The Biggest Loser-aptly named as the winner seems to lose either way…
With all of the talk regarding the Biggest Loser winner being too skinny I have commented on numerous posts and in a fashion completely unlike me…decided to write my own… :P
The Biggest Loser show should be taken off the air. Admittedly, I have watched it from time to time and shouldn’t have.This is a show that takes extremely obese people, parades them on national TV half naked, takes away their main support structure, does an extreme instant lifestyle change, than lets the world judge them on a weekly basis. I know what some of you are going to say- but these people volunteer, ask to be on it, want to do this. And I would agree with you its one hell of a sales pitch- however, it’s dangerous, misleading and frankly, wrong.
I will guarantee that being obese is not anyone’s choice. Obviously the decisions those people made with regards to food are the direct cause for their weight gain but what led them to those choices are where the effort should be focused as the food is typically secondary or even tertiary. Sources like mental health, traumatic episodes and numerous others are key factors when looking at extremism. Where ‘O where are the mental health counselors on the Biggest Loser? The so called “pro trainers” themselves have known short falls with regards to eating and binge exercise. Yet, these are the people that counsel the desperate and ultra-extreme during another life altering time? Last I looked; your ACE certification didn’t accompany an MS. or Ph.D in psychology. Hell, I don’t recall it saying anything about mental health whatsoever.?!
Here is the Biggest Loser’s approach to weight loss.
The key motivator-humiliation. You are labeled as fat and stand half naked for the world to see just how fat you are. If you don’t work hard enough, sway the least bit from a completely different diet than you are used to, it will result in you being fat in front of millions, letting your team down, letting the people at your job down, your town down and worst of all, your loved ones you left behind because you will be sent home- yep, humiliated. How could that ever morph into something unhealthy?? Hmmm, it’s a mystery…
What I do know about weight loss is that the best way to success is through lifestyle change. Manageable, maintainable, sustainable, lifestyle change. Yanking people out of their homes; instantly changing their diets; going from no physical activity to 8+ hours a day and scaring them with the humiliation of coming up short in front of the judgmental public that they have been ridiculed by the majority of their lives; is far from the correct way to go about it.
Here’s the kicker! I love this part!! After a person perseveres, survives, conquers all of these insane obstacles, John Q Public accompanied with hysteric mass media, has the audacity to call her TOO THIN and speculate she is anorexic. GASP!!! How on earth could someone become anorexic after that great experience???
I feel bad for her and scared for all of the contestants on the Biggest Loser. It is 100% possible that this extreme weight loss show could take a person from one side of the eating disorder line completely across to the other. As someone who has battled anorexia for the last 11 years, I can tell you it sucks! I’m betting the opposite side of the spectrum is the exact same. As an anorexic, every ounce of food or drink that passes your lips is analyzed, reanalyzed and then thought about later. I am an athlete and therefore hungry all of the time. Over the years I’ve learned to control this hunger by eating a ton of low energy density foods. Foods like cucumbers, watermelon, lettuce and apples. I drink carbonated beverages because the gas fills me up. And lastly, I work out as much as possible. Even when my body is depleted I find a way to continue because those off days are scary to me. As I said, this is something I have battled for the last 11 years. This is something I work at every day and every day it gets better! But no matter what I do, I am told that it will likely always be there in some form no matter what. This is the dangerous area that Biggest Loser seems to disregard completely. This is the area that the public feeds into because of their ignorance and cynicism. This is why Biggest Loser should be taken off the air or revamped, completely!
My hope is that everyone takes an active role in their health. Extremism with regards to weight loss may yield fast results, but lasting changes take a much larger, longer commitment. In my opinion; pass on going to the BL Ranch. Instead, make gradual, maintainable changes, Set long term and short term goals and feel good about yourself along the way. This is not an easy undertaking, expect set backs but keep pushing forward. Get your family/friends involved, as support is such a key factor for success. Seek advice from educated, credentialed professionals and most of all, be patient. You WILL get there, the right way.