Friday, June 13, 2014

Response to the Biggest Loser Controversy

Happy Friday Bleeps,

I am such a Biggest Loser Nerd. I really am. I follow so many former contestants on Instagram and Twitter.  They are such an inspiration for me. I love following their progress. I love seeing them live their lives. They are no longer hiding behind a body. They are enjoying life.

Do you remember Bernie? I LOVED Bernie from Season 5. He is one of my favorites. Today he liked back one of my pictures. I felt like a little school girl.

So I know I promised my response to the Biggest Loser finale. Here it comes.

There are many reasons why I love the Biggest Loser. Love it.

Everyone has a story. For some it's a tragic loss. For some it's abuse. For some it's the result of an injury. For some it's putting everyone else first. For some it's because they never knew any different.

The Former Fat Girl avoided mirrors and hid behind giant clothes. To bare yourself in front of an audience like that is so brave and amazing in my eyes. They tell their stories. They wear spandex. They cry.  The Former Fat Girl just watched in amazement at how open these people were.  She was jealous. Why couldn't she be that brave? Why couldn't she make the changes needed before it would come down to baring everything on National TV?  And so she watched. But, she didn't quite learn.

One of the things that I always said about this show is that even as a Game Show everyone comes out a winner. The money is just a bonus. But, the thing to remember here is that IT IS A GAME. Never lose sight of that fact.

The weight loss program that these people go through is extreme. But, they are in the care of doctors and professionals. They don't have to worry about anything other than losing weight and getting healthy. For those weeks on the Ranch that is their 24/7 full time job. It's a fast weight loss. To achieve that at home is very hard to do in that short amount of time.

My number one rule is maintenance. As bad as I want to lose everything I need to do it at a pace that is healthy and I will be able to maintain. For the most part the contestants do very well when they go home. Very rarely are they able to keep up that pace though.  But, they have been given the tools.

Don't forget that there is TV Magic at work. I always love when they get to the week when they get to wear shirts at the weigh in. They start to look simply amazing. So from following some of the former contestants I have learned that according to them they are wearing slim shapers.  It's not just for appearances, of course that helps, but it's also for the excess skin they have. So the shapers are worn all of the time. The excess skin becomes a problem just performing every day tasks. Several of the former contestants have raised money for and chronicled their skin removal surgery. That's not really mentioned on the show. It's not a sexy part of weight loss. The reality of the show though is that the average weight of the contestants have gotten progressively higher.

Reminder: it is a Television show. We see what the producers want us to see. It used to be such a positive show. Then there was that one unfortunate season where I actually started to dislike two contestants immensely. They didn't make me want to watch the show. They made it dramatic. It changed the show. TV is about ratings. Never forget that.

So now let's talk about Rachel. We all loved Rachel. She was the former athlete who followed a boy and gave up her athletic career. She was young and in great shape when she gave up. Dolvett got her to tap into the former competitor that she was. It was no shock that she was constantly in the lead. She had been there before. Your body remembers. It responds.

The one thing that we didn't see on camera was her really dealing with how she got there in the first place. That is key to a healthy journey. If you don't address those issues then the odds are that you'll fall back into old habits. Now, just because we didn't see it, doesn't mean that it didn't happen. We didn't see a lot of things. We seem to miss a lot of the workouts and hard work as they focus on stories and challenges. So that doesn't mean that it didn't happen.  Her story was clearly shown for us to cheer her on.

So what was my reaction when she came out? I was shocked. It was scary. Clearly she had lost too much. The big athlete lost muscle tone. But, she is a competitor. If she had kept her muscle she might not have won. That's the danger. I have thought that former winners and contestants looked like they had lost too much, but no one seemed concerned then. This isn't the first time. This was just a little more drastic than the others.

I read an article that talked to former winners. They all said the same thing. In the end it's a game. Those last few weeks before the final weigh in were drastic. Win at any cost. Within days of winning they immediately gained 5 lbs.

So that's the downside to this show. As motivating and inspiring as it can be, you shouldn't ever lose fact that it is a game show.

I'm not saying that this was a good thing, but it got people talking. Quite frankly I see actresses and singers that are just as skinny and without muscle tone that young girls look up to. They are practically skeletal. It drives me crazy. Reports are that Rachel has put some weight back on and doing very well. So I won't call it a good thing, but I will say that perhaps some good came out of it.

Not everyone has the same response on their journey. For some the endorphins are too addicting. When you have as many people go through these programs you're going to have extreme cases. That's why I like to follow the former contestants. I like seeing how positive it can be.

Have a Blessed Evening

****Please note****

If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you! Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week. The journey is so much easier if you have support.

jhendersonfit@gmail.com

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