Who is the Real Loser??
So I was watching The Biggest Loser the other night; apparently I had nothing better to do with my life. I generally don’t watch this show because, quite frankly, I think it’s awful. Jillian Micheals, calm the hell down woman. You’re not a drill sergeant, so stop trying to be one. I’ll give Trainer Bob and Dolvett the benefit of the doubt. I actually like those two. But I CANNOT STAND Jillian. Sometimes I want to smack her whole face. Now I know what you’re thinking…. “Brock, you’re just jealous that those trainers made it on to television and you’re stuck working with Jon Messick.” Very valid argument, especially about my work colleague. But, you’re wrong. And I’ve got some very legitimate reasons for disliking the show.
- You do not punish people for not losing enough weight. The whole premiss of the show is that the person who loses the lowest percentage of body weight each week is on the chopping block. Let me tell ya right now, whoever thought of that concept is a complete moron. You mean you’re going to tell me that it’s okay to send somebody home from a show for losing ONLY 10 pounds??? What kind of message does that send? I get it, it’s a television show, and it’s a contest, so there has to be a winner. But, why not reward the clients who lose the most, rather than punish the one who loses the least? The message that you’re sending by punishing someone is basically that what they’re doing is not good enough. This individual has obviously struggled with weight their entire life, and the second they see some progress you’re telling them it’s not good enough?? Yeah, that sounds pretty legit.
- Results aren’t typical. Let me be clear in saying that any type of weight loss, big or small, is great. I commend any person who has decided to make a change in their life for the better. But, the way the show is set up, they’re not only making it seem easy to lose massive amounts of weight, but they’re setting these people up for failure when they leave (My next point, so I’ll shut up with that). Let me give an example with this one… On Monday night, one of the guys on the show lost 38 pounds in one week!!! 38 freakin’ pounds!!! In a week!!! Now, I’ll be the first to admit that it’s easier for a 400 pound individual to lose 38 pounds than a 200 pound person. But any trainer worth their weight in dog crap knows that nobody on earth should lose 10% of their body weight in one week. Nobody. Ever. It is unhealthy on a ridiculous level. I realize that these individuals have more weight to lose than most people, but why would you not teach them about healthy, consistent weight lose that can be maintained over a long period of time. Massive weight loss like this yields the unrealistic expectation that it can be achieved on a regular basis, when they are, in fact, anything but regular. Weight loss is great, but it needs to be realistic, especially for these individuals who struggle mightily with weight management.
- Life after the show. What happens to the majority of the people on the show after it’s over? You think they maintain what they’ve done??? You think they’ve got time to workout for 30 hours every day to keep up those ridiculous numbers they managed on the show? Do they have somebody constantly monitoring them, telling them exactly what to eat and when to eat it? My guess is probably not. My guess – I guess I should say my hope – is that they receive some sort of life training while on the show that will help them transition back into the grueling routine of normal life. If they don’t, they’re screwed. Nobody can go from what they have on that show back into reality by his or herself, without education, and expect to succeed. Any decent fitness professional knows that is a recipe for disaster. And, unfortunately, that seems to be the case many times following something like this.
Look, I get it. It’s a television show. And as much as they may really want to change people’s lives, the bottom line is that you make a television show for entertainment and to make money. It’s no secret. I get it. But, the personal trainer in me can’t help but be a little nit picky and some of the techniques used to achieve those goals. Trust me, this isn’t coming from a “Bitter Betty” who is jealous he isn’t one of those celebrity trainers on television. I can’t argue with the results that the get on the show, the numbers don’t lie. But the trainer in me knows that the real battle for these people starts when they leave the ranch, not when they get there. And when it comes to somebody’s health, especially individuals who really struggle, the process of making long-term, healthy changes is anything but a game.
I realize this may not be a popular way of thinking when it comes to a show like this. But, it’s my opinion and one that I will stick with. Hope you can see where I’m coming from and that I haven’t offended any of you.