Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Post #1 of 28 for today.....Why I extra super HATE the Biggest Loser

I know that some of y'all are gonna flip your ports after reading that.... sorry (not really).  While I totally get why many of you guys really like it, I think it has done more damage to those of us overbese folk than it could ever hope to fix.

I saw the BL Reunion show a few weeks ago just like LapBand Gal. I thought about writing a post on how much I loathe the show then but I got distracted by something sparkly, jingly, or shiny I am sure.  But LBG's post today reminded me.  Anywaaays, I only tuned into the show to see if they would be "balanced" [i.e. show both those successfully maintaining their weight loss and those who have not]  in reuniting their past contestants ---- and of course, they weren't.   They only showed the "success" stories.
Don't get me started on how that only reinforces the cycle of shame and self-loathing that comes from weight loss failures.  Biggest Loser claims to be a source of uplifting inspiration but, in reality, they do the same thing as everyone else, they act as though the contestants that re-gained don't exist -- because they shouldn't, right?  They failed and they should hide away in shame.  {insert sarcasm font here}  And we wonder why so many WLS bloggers fall out of the blogosphere and go silent the minute they experience a setback in their process.  

The show is so unbelievably unrealistic it is almost cruel.  Outside of a TV show or super expensive health spa, this kind of environment cannot be duplicated.  These folks live in a bubble where all their food is controlled, they are made/able to exercise as much as 8 hrs daily w/trainers, and they are living with people who share their same common goal.  Losing this weight is all they have to worry about for 3-6 mos.  On the ranch these folks are cut off from the world - they don't have to go to the grocery store and deal with temptation there, they don't have a family that is bitchin' and whinin' about Mom/Dad's new healthy menu, they don't have to wash clothes/clean house/go to work/take kids to soccer, all of which eat into the 8 hr workout schedule.

One of my last pre-band weight loss attempts came after the 2nd or 3rd season of BL when I convinced myself (because of the folks on the show) that I needed to get "extreme" like on the show.  I wasn't working at the time so I did my best to live like the contestants.  I kept my calorie intake to around 1200/day and spent up to 5 hrs a day on the treadmill/elliptical.  I was starving, weak, and cranky but I did lose 15 lbs in one month.  Then I hit a wall of fatigue that kept me down for about 10 days in which I gained 10 lbs back.  Even better was the emotional/mental slugfest that went on after I failed yet again -- it was clear I was just not as dedicated as the people on the show, so maybe I deserved to be fat, right?

The BL "success" stories are, as LBG pointed out, the folks who changed their careers to something in the diet/fitness industry.  They either got endorsement/speaking deals for product lines or they became personal trainers.  Honestly, and this is just my opinion, I wonder if they have gotten their heads as healthy as their bodies?  Are they any less obsessed/motivated by food or body image than they were when they were obese?  Or is it just okay now because being screwed up in the head about food and body image is okay if works toward making the scale move down?

And the last reason I really don't like The Biggest Loser?  There is a perceptible negative attitude toward WLS.  I admit I haven't watched the show in a very long time I gave up somewhere around Season 4, but I remember lots of "shit talk" about weight loss surgery from both the trainers and contestants.  The overriding sentiment on the show toward WLS being that it was a "cop out" and/or "easy way out," which we all know isn't the case.  Weight loss is a challenge no matter how you do it --- and keeping it off is even harder, surgery or not, because we are never finished.


  1. Yes! I totally agree!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. and this, my dear, is why I puffy heart you!!!! I couldn't agree more. As much as I love BL because I can relate with OHHH so many people on there and the transformations are uber motivating, I concur on all the aforementioned!! On their last follow up show that I watched they included I think 1 (?) of the contestants that had gained back weight...guess they passed that over this time. Asswipes.

  3. Very true!! BL is not the be all to end all. I have NEVER watched...because it made me feel inferior.

    The truth is the expectations are unrealistic.

  4. Yes Yes Yes! I gave up on Biggest Loser a long time ago. I echo everything you said and I think you're right. They HAVEN'T dealt with the mental aspect. Like you said, they all got jobs in the fitness field so they can continue to obsess about food and exercise ALL. DAY. LONG. But society is OK with that because at least they're not making us look at their fat butts anymore and they can obsess all they want as long as they stay thin (Now who's sarcastic). I feel ya on this...totally.