I love the Biggest Loser! It is a great show with great stories and great outcomes, but in its own way...it is nothing more than the reality tv we have come to know and realize.....that very little is actually reality. At least not day to day reality as you and I know it. When you take such highly overweight individuals and have many of them losing 100+ pounds in such a short amount of time....this should be sending up red flags all over the place. This is not normal weight loss AND normal everyday people under normal everyday circumstances cannot and will not achieve what these reality stars do. If you go in expecting this....then you are setting yourself up to fail.
If you look at the Biggest Loser from a realistic point of view, yes these people lose but they have a lot going for them that you and I don't. First they are kind of in their own little weight loss world where everything in their tiny sequestered existence is all about weight loss including their room mates. These contestants are not living in the real world where they have to deal with day to day issues, family, friends and work. They don't have the temptations or the frustrations that often cause most of us trying to lose weight to derail. They also have doctors on hand monitoring their health from day one. Another important component to their weight loss is that they have nutritionist/dieticians there to show them how to cook healthier and their food selections are healthy because they are not having to have extras on hand for those in the house NOT trying to lose weight. Most importantly though....these people have some of the best personal trainers in the country constantly working with them and motivating them to work out and lose weight. Also, since these contestants have nothing on their proverbial plate other than weight loss, their days are filled with mutli-hour workouts. They aren't trying to squeeze a workout in between work and fixing dinner, cleaning the house and helping with homework. No.....working out and losing weight IS their work.
Another reason we see such huge losses, especially in the beginning is because these contestants are really big people. The bigger you are usually the more pounds dropped in your first weigh in or two. Add in having a complete turn around in nutrition and 4 hour workouts daily and you too could lose up to 20 lbs your first week if you weighed 300+ pounds. The realistic part of the show is that after everyone has been working out and eating right for a few weeks, the body adapts and soon the weight loss numbers do get smaller. Luckily rather than get frustrated and give up like us in the real world tend to do....these contestants have trainers and nutritionists that know how to shake diet and exercise up to shock the body back into losing again. Thus the end result is a large percentage of total weight loss and obviously both mental and physical transformation. At the finish not only does the winner receive a huge monetary prize, but all the contestants have changed dramatically in health, looks and attitude.
I say I love the Biggest Loser because I do. I love watching people go in with no self esteem, major health issues and unhealthy attitudes emerge in the end looking and feeling like new people. I also know that these people tend to keep their weight off because working out and eating healthy has become a part of who they are. They trade their need to eat for a need to work out and eat differntly. The transformations are awe inspiring and in the end after watching all of this.....it is hard not to want to drop the cheeseburger and hit the gym. Unfortunately my reality is not a personal trainer, a sequestered house and someone who motivates me day in and day out to keep on track. My reality is far different than that and often by the time I make it through the day....I am too tired to walk upstairs to bed let alone think about going to the gym. I have no nutritionist and I have no one cheering me on and motivating me to workout whether I am tired or not. Thus my results in the same amount of time as those on the Biggest Loser will be vastly different.
Now here is my weight loss reality and likely it is the same reality for most of you reading this if you too are trying to lose weight. I don't have a personal trainer. I can't afford a Bob, Jillian or Dolvett. I can however get a pedometer and start out by making sure that I walk 10,000 steps a day (this equals 5 miles). From there I can add some cardio whether it be dancing in my living room or maybe even running a mile. I can also afford a set of dumbbells and go online to find some really good workouts for my arms, legs, etc. I don't have a nutritionist and goodness knows I couldn't afford one anyway, but the internet is full of healthy alternative recipes and if I need extra help with more guide lines......there are weight loss groups like Weight Watchers that for a fraction of the cost of a nutritionist can take all the difficulty of what to eat and how much to eat out of the equation. Finally....I may not have someone in my ear motivating me day in and day out and I may not be in a bubble that allows me to think about nothing but weight loss.....but guess what.....even they have to return to the real world eventually!!! The bottom line is, I can find a weight loss buddy that can help me when life turns inside out and I want to eat my feelings in the form of a giant pizza. There is also the fact that I need to learn to become my own cheerleader. I need to realize that I AM WORTH IT and I deserve to be healthy, fit and around for another few decades. This is my reality.
Yes, I will continue watching the Biggest Loser and cheering on my favorites. I will pull some tips and tricks from their workouts and maybe even learn a little bit about myself in their struggles. I will let the show motivate me to get started but I won't let it fool me into believing that their current reality is mine. Instead I will find my own reality and with some work, self motivation and the realization that I am worth it....in time I too will be the Biggest Loser.....at least in Lisaland!