Weighty Matters

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Biggest Loser Winner and CVS

on February 6, 2014

For the last couple of days I’ve seen lots of press and social media posts about two things: How skinny the winner of the Biggest Loser looked on the finale and that CVS announced they will stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Both of these topics have triggered reaction, that’s for sure.

I didn’t see all of the Biggest Loser finale on Tuesday night. I was so tired that I set it to record on DVR and went to bed early. So, I didn’t actually see the woman who won until her picture started appearing on Facebook. Wow. She sure as heck did lose a lot of weight! I’m of two minds about the results. On the one hand, she wanted to change her life from one of morbid obesity and while so doing, she wanted to win the competition. Obviously she succeeded. On the other hand, sweet goodness, she went from morbidly obese to downright skinny in a few months. Is she too skinny? Is she now an unhealthy weight? Maybe. Overall, what you and I think doesn’t matter. Determining what’s enough weight loss and what’s too much is up to her and her medical advisors. Also, even if she isn’t a healthy weight now, she was a fierce competitor and she wanted to make sure that she lost a greater percentage of body weight than the other two guys. Now that she’s won, if she wants to put back on a few pounds, she can.

Whether it’s a participant on a weight loss reality show or someone else who has had bariatric surgery, I have resolved to not judge their journeys. It honestly is not my place to assess what they’re doing and decide whether what they’re doing or have done is right. If I go down that road, then I’m no longer assessing the reality of their situations, I’m making a judgment based on what I think. Their journey or their goals and what paths they travel to get there, are honestly none of my business. I have more than enough on which to focus with my own journey, goals, and paths. They can take care of themselves.

When it comes to CVS, I applaud this gutsy decision to deep six tobacco products. I always found it ironic that you could walk to the back of the local CVS for the medications to help when you’re sick and then at the front pass by the shelves of cigarettes, guaranteed to wreck your health. I hate cigarettes and smoking. I regret that I ever smoked and celebrate the fact that I quit. I don’t get obnoxious about it with friends who still smoke. There’s an ashtray reserved for them on my porch. They understand that there’s no smoking allowed in my house. I also don’t do things like exaggeratedly wave my hands in front of my face when I walk by people smoking. I don’t fix them with my most effective death glare. Smoking cigarettes is a personal choice. I don’t lecture them about the consequences.

If anyone asks me what my mother died from, I’ll likely say lung cancer and strokes caused by her 50 year addiction to cigarettes. That’s the reality of it and it makes me sad every day. When she was alive, and before her cancer diagnosis, we shared the family home up in New Jersey. Mom and I had an understanding. If she needed something from the store, I would happily run out and get it for her — except for cigarettes. I absolutely refused to buy cigarettes for her. That was something she had to get on her own.

I used to shop in CVS a lot more frequently. They had my monthly prescriptions on file so I ran in at least once a month to refill. It was also my store of choice to pick up snack foods when I didn’t want to go to a full supermarket. Once I got off of all my prescriptions a little more than a year ago, and since don’t do a lot of snack foods anymore, I have a lot less need for CVS. There’s also a Walgreens a block away. Believe it or not, the new announcement has inspired me to shop CVS more frequently. I might even look for excuses to go. As long as they maintain the “no smoking” policy, I want them to succeed. I don’t want them to lose their other, residual product sales as a result of the tobacco products ban. Shopping there more often is a way to positive reinforce them for their bold move.

Would love to hear your thoughts and comments on either of these topics!

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2 responses to “Biggest Loser Winner and CVS

  1. Hope says:

    I haven’t followed the Biggest Loser in a long time, so I had to do some googling. Wow! Rachel Frederickson got *really* small. Probably a little too small? I don’t want to thin shame her (I feel like that’s pretty much as bad as fat shaming), but I do think there is something wrong with our society and that show in particular that she felt that she needed to get that small, and that nobody ever stepped in and said “this is not a good idea.”

  2. Skye says:

    I applaud you for choosing to not judge the winner of The Biggest Loser. Even though it does sound like maybe she overdid it. My problem is that I look at someone like that and know that they have become a model for others. People have come to look to TV shows to show them the life they should be living. And going to super skinny is like reinforcing that model-thin stereotype. Hopefully she is happy and healthy, because that’s what matters in the end. And I really hate that show because it’s so brutal and I hate watching other people break down: I feel like a really uncomfortable voyeur.

    And I cheer on CVS! How wonderful! I, too, hate smoking. My mom had not smoked for 20 years (after more than 30 years as a smoker), yet she still died of lung cancer. Her youngest sister is now in stage 4 emphysema from all her years of smoking. And too many young people are still taking up smoking. I would shop there if they had stores up here, just in support.

    Maybe cigarettes should go the way that alcohol is in many states: into a state-run cigarettes and smoking paraphernalia shop.

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