Weighty Matters

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Any Progress Means Success

on February 4, 2013

Progress is not measured solely by the dwindling number on the scale.  I just watched the Biggest Loser and saw people who have been busting their asses in workouts and physical “challenges” all week upset because they lost “only” three or four pounds.

I’m angry that the show focuses so much on the big weekly weight loss numbers that three or four pounds are not viewed as enough.  Enough?  Hell, that’s a great loss in a single week.  The contestants ought to be free to jump up and down and feel terrific that their sweat, determination, and enormous physical effort produced that result.  Instead, they feel like they failed; that they let themselves, their trainers and their teammates down.  As a bonus, they could end up being eliminated from the show.

While I’m being angry at a television show, let me add that I don’t think they devote nearly enough air time to showing how they’re working with the contestants on changing their eating habits.  I know they are and there have been some good examples on some weeks, but I think the emphasis is out of balance.  It’s out of whack, actually.  I bet if I counted up the minutes, the percentage of gym and exercise activity shown on air would be at least two and a half times more than the nutritional guidance activity.

I know how important it is that I’ve embraced exercise and physical activity.  My surgeon even remarked that he wished all of his patients had done so to my degree.   This lifestyle change has created nothing but positive effects, but it would all be for naught if I wasn’t learning how to change my eating habits and make better choices, not only in quantity but also in the nutritional quality of the foods I eat.

On the other hand, I applaud the Biggest Loser’s program with the three kids this season.   They’re shining a strong light on childhood obesity and what young people need to do to live healthier lifestyles.  I wish someone had gotten through to me when I was the age of any of those three children.  Maybe I wouldn’t have continued to be an obese, then morbidly obese, and, finally, super obese adult.

I know that this show is also a competition and somebody has to go home every week.  I just wish that there was another way to measure, or a combination of things.  When a contestant gives their effort everything, sometimes the numbers are completely beyond our control.  Our bodies react in different ways on different weeks.  The progress they make, whether one pound or thirteen, should be celebrated as success.

 

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3 responses to “Any Progress Means Success

  1. Hope says:

    I read a pretty interesting interview with one of the contestants here: http://www.bodylovewellness.com/2010/06/09/kai-hibbard-biggest-loser-finalist-part-1-of-3/

    It sounds like going on the show really messed her up.

    Also, they are clearly manipulating things so it looks like people are losing a lot more a week than is really normal and safe. That part makes me angry, actually. They’re building up expectations that people at home can’t meet, and then those people feel like failures and give up.

    Heck, I’ve lost a grand total of 12 pounds since last September, and I’m really proud of my accomplishment!

  2. Egads says:

    I can’t watch the show either for the same reasons as Skye. They may be doing healthy things, but the head space they get into is really negative. I don’t think it’s healthful in the long run.

  3. Skye says:

    I just cannot watch that show. It’s too painful. I hate watching people who work so hard end up feeling like losers because their progress was “less than” someone else’s, or because theirs was the lowest number and they have to go home.

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