Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Review: The Biggest Loser

I know a lot of people that don't like this show. I know a lot of people that write it off for a lot of different reasons. And to a point I understand that. I mean, it is dramatic and it may even seem cruel to some that a handful of these competitors are sent home so early in their Biggest Loser weight loss journey, but let me tell you something: these men and women are given an amazing chance.

When I look back on my weight loss I did it alone, and that's a big deal. When you have to tell your friends you cannot go out and drink or have dinner at a restaurant you alienate yourself quickly. When they don't understand the struggle you're going through and when they start to distance themselves because they don't know the strong, confident and empowered person you're becoming-- it's hard. If I had had the chance to make that journey with people in the same boat? It might have been something different.

This was me on my twenty-first birthday. No one in my family recognized me. I had gone for a 145 pound Varsity athlete to this in less than three years. It hadn't even crept up on me over a decade. I got my BMI to 43.5 in less than 36 months.

I lost what people on The Biggest Loser Ranch lose. I did it alone, without my friends, feeling like I was separated from everyone else in society. 116 pounds is no small amount. Seriously. 47.2% of my body weight was shed in the eighteen months I spent counting every calorie, agonizing over food choices, reading every blog, book and magazine article I could get my hands on that would help me shed the pounds.

What did I not have?

  • A house that kept me away from the temptations of "real life"
  • Fellow men and women who were suffering as I was
  • A doctor and medical team to evaluate and critique my losses
  • World class trainers to bust my ass in the gym
  • World class trainers to teach me about proper portions, the theory of calories in vs. calories out, the importance of adopting and living the plant-based, whole foods diet
  • The support of an entire nation rooting for you to succeed

While I can see the "downsides" of the possibility of elimination, the frustration of being separated from your family and the stress of game play while each contestant guns for the prize of $250,000, I honestly believe that the positive advantages of their situation far outweigh the few disadvantages. 

Just look at the staggering results:

It seems pretty cut and dry to me and I know that even with the American television drama, even with the people that I know are getting their time cut short or whatever it is, no matter what I will continue watching this show. It brings me to tears hearing the contestants and their families and I think we, as a national audience, help inspire and motivate these people to get healthy and help lead the charge to a better, healthier, and more fit population.

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