i'm going to start off by saying that i enjoy the biggest loser. i do find the stories and transformations inspirational, and yes, for a long time, i wanted nothing more than to take a visit to the biggest loser ranch and get the crap sweat out of me by jillian or bob.
but is the biggest loser a tool for weight loss, or an inhibitor? is it really motivational, or is it giving us false hopes and inaccurate views of what it actually takes to lose weight and keep it off long term?
my questioning is inspired by a blog post written by my trainer. warning: if you are a big fan of the biggest loser, you will probably find his blog post extremely offensive and off putting. but, he makes some really valid points that should make us think about how we interpret what we see on the show.
the show is a pedal to the floor competition to lose large amounts of weight in a very short amount of time. for anyone out there that has struggled to lose weight, and for those who have lost weight and kept it off, you know this is just not realistic, nor healthy. but there's a difference between most of the people who will read this blog or do research on losing weight versus the large audience the biggest loser reaches. one audience is educated (or wants to be educated) on the subject matter and the other is taking in what they see on the show as their sole source of education. the wrong expectations can set us up for extreme disappointment, failure and even put us at greater health risks if we're not given appropriate guidance on the best weight loss tactics for our bodies.
|don't be fooled: there is no "easy" button for weight loss & health!|
we humans, and i'd argue particularly americans, want the easy button. we don't want to research what the body needs to lose weight. we don't want to spend time talking to our doctors or spending weeks watching what we eat or sweating at the gym. we want to be 20 pounds lighter now. i know the contestants work so hard (especially those that keep the weight off), but the show is essentially a two hour highlight reel that sends the wrong message about losing weight and keeping it off. it doesn't show the months/years of daily commitment to healthy habits like eating less and moving more. and why don't they show that? let's be honest, that's not tv that sells (proof: the follow up on contestants that were kicked off is only 5 minutes of the two hour show time)!
i'm fortunate to understand that weight loss as seen on the biggest loser isn't realistic (nor healthy) for me and for most folks i know. but i can't help but worry about the rest of the country who isn't yet in the right mentality to make the long term changes they need to lose weight, keep it off, and get healthy. while i won't be able to tune into the biggest loser tonight, i know i'll be watching the show from a different perspective from now on and i hope others out there will too.
how do you feel about the biggest loser? inspiring and motivational? or inhibiting and damaging? lay it all out in the comments. i want a passionate debate/discussion!