First of all, I want to make it clear that I do not in any way look down on the folks that have chosen to compete in The Biggest Loser. On the contrary, I find them incredibly brave. It’s hard enough to admit that you have a weight problem and need help, much less make that admission on National TV. I could barely make that admission to myself and a few close friends much less have it broadcasted to millions of strangers across the country. No, my problem with the show has nothing to do with the contestants.
It has everything to do with what the contestants experience on their competitive journey: the hours of relentless exercise, the strict diets, and the occasional intentional road bumps the producers throw in just to up the ratings. (During the last episode I watched, one team was locked in a room with nothing but junk food for an entire day.) Then there is the constant stress of wondering if that particular week is the week they’re going to get booted off the show.
And for me, watching the weigh-ins is the worst part. The incredulity I feel every time I watch a contestant struggle with shame because they only lost 5 or 6 pounds that week. Anyone that has ever seriously worked at losing weight in a healthy way will tell you that one should average a weight loss of one to two pounds per week. I’m elated if I manage to pull off a single pound in one week, much less two! So now that I’ve armed you with that knowledge, maybe you’ll understand why watching someone cry tears of shame because they only managed to lose 6 pounds in one week upsets me to no end. And rarely does anyone congratulate them on that weight loss. The focus is on the fact that they didn’t lose more, and that they might be going home. Am I the only person that finds this crazy?
The bottom line is, I do not believe that weight loss should be a competition. Taking this journey on my own is difficult enough. I refuse to pit myself against others when the playing field is anything BUT level. There are so many things that can cause weight gain, many of which are normal body functions and things I have absolutely no control over. Competing under such conditions does nothing but set me up for unneeded stress and disappointment, and who needs that?