'The Biggest Loser' recap: Face your fears
The episode title said it all: "Face Your Fears," and the contestants on "The Biggest Loser" found out that facing up to the things they feared the most was key to them being able to continue on their paths to healthier lifestyles.
For Jackson, still our favorite Season 14 contestant, that meant taking a break from the safety and support of "The Biggest Loser" ranch to see if he could keep himself motivated. The episode began with a challenge in which contestants had to stack 25-pound cinder blocks in front of giant photos of each other. The contestant who had had his or her photo covered by the blocks last would be sent away from the ranch for a week, left to eat healthily and train solo.
After a week of riding around on her huffy bike (and admitting she'd been a "raving" beeyotch), Gina almost certainly would have been the contestant her fellow players would have kicked to the curb, but Jackson begged his pals not to block his photo and keep him safe. He wanted to test himself away from the ranch, and in the final seconds of the competition, he got his wish.
But host Alison Sweeney wasn't done; in another twist, Jackson had to choose another contestant to join him away from the ranch for the week, and before he could pick, Jeff volunteered himself.
Jeff's biggest fear, he said, is failure, waking up one day years from now, still unhealthy, having squandered away opportunities to improve his health and his life. Testing himself away from the ranch was also his chance to face that fear, so he and Jackson set off for what they called their "mancation" from the "BL" hacienda.
Francelina was the player who left the ranch last week, and a check-in revealed just how well she's doing on her own. She started the competition at 267 pounds, and she's lost nearly 100 el-bees during the show's nine-week run.
See Francelina on "Today":
That's worthy of a celebration for Francelina and her boyfriend, Jeff … yes, the same one who's still in the "BL" competition, though not in the house this week. Jackson and Jeff were packed up and shipped off to a private residence, where they were greeted with an empty fridge and some dough to go shopping, a pair of bikes, and a treadmill. In other words, no fully-equipped gym with super trainers, and no huge kitchen stocked with healthy foods. The fellas had to go off to the grocery store themselves, and Jeff admitted that the chips aisle was calling him.
He was strong in resisting the salty snacks, though, and he and Jackson returned to their temp home with bags of healthy foods like fresh produce. As Jackson prepared a spaghetti squash dinner, Jeff talked about his formerly sedentary lifestyle, the one in which he didn't even like to get out of bed each day, let alone leave his house. He once watched nine seasons of a TV show, he said, in less than five days (which, OK, sounds fun, though certainly not physically healthy), and he's determined not to slip back into those patterns.
Teen contestants Sunny, Lindsay and Biingo were also challenged to face their fears, with Sunny approaching her mom with her concerns that her mom's own weight issues will lead to some disastrous health problems. Though the conversation started off on shaky ground -- Sunny's mom was initially defensive -- Shanthi came around to see how worried her daughter is about her, and her position changed. Mothers are supposed to console their children and take their fears away, she said, and her health is her daughter's biggest fear. She promised Sunny she would make the commitment to improve her health and that of the whole family.