Marci insisted that she be sent home to protect Kaylee, who seems to be spiraling in some manner (if her low weight-loss numbers are any indication). But perhaps the highest honor came from Justin, who acknowledged Marci's considerable leadershp skills by bestowing upon her the honorific "Captain."
In a media conference call this week after her elimination, Marci said the biggest gift the show brought her was a sense of balance -- and some much needed selfishness. Marci says she carves out 90 minutes of "me time" every day for cardio and strength training, and refuses to let anything get in her way. "It's focus time for me."
Marci also talked about the challenges she faced as a mother watching her daughter and teammate, Courtney, continue to gain weight as a young woman. (Courtney is thisclose to losing 200 pounds, a benchmark she is likely to hit at next week's weigh-in.) She said that for years she would "get on" Courtney about her weight, taking her to dieticians and doctors, all to no avail. She finally realized she was doing more harm than good and made the decision to leave Courtney alone.
Her advice for other parents was two part. Start early by making healthy eating and exercise a habit in your household, and model good behavior. But if you do end up parenting an obese child, you need to make sure the child has all the necessary tools -- access to healthy food, opportunities to exercise, etc. -- and then let them be. "You've got to step back," she said. "If you give them the confidence that they need ... eventually, they are going to get it."
She said one of the hardest parts of the show was watching Sarah go home recently. She would have gladly traded places with Sarah and volunteered to leave, but that occurred in a week in which Marci shocked everyone, including herself, by losing so much weight that she was protected from elimination.
"The pain in Sarah's eyes broke my heart," she said.
Marci said she enjoyed her working out with the new trainers this week. Of Brett, she said: "He really impresses me." Of Cara: "Cara is such a caring, coddling trainer. She is definitely a different style than any of the other three, especially Jillian." But she did not particularly care for Cara's workout style: "I'm not thrilled with a boxing working ... I'm 49 years old, I just don't like punching a bag. But she's a very sweet girl."
Since Marci reached her goal weight while on the ranch, she said her focus now is building muscle to combat loose skin. Here's looking toward seeing a chiseled Mama Marci at the finale.
-- Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch
Photo: Season 11's "The Biggest Loser" cast. Credit: NBC