The Biggest Loser's child obesity initiative shone a spotlight on the role of an obese parent as a hindrance to a kid's attempts at weight loss.
Sunny, a sixteen year-old from upstate New York has made great progress towards losing weight, making time for physical activity and learning the secrets of healthy eating.
How does a child point a finger at a parent?
Her mother Shanti however, has become someone who is holding her back.
Sunny revealed to Jillian Michaels that her biggest fear is losing her mother to obesity. The show tackled each contestant's greatest fears on last week's episode.
"The problem is that she is my mom, and the fact that she is not getting healthy affects my journey to get healthy," Sunny said.
Jillian counseled Sunny to speak with Shanti, citing her parent's control over the home environment and its importance in keeping Sunny on the right track.
"It's another reason Sunny is keeping her own weight on, because her mother isn't taking the weight off." Watch Sunny get some fashion advice from stylist and TV star Tim Gunn. Video posted below.
Two adult contestants move away for one week
On the adult contestant side, Jackson and Jeff were set adrift off the ranch for the week to see if they could survive without the trainers and the food provided.
In other words, they were experiencing how the rest of America deals with trying to stay healthy.
They had to shop for their own food, motivate themselves to exercise and face the fear that without constant supervision, they'd regress and lose their momentum gained from months at The Biggest Loser ranch.
Jeff's big fear in the supermarket? The chips aisle. "I love chips, the saltier and crispier the better. That could send me into a feeding frenzy."
Jackson said after his food shopping trip and cooking his own meal, "Realistically I've done more already today than I used to back home."
How did Sunny fare with her mom Shanti?
When Sunny sat down with her mother, the usual fear of overstepping the bounds of authority set in. How could she say things to her parent that were upsetting and potentially seen as disrespectful?
She began by reviewing her mother's failed attempts at using fad diets and reverting to old behavior.
"I love you and I want you to experience all the things you can't when you're overweight," she continued. "You can't come on the roller coaster with me and Dad. You can't tie your shoe laces yourself. It's hard for you."
That seemed to be the point Sunny's Mom felt attacked.
"You don't have to say that to my face." Shanti told her. "You can't make me sad. You just make me angry. I know I can't do these things."
"It's a very scary thing for me to sit here and listen. A mother is supposed to console her daughter. To be the cause of those fear is quite devastating," Shanti admitted.
"I promise you that this time it will be different. It won't be just me. Your dad will support me and we'll do this together," she told Sunny.
"Sunny is the best thing in my life. She isn't just moving herself forward. She is moving me forward as well. It has made me think that this journey will be successful since we'll be doing it together."
Sunny said she hopes that when she goes off to college, her mother will be healthy and around to share that new experience with her.
It was uncomfortable to watch the conversation but as mentioned in a review of one of the earlier shows on this season's The Biggest Loser, the three child contestants come from homes where obesity isn't only their problem, but one that was rampant in their household. Read: How parents doom kids to obesity
NBC airs new episodes of The Biggest Loser each Monday starting at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT. For more information on the contestants' progress, hit up the show's website, here.
Image: NBC/The Biggest Loser Sunny when she began the competiton
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