BIGGEST LOSER "10 & 11" WEEK ONE "CARRY ON"

Well we’re at it again. After a couple week layoff, 28 people started Biggest Loser “10” on Friday nights, and 24 people started Biggest Loser “11” on Saturday mornings. I think having two different groups is going to prove to be interesting.

After the initial weigh-in last week, the goal this week was to get them moving. I always get excited to start with a large group, even though I know that half of them probably won’t be there at the end. Perhaps with the New Year and resolutions and all that, we’ll keep more of them.

It’s just that so many people start things that they don’t finish. I think it’s cultural. Kids these days have so many activities and it’s good to let them try different things. There’s something to be said, though, for letting them focus on something and get really good at it. And also to keep trying, until you get what you want.

If I can use myself as an example, when I was young, I had severe asthma (still do) and my parents put me in music lessons (piano, violin, and drums) because I was unable to participate in sports or P.E. classes. Back then they didn’t have the medicines that they have now.

I did classical piano from a very early age, and added some jazz and lots of pop/rock later. My parents sent me to jazz camps for piano, and even orchestra camps for violin. My life pretty much revolved around music.

Later in life, I started writing songs and going to song-writing seminars. After writing some clunkers, I started getting some good results and even got two songs in the finals up in Canada back in 2004.

That was cool because I got to go up to a college up in Alberta in the dead of winter (man was it cold), and sing both songs in front of a bunch of other wannabees like me, and some industry professionals who were there to critique us. I came in second, but less than a year later, was recording my first “real” set of songs down in Nashville, TN in a “real” studio with some top musicians and engineers. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.

In 2005, we released “Leaving Egypt” and three songs went to radio for a little while. One, called “Don’t Turn Away” actually did pretty well in Canada, and I’m still getting some royalties from up there, and believe it or not, South Africa.

By the way, if you’d like to hear the three songs that went to radio, “Don’t Turn Away”, “Someday”, and “Calling”, you can get them free. They’re available for free download, along with all the other ten tracks from “Leaving Egypt” and the follow-up group of ten songs from “Canaan” on my website: www.tomdolanmusic.com .

There’s also a fitness calculator that tells you how much you need to eat, along with my blog, which is basically these weekly articles, going back several years. Feel free to check them out.

I have to admit that I was pretty disappointed when the songs didn’t stick around long enough to “chart” so we weren’t able to push them into stores. After “Leaving Egypt” I was thinking that would be the last time.

Not only was it expensive, but it was an emotional roller coaster. Even though 350 radio stations played the songs, it still felt like a failure. None of the songs charted, and after about 100 concerts for the CD, it ran its course. Since then, I’ve realized that’s pretty normal, especially for new independent artists.

But in the next two years, while I was focusing on teaching fitness and martial arts here at home, I started hearing some new music in my head. I’d see things and have to write about them, and then I’d get some melodies.

Sometimes I’d just be practicing the piano or guitar, and they’d come to me. After I had a bunch of songs, I finally had the urge to call my producer in TN and arranged to go down and let him hear the songs. He felt we had enough for a CD, so we put “Canaan” together.

I didn’t try to push any of those songs to radio because I was still trying to pay off the first mess. As a result, there weren’t many concerts either, but I’m still pretty happy with how the songs turned out. A couple of them really seemed to touch people when they heard them. Again, though, I really thought I was done with that part of my life.

As it turns out, I wasn’t. Something in me made me keep playing, if only in my office or in church on Sunday mornings. But every now and then I’d hear something—a melody, or a cool phrase would pop into my head. It’s almost like the pressure builds and then you finally just have to do something about it.

So, I started the process to track three new ones. This time, I’m going to do it differently. When they’re done, I’m going to put them up on the website free—I’m not even going to wait until I have enough for a CD. Heck, I might not even do a whole CD, but these three—they’re pretty good, and I just couldn’t wait to hear them.

The three songs are: “Carry On”, “Hiding Place”, and “It takes a Hero”, which is a great tribute to the folks of 9-1-1, and Iraq. The tracks sound great, and I’m hoping to go down and cut vocals sometime soon. Then, we’ll get them mixed, mastered, and put them up on the website.

What’s the point to all this, and how does it relate to fitness? Well, if you want to get your music out there, you’ve got to be pretty persistent, in light of all the obstacles (which are many). It’s the same thing with getting your body back. It’s hard, it takes time, there are disappointments along the way, but if you really work at it, you can get what you want.

That’s what these two new groups need to do as they begin the process in Biggest Loser “10” and “11.” They’ve gotten started. Now they need to learn how to stick with it. To make it something they get good at. It needs to become a lifestyle. If they can learn how to do that, not only will they last the twelve weeks, but their success can last a lifetime.

We had some great numbers at the end of Week One. There’s a lot of excitement, and I think the groups are highly motivated, but they need to remember that it’s the trend over time that matters. Hopefully, we’ll continue to see numbers like this next week.

The winner Friday night was Judy Rush, who lost 4.2% of her body weight and 8.0 lbs. 2nd place went to Whitney Stepp, who lost 3.8% of her body weight and an amazing 9.4 lbs. In 3rd place, was Sherry Carr, who lost 3.6% of her body weight and 8.0 lbs. Donnie Bartos took 4th place, losing 3.4% of his body weight and 7.0 lbs, and Scot Grimes finished in 5th place, losing 3.3% of his body weight and 9.0 lbs.

Saturday morning Jennifer Bowers and Dale Rasmussen tied for 1st place, losing 2.2% of their body weight. Jen lost 4.6 lbs and Dale lost 5.8 lbs. 3rd place went to Shelly Harper, who lost 2.1% of her body weight and 4.4 lbs. Cheri Dosch placed 4th, losing 1.9% of her body weight and 4.4 lbs. Kim Grimes finished 5th, losing 1.8% of her body weight and 4.2 lbs.

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