Tuesday, September 07, 2010

The Biggest Loser

It's almost time for all the new TV seasons to begin. Some shows I'm looking forward to watching again. Others I am not.

I'm not a big fan of The Biggest *** TV show.  I know that sounds heretical, but it's true.  People think it is a wonderful show, doing a wonderful thing.  It's helping people get healthy.

But it's really not.

My problem with the concept is that it puts the contestants into an artificial environment in which everything around them is strictly controlled by outside forces.  Think about it.  They take them away from their families, isolate them on The Ranch, and for most of the 16 weeks they are there, the contestants are not allowed to leave.  They field trips they do take are closely supervised--as is their daily life on The Ranch.  They are told when to get up, what and how much to eat, where to go, when to go there, and what to do when they get there.  Not only that, they've got somebody standing over them all day making sure they get their 6-8 hours (yes, hours) of exercise each day.

What they don't get are skills on how to deal with real life situations.  They don't get instruction on how to maintain their health when they re-enter the real world.  When they no longer have time to work out those 6-8 hours.  And they don't receive counseling to deal with whatever pain they were trying to numb with food in the first place.  They don't receive practical instruction on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

As a result, most of them end up gaining their weight back--or at least a good deal of it.  I was watching a few weeks back, because Tony Romo was supposed to be on the show.  Well, they had the guy who won season 3 come back and talk with the contestants of the season that was on then.  This wasn't a guy who got voted off in the first few weeks, mind you. This was the guy who won, and he had gained nearly every bit of his weight back.  He was already back up over 300 lbs, and was trying to lose it all again.  They also had the lady who'd won only two seasons ago.  She was starting to gain her weight back already.

I would like to see them do follow up shows on the contestants from the previous seasons, just to see who was able to maintain their weight loss, and who wasn't.  Maybe then, people could get some real weight loss help, instead of turning to a reality show.


Sus said...

I agree. Gator and I were just talking about something similar last night. No one wants to face the harsh reality that, except in a few rare cases of other health problems, losing weight boils down to one thing and one thing only -- expend more calories than you consume. Every day. It's just not glamorous, it's impossible to sell in an infomercial, and it doesn't make good TV. And no one wants to embrace the lesson that the lowly tortoise taught us all those years ago: Slow and steady wins the race.

Becky said...

Eating less and exercising more--that's the only thing that really works. And you're right. Slow and steady. It has to be a lifestyle change, not a quick weight loss, or you will never stick with it.


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