Weighty Wednesday-- The Biggest Loser

I periodically tune into The Biggest Loser, but I don't routinely watch the entire season.

I'm excited for the people who have made the decision to drop weight. More power to them, but television also tends to skip over some of the very important factors that play into this show.

True, we see controversy. Heck, that's why so many of these 'reality' shows do so well when you put differing personalities into the same room and lock the door (Survivor, Big Brother). But what the audience sees on Biggest Loser are the intense workouts these contestants do.

This show is just not realistic for the average person trying to lose weight. For one, who really has eight to ten hours in their day to work out. That is how those people get those huge drops in the number on the scales. Think about it, it's a full-time job to work out on that show. The only people I know who work out that much have some sort of funding in the form of sponsorships, or are independently wealthy, or they own a gym, or happen to be a trainer to the stars . . . or manage to get a gig on The Biggest Loser.

I know the show has doctors monitoring the contestants. Some of them have to be monitored closely due to their health issues and the consequences of that much exercise on their systems--heart, lungs, and pancreas (considering most of them are teetering on the edge of diabetes).

But the part I wish they would share with the viewing audience is conveniently left off camera.

The nutritional aspect of the challenge of losing that much weight without destroying their muscles and their kidneys in the process.

The quantity of food these people are consuming changes when they start losing large amounts of weight. I want to see the nutrition classes where the chef teaches the contestant how to lean up a meal without losing the flavor. Or how much is too much. Or how many meals should these people eat. Three big meals is unrealistic, since they would be barfing up their food as soon as they started exercising.

Who cooks those meals? How do they learn to do it themselves?

It's all fine and dandy to tout "It's a life style change.", but what happens when they get back home and their a McDonalds calling their name? Or they start hitting the drive-thru at Starbucks? Or they simply don't have time to exercise due to trying to earn a living?

What really happens off camera after they go home?

What happened to the contestants from the first two or three seasons? Where are they now? Have they managed to maintain their weight loss, or did they succumb to the realities of their life.

What do you all think? Am I just spitting into the wind? Or do you think they need to start showing some of the food parts of this show?

Later, Peeps!


Meg said...

I have to weigh in on this. You have asked all the questions I have thought. They have shown some former contestants who slipped back into their bad eating habits. Like you, I would be more interest in how to cook lean and flavorful. Really eating Subway everyday just isn't practical. Thank you for this blog.

Margaret Golla said...

Since I'm fighting this particular battle . . . again, it strikes me that we all tend to get lazy. I want to know how some of the successful losers manage to keep focus while living a normal life. It has to do with nutrition and portions. Exercise has some wonderful benefits, but if you don't provide the right kind of fuel to the body, then it isn't going to do you much good.

Kara Marks said...

Great points. I've actually never watched it purposely. Even though I'm not quite as big as most of those people, I find those of us who are super-overweight really gross to look at--sorry--and I know that you don't fit in that category at all. I've lost 40 lbs. (sometimes more, depending on the day) over the last 2.5 yrs. w/o trying that hard, but kind of, since w/ my health issues I really need to, but I still have about 100 more to lose before I'm at even a decent goal weight for Weight Watcher's. (I'm a former member.) I'm hoping I'll lose more w/ this move and increasing my activity as much as I can (chasing a 3.5y/o 3 days a wk. really takes it out of me and I'm trying to work up to 5 days/wk. if I can to save my son more money on childcare and to spend more time w/ my grandson.) Sometimes I do well on the eating and sometimes not. All we can do is to try, but yes, Margaret, that stuff needs to shown!

Margaret Golla said...

Kara--I've been on my weight loss journey for over three years (this last year I've regained 20 of the 50 pounds I lost--due to apathy--I'm working to remedy this situation). Almost from the beginning, I started one weekly blog post relating to my journey. It was funny because many times I'd write my blog prior to my WW meeting, but what I talked about was almost identical to the meeting topic.

To that end, I started posting my blogs in one location--the Weighty Wednesday tab at the top of the page (the links should work, but if they don't shoot me an email magolla@cox.net so I can fix them). Please read them. You don't need to comment on the individual blogs.

I hope the blogs can keep inspiring you to stay on your journey! And running around after your G-kids is great exercise!