I know a lot of people watch this for motivation, and I can honestly see that appeal. But after last night, I can too easily see the “dark” side of this show.
I was flipping back and forth between The Biggest Loser and the hockey game last night. Now, I’m aware that any sane, rational person is aware that this show is not realistic. After all the people that get choosen for it are provided their food, which they may or may not have to cook themselves. The house isn’t stocked with Doritos, pizza, beer etc. No, the house is stocked with lean meats, fruits, vegetables and other healthy options. So that’s unrealistic to normal life advantage one. And if I had a nutrionist who shopped for me and hopefully cooked for me, I would probably have no problems with my food choices either.
Unrealistic to normal life advantage two is the workouts. Normal people struggling to lose weight on their own do not have access to a trainer for 8 hours a day. Ok, ok. The red team didn’t have access to their trainer for a week. BUT these people are exercising for 6-8 hours a day. That is currently their life, that’s all they are doing. If I had the option of working out this much every day then I would drop big numbers too.
So why is this show bad? I’m a sane person. As evidenced, I’m very aware that The Biggest Loser is unrealistic. I’m aware that a safe, healthy and sustainable weight loss is an average of .5 to 2 pounds a week. That’s an average I can live with. Would I like to see the weight go off faster? Heck yeah! But it didn’t come on in a day, it’s not gonna leave in a day. I had my weigh in last night and I was thrilled with it. I’m down 2 pounds, I’m about 2 pounds away from my first 5% goal and only .4 away from 10 pounds. That’s pretty dang awesome.
But then I turned on The Biggest Loser. And the Red Team was very disappointed in Adrian’s loss from the week before. He only lost 2 pounds. That same amount that I just celebrated over. And when the Black Team was up for weigh in a couple of the women were posting 5 and 6 pound losses. Oh the shame of only losing that much. Watching The Biggest Loser can very easily turn into a head game. I wish that they would provide pratical applications/tips for people watching. I wish that they would make sure those watching are aware that it’s ok if they only lose .4 or 1.8, as long as they are working to make themselves healthier.
In my meeting each week (and I’m sure in every meeting) we have celebrations. It can be weight loss, it can be measurement changes, it can be just making good decisions. But it’s something to celebrate. Maybe it’s time The Biggest Loser starts applying that concept to their show for the normal Joes watching. They can run a ticker at the bottom where people can do their celebrations. And they could also do a “The More You Know” kind of PSA at the end where Alison, Dovett, Bob and even the contestents congratulate the fans and viewers for their successes, no matter how big or small they may be.