The Biggest Cringer…

Let me start off with this… I like that show, The Biggest Loser… and it can be very motivating and enlightening and tear-inducing… rinse, wash, repeat… but at the same time I also cannot stand that showThe Biggest Loser. Before I get a barrage of people hunting me down with torches and broken scales, let me explain myself with a list of reasons.

–  Fat Chics Parading Around in Sports Bras at Weigh-Ins.  I get it…. I do.  The producers of the show want the audience to see the fat blobs around their stomachs, be disgusted by it, and then go eat a pound of Oreos so they can be on the show next season.  It’s the circle of weight loss shows!   I also understand it’s so that as they lose the weight, we can see the progress better than if they were sporting baggy T-shirts.  I get it… but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.  It’s like they’re saying… Well, hey… look at this heifer and her fat rolls… isn’t she disgusting? 

The fact that they exercise all dagnabbed day and eat like birds.  In the real world, folks can’t do that… and won’t do that because it’s basically ridiculous and it’s like it’s replacing one obsession (food) for another (wanting the pounds on the scale to move downward so badly that all they think about is exercising).  I’ve read they probably get at least 1500 calories a day… which is a normal number for someone trying to lose weight… but they also didn’t factor into the equation that they need more fuel for their body if they’re going to be working out that hard.  You definitely can’t argue with the results… I see all the weight those obsessercizers (my shortened version of obsessive exercisers) lose, but come on that’s not a  healthy nor realistic lifestyle.

–  Dehydration technique.  Y’all must have heard about the dehydration technique that this show uses before weigh ins.  Basically they don’t drink water for hours before a weigh in and then wear special sweat-inducing clothing and saunas when they exercise.  Translating to a bigger number on the scale because they’ve now lost about 6 pounds of water weight.  Healthy!

– My biggest peeve is the fact that the contestants are made to feel down on themselves if they don’t lose a staggering amount of weight each week.  There have been several times where a contestant will get on the scale and only lose 10 pounds in the space of one week, only to have let the team down because he/she didn’t lose enough to make them win the weigh in.  And they literally get all depressed up there.  I’m sorry I didn’t lose 25 pounds this week, fellas… I must have eaten one too many lettuce greens.  So unhealthy.  Our bodies are so unpredictable when it comes to hoarding water and hormones and any number of things that can determine what our weight on the scale will be.  You can follow a strict menu/exercising regime and still come out having gained.  I’ve had that happen so many times over the last however many years, I couldn’t even begin to count them all… and I can’t let it deter me because there will be one day when I step on that scale and this stubborn body of mine will give me what I want to see.  It’s about the consistent persistence… and most of all… patience.

So, The Biggest Loser… Do me a favor… while you’re changing lives all over the country take into account that these are people you’re dealing with… not a group of cattle.

Question of the Day:  Do you watch The Biggest Loser?  Do you feel it is realistic and fair? 



Filed under Diet, Exercise

20 responses to “The Biggest Cringer…

  1. kim

    Hi Whitney
    Thanks for the great reminder about persistence! I have such a long road ahead of me and when I see a guy on the BL lose 80 lbs in 2 months I get VERY discouraged with my slow progress!

  2. Susan

    I don’t watch the show for a number of reasons, but mostly because it sets unrealistic goals for weight loss. I read an article before the beginning of this season that one couple was sent home and told to lose a combined 50 lbs in a month. ONE MONTH. Hello? That’s not healthy!

  3. Deanna

    I couldn’t agree with you more Whitney! The fitness director that I work with has actually worked with 3 of the contestants of the show over the many seasons. Each time, he sees them after they have lost a ton of weight on the show and then come home, gain all of the weight back and even more. He tells me that they eat 1200 calories per day, workout for 3 hours, sleep for 3 hours, eat and repeat all day long.

    Exactly! Not realistic or healthy in the least! For what? To make an entertaining show? At what expense though? This is setting up those at home desperate to lose weight up for unrealistic goals, frustration and disappointment. I have a dear friend who is absolutely obsessed with the show. The problem is that this person desperately wants to lose weight too, but if they don’t lose 6-8 pounds or more per week, quickly give up and gain back even more weight.

    It’s upsetting that TV ratings are more important than the health and well-being of the people that really need the help the most. Just think of all the good that could be done by taking that same time slot on the TV and properly educating those millions of people that tune in each week. We could actually make a real difference!

    Phew. Okay, rant over. Sorry, Whitney. I get really passionate about that, especially since I’ve seen it hurt someone I care about.

    • So interesting that the fitness director you know has worked with BL contestants, Deanna. 1200 calories is worse than I expected… especially if they are working out so dang much throughout the day. Ridiculous! Tell your friend to hang in… slow and steady!!

  4. Avster

    Nope, I’ve never watched it. For one, I’m really not a on-the-air tv watcher. Too many commercials.
    While I will cheer on people who are attempting to lose weight, I really don’t want to see their progress wearing swim suits. If they say they’ve lost, I’ll believe ’em.

  5. Jen

    I agree that their method of weight loss is not realistic or healthy. I bet a lot of them regain weight after the show because it is not a permanent lifestyle change a person can maintain.

  6. Louisa a.k.a. ProudMomOfTwo

    Question of the Day: Do you watch The Biggest Loser? Do you feel it is realistic and fair?

    No, I don’t watch it.
    No, I don’t feel it is realistic or healthy. I won’t watch it but I know many that are obsessed with watching it.
    You have to lose weight the healthy way or you will not re-learn what you need to, to change the lifestyle thus gaining it all back ( plus ).
    it’s a cycle and if you don’t break the cycle, then it was just a diet and not a lifestyle change and we all know DIETS fail.
    Besides that – when they are no longer on BL and they go home and pick up their life again, they are not going to be prepared for the stresses of maintaining their weight and a home, family, job, etc…
    They have been sequestered off from reality doing this show and having it all laid out for them etc.

    • Absolutely the truth, Louisa. All of the learning they are doing on the “ranch” will not help a bit if when they go home and get caught up in the stressors of a real life, they turn right back to the food to get them through. Much easier to learn slow and steady as they go!

  7. Susan

    It’s a two-fer…my second comment of the day. A&E had a show called “Heavy.” It was pretty good. They initially took people away from their homes/families/stresses for either 30 days or 6 months (depends on the episode) and then had them go back home but maintain their habits. There were check-ins with people after they got home to make sure they truly had accepted the lifestyle changes. It was much more uplifting.

  8. Julie

    That show kinda throws all reason to the wind. All this talk about losing slowly to keep it off, and being positive about yourself… seems to be forgotten. They not only lose crazy amounts, but are paraded on camera in front of the nation. I can only imagine how out of control they must have felt to have signed up for that humiliation. Makes me sad.

  9. Bill

    My wife’s biggest complaint is that it also does not take into account the TOM for the women. They are they 2-3 months sometimes and that will affect at least one weigh in per month depending… but if the women have a bad week it is, “sorry i should have worked out more etc”.

    The TOM is a real thing and it causes my wife to gain at least 5lbs during that period (no pun intended) so they should not gloss over it.

  10. Alena

    Good insights, Whit. I can’t stand reality TV.

  11. Mary Ann

    Whitney you are so right on this issue! I have stopped watching it because it is so unrealistic. That way of eating and exercising is not a very healthy way to live life, nor can it be a very rewarding way to lose weight in the long run when you are expecting those big loses and they don’t come, then you throw in the low-self-esteem because of lower weight loss and you are back on the roller coaster again of gaining it all back.
    I know show ratings count, and it makes the show interesting but they are dealing with people who really do need help and that takes follow up after they return to the home front and a realistic way of incorporating what they have learned into their daily lives, not (like you said) substituting one obsession for another.
    @ Alena, I so totally agree! Reality TV really s#*ks!

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