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Jewish Journal

Biggest Loser Meets “RABBI ROBBIE”

by Chava Tombosky

June 7, 2011 | 2:33 pm

Judgement Day Has Arrived….

The Scale Of Merit Has Been Calibrated….

Tonight It Shall Be Decreed Who Shall Live And Who Shall Dine…

Tonight We Will Know Who Is….. The…. Biggest….. Loser….. Da Datam (that’s drums….)

As Yaakov mentioned today on our family blog, the competition is getting heated:

“All liquid diet today boys and girls -
big coffee at 2pm
weigh in at 6pm
collect $300 at 6:05pm
collect Tova’s $50 check at 6:30pm (i’m sure she will forget her checkbook and she doesn’t get paid until Friday)
eat cheese cake at 6:10pm
bring $50 cash - i don’t want to chase you for the money.
bring your flip so we can document the event.”

With only a couple hours left till weigh in time, We still have 2 more BL competitors for you to meet.  Four hours and counting till weigh in time….

Let’s first meet Robbie:

My husband, Robbie, is a wonderfully sensitive guy who has always been there for the entire family. He is one of a kind and we are all secretly hoping he wins this competition.  Everyone has their reasons. Some believe he won’t actually make anyone pay up. Others are just hopeful that Robbie gets so fit that he becomes the next Rocky.  Robbie had the most to lose, and when we started this competition, he was the most defiant against participating. Funny enough, as soon as the start button was pushed, he became the most competitive out of all of us. He didn’t really want to let anyone of us beat him, and I am really really proud of his progress, even if I had to listen to him brag about his fifty minute elliptical stints, and how little calories he consumed….on a regular basis.  When Robbie first joined the gym, the owner, a Jewish guy, became really interested in Robbie’s progress- mainly because the owner was hoping to make Robbie his walking marketing example.  “Lift those weights like you’re lifting the Torah,” the owner would order .  “Blow, blow through those abs like you’re blowin a Shofar on Yom Kippur.”  Every day Robbie went to the gym, and every day, he has become more and more fit and of course he has also managed to bring the fit gym owner to synagogue a couple of times for his own spiritual work out.  I’m really proud of Robbie’s progress. Hopefully, he will keep on going, and eventually he’ll be able to run….run really really fast- like he’s running from the army out of Egypt.

Here’s what Robbie had to say about our BL Competition:

1. How much weight did you need to lose?
 
“I had officially entered the obese zone (one step up from the ‘over-weight’ zone) about six months ago.  For those who are interested, you know you have entered the obese zone when you take your sick child to the pediatrician and the pediatrician puts you on the scale and spends the entire appointment discussing your heath while your sick child sits sniffling and coughing on the examination room table.”
 
2. What have you done to change your habits over the past few weeks?
 
“The first big eye openers for me were: (1) how many calories were in my favorite foods and (2) how many calories I was actually consuming.  Thanks to technology, and my wife’s suggestion, I downloaded an App called MyFitnessPal from MyFitnessPal.com.  This is an awesome fitness tool, because it helps you determine a calorie goal for the day and then track your actual caloric intake.  It also allows you to create a social network of friends who can monitor your results (like facebook).   I was shocked to find my afternoon bag of chips had over 400 calories and the cookies that I munched on with my Grande Soy Vanilla Latte during my mid-morning pick-me-up had another 400 calories.  I was easily consuming 3,000 - 4,000 per day!  So the hardest habit for me to change was just being aware of the food choices I was making throughout the day. The other great thing about MyFitnessPal is it actually motivated me to exercise because it tracks net calories.  So if I used all of my daily 1200 calories before dinner, I could go to the gym after work and get another 500 calories by, let’s say, doing an hour on the elliptical machine!  At least initially, my exercising was just a way to consume more food!  May seem a bit Pavlovian, but that is exactly the kind of motivation that was getting me to the gym for the first few weeks wink
 
3. Who in the family do you really want to beat?
 
“As it turns out I am a fairly competitive person, so I am really looking forward to losing more weight than everyone else!  Truth be told, if not for the competition I would not have lasted more than a week.  There has been very little personal reward during the past five weeks.  I really don’t enjoy exercising - when your 40 lbs overweight everything at the gym is an ordeal!  And I haven’t enjoyed diminishing my caloric intake either - let’s face it, you don’t become 40 lbs overweight without developing a deep, personal relationship with your favorite foods!  So the only thing that really kept me on track for the past five weeks has been the competition - or more pointedly, the transparency of setting a goal and then having an accountability to a group who will mock your defeat at family gatherings for years to come!  And here’s the amazing thing - now that I have made it through the first five weeks (albeit kicking and screaming) I have just begun feeling better!”
 
4. What do you plan on doing with the $400?
 
“I haven’t really given that much thought…  Thank G-d, our life is very full and blessed with lots and lots of good things that usurp every dollar earned.  So I think I will use this money for something that everyone in family would enjoy.”
 
5. Are you proud of your progress?
 
“I am very surprised with my progress!  I haven’t been on a sustained diet or exercise regiment for a long, long time.  So I didn’t really know what to expect. I am proud that I have not had a single slice of Pizza in for the past five weeks.  Pizza is definitely my “gateway drug”... and I have turned down a slice about a dozen times over the past six weeks.”  
 
6. Do you plan on  spending any of you $400 on Chava?
 
“I don’t understand the question… After being married with children for almost seventeen years I don’t really know the meaning of the words, “your money” - please explain grin

(that’s my man:) )
 
7. Will you continue eating better and exercising even after the deadline?
 
“I am so glad for the support of our family and am hopeful to keep up the new eating and exercise habits for a long time to come.”
 
8. Most importantly, what do you plan on eating the second the wager is over?
 
“Hmmmm…. that’s a good question.  I still have a long way to go, so I really don’t think I am going to launch directly into a “binge” after the wage is over… of course, I couldn’t promise that I am not going to go on a cheese cake binge either… One day at a time… One day at a time…”
 
9. Would you consider doing another 8 week Biggest Loser competition, and if so, how much mula are you willing to put in the pot next time?
 
“I would definitely go for another eight weeks, but honestly don’t think the money part is very important.  The truth is, it was the teamwork and accountability that were the most helpful part of the competition.  It’s not really about winning or losing at this point.  I think we have all won by endeavoring to lose the weight!
 
(Of course, I think I will enjoy winning the competition just a little bit too grin

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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My Big Fat Jewish life blog is featured in The Huffington Post and The Algemeiner Journal as well as The Jewish Journal. Chava has also written for Farbrengen Magazine, Soul...

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