Saturday, March 13, 2010

Biggerst Loser - Reality?

This weight loss thing is really on my mind (and body) lately. This has even caused me to watch my first ever full episode of  The Biggest Loser. I was dumbfounded when I saw how much weight these people were losing in such a short period of time - it was week 7 of the season. The  people has lost amounts from 45lbs to 110lbs. That just seems unreasonable to me.

This episode was about making the people think about what it was going to be like "back in the real world", where they were going to have to go back to work and life was going to get in the way. They made them commute an hour each way to their job at a food bank, they had to pack their own lunches, and they only had a limited time to workout in the gym. I guess that is a good approximation of real life, but without the family, the stress, and the well things that don't ever go right some days - or even the celebrations for the happy things that happen.After a week of living in this fake real world, they had their typical weigh in. The people didn't lose as much weight as they had in previous weeks or even as much as they hoped for.

It was an interesting thing to watch. It made me pose all these questions to myself (and well AJ since he was in the room). I had to wonder how these people survived when they really did go back home? How do the maintain the weight loss when they can't work out for 6- 8 hours a day. How do they learn to cook these great tasting healthy meals for themselves? How do they handle the reality of real life and not just the fake reality of a reality show?

Well, apparently, Discovery Health had the same questions. I was channel surfing when I saw this special, Confessions of a Reality Show Loser. This show was the flip-side of The Biggest Loser. It follows the winner from season 3. He had lost 200+lbs on the show, and when Discovery Health was doing the filming he had gained most of the weight back.

Confessions went into what happened when he left the show. It delved into the questions that I had. He didn't survive the reality of real life. It swallowed him up and spit him back out. I know that not all the contestants have that problem, but I can see how it would happen. He stopped working out because it wasn't convenient to try to shove it in around a family and work. His wife did all the cooking (along with his mom feeding them several times a week), but they didn't change their cooking habits because they hadn't been taught the new way by the show. 

The family blamed a lot of the backslide on The Biggest Loser. They said that as soon as the show was over no one cared what happened to them. That is until they did contact him to be on a reunion show. The guy wanted to do it, but he was desperately trying to lose some of the re-gained weight. 

Seeing both these shows made me realize something important to me, that rapid weight loss isn't something that is going to work. It does have to be a process of reconditioning, and that isn't something that can be forced by an outside person or situation. I have to want to change. I have to be the one that actually takes ownership of who and what I am. I would love to lose all that weight that they lose on tv, but I know it wouldn't last for me either.