My Reaction to the Biggest Loser Finale

It’s after 10pm in Colorado (on a school night!) and I just got done watching NBC’s Biggest Loser.  While I told myself that I was going to take my happy self to bed, I just can’t.  Too many things are going through my head about the show I just watched.

Right after Bobby appeared  on-stage showing off his slim and trim self, I posted this message to the NTTC Facebook page.

Biggest Loser 2014 | No Thanks to Cake

I have always loved this show.  Not because of their lose-weight-fast techniques (that’s topic for another post), instead because I see that look on people’s faces that I recognize so much: that look of pride and elation for having lost the weight as they step across the finale stage.  I’ve seen that look on my very own face many times since I’ve freed myself of 65+ lbs over the past three years. On a small scale, I get what they’re going through…

Before After | No Thanks to Cake

I think Bobby’s comments were the most relatable to me… he said that he was finally proud of himself.  And, he didn’t even have to say it.  You could see it all over his face and in the way he carried himself.  That man is forever transformed… I am honored to have had a chance to see a glimpse of his journey.

For me, the show has always represented hope. It helps people believe they can achieve what they never thought possible.  And, for all of those sitting on the couch at home watching… it offers you a moment to think that MAYBE, just MAYBE it could be you in the spotlight.

Biggest Loser Finalists | No Thanks to Cake

Now, the nature of this show is that it is a weight loss competition, so he/she who loses the most weight wins.  Clearly this year, there was a contestant who pushed this “contest” to the limit, much further than we’ve ever seen before.  I anticipate the press will cover it over and over today and criticize the show intensely.

Doctors and dietitians are going to swoop in and make the call on what has happened.  For this, I feel confident and appreciate.  I also feel confident that the winner will be guided toward greater health… and new rules will be established in the contest.  I think we all saw that lookon the trainers’ faces.  This was not what they expected to have happened during the at-home portion.  It has never happened before, and I am hopeful that the contest portion of the show will be guided differently in the future to assure contestants don’t take extreme measures.

I feel in many ways that as a weight loss blogger, I am expected to have a critical opinion on tonight’s show.  That I am expected to take a strong stance on the contestant and show.  And, that I am expected to provide an expert (or at least an educated) opinion on what happened this season.

Disclaimer: I’m not an MD, nor dietician.  I’m not involved in any part of the weight loss process associated with this show.  Instead, I’m merely a spectator who pressed the right buttons on my remote and landed on the right channel to watch it.  I’ve also experienced a small fraction of the weight loss we saw tonight and kept it off.  Note:  That doesn’t make me an expert.  It makes me a fan of watching a show that has helped people who achieve their dreams.  

I’ve also watched these men and women struggle with their weight.  I’ve had a glimpse of their breakdowns over what got them to their obese state.  I’ve watched them participate in herculean challenges and been in awe by their newfound strength. Lastly, I’ve cried with them as they’ve revealed their final weight loss to America.  And I’ve related to so much of their beautifully-imperfect journeys, the part of the journey that we watched this season on the ranch.

When I carried around my excess weight, I judged my body way too harshly. The words I had for myself were more intense than what anyone could have ever said to me.  Whether it was criticism over the number staring at me from the tag on my jeans, that I couldn’t resist the meal I just devoured, or even that I really couldn’t cross my legs properly, the self-criticism was intense.  There was only one person saying this to me… judging me, telling me I wasn’t good enough, and it wasn’t millions of Americans (thank goodness!)

As a result, I have a pretty firm position on weight loss and judging other people’s journey.  I really try not to do it.  

Instead, I wish anyone battling the scale my support, good health, and peace, and I think it’s incredibly important to reserve judgment.

So rather than casting my judgment on these contestants today, I’m choosing to send love and support… and from the few comments I saw on my personal Facebook feed last night, Twitter, and the internet so far, there will be plenty of judgment for you to read elsewhere.

I just can’t contribute to it.

Instead, I choose to send my best to all of those we saw on last night’s Biggest Loser.  (Did you see Tumi, Marie, and Ruben?  WOW!)  There were a lot of success stories on that stage tonight, and I suspect the process has really just started for all the contestants.

As we all know, there is no quick fix to losing weight.  There is no magic pill, nor magic procedure that will make it all go away (and stay away.)

What does exist every once in a while is that magical moment in time where you feel motivated to change your life, when you find yourself inspired to dream, and when you finally feel compelled to change.  I have to believe that there were many people who experienced that moment while watching this show over the years, and for that I am grateful.  Grateful as well to the contestants who put themselves out there and share their stories…

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  1. Marion says

    I am so with you in your approach to this situation and I know exactly how the contestant is feeling. I get this all the time and it was especially bad when I had reached goal after losing 100 lbs to the point of annoyance and even harassment. It will subside with time and Kelly I so appreciate your congratulatory message that gets to the heart of what this experience is like for all of us…personal and yet relatable when we succeed and see others succeed. Hugs

  2. Nancy Abbott says

    Kelly, you are wise beyond your years. I don’t typically watch that show but I always seem to hit upon it for the finale. (Think that’s more than a coincidence?) I had to tape the last hour so I don’t know the shocker of which you speak but I certainly agree that the show most likely does give us all hope that we could shed those pounds. “If they can do it, why can’t I?” I also think you are wise in not judging as most of us have felt judged by others (real or otherwise) because of our weight our entire lives and your decision not to judge shows great compassion and wisdom. I am constantly astounded by your words of inspiration and also with your candor in admitting your struggles. All of us who have weight issues know that no one goes through the journey without bumps, it would be unrealistic to think otherwise, but to admit those times on a blog takes real strength. We, who read your daily blog, appreciate your words of strength and motivation.

  3. Marion says

    I was going to blog about the show and how I felt that Rachel’s results were too drastric, but I read your article and it put it into perspective. I could not agree with you more, you really nailed it. I watch the show because it gives me some kind of hope and the drive to succeed. I’m not trying to lose 155lbs in 7 months, but it gets me up every morning and into the gym. When I want to give up, I don’t because I think of how hard these contestants pushed.

    I definitely did cry with them during their weight shedding. Especially when a few members hit One-derland. I was very close to hitting it too and it made me cry just thinking about that day where I can finally say I’m not longer over 200.

    What everyone needs is that moment to say that change is needed, believe in themselves, and put that energy into action. That’s how it’s done, and if it wasn’t for the show I wouldn’t have believed that it was possible.

    p.s. I’m going to share your post via my blog, if you don’t mind 🙂

    • nothankstocake says

      I don’t mind if you share the post at all, my dear. Be sure to share the link, I’d love to read your site! xoxo

  4. says

    I talked about the show today on my blog…but did not comment on the winner since I know the media at large will be all over it.

    Weight loss is such a personal and emotional journey… no judgement is needed. I’m sure that anyone going through the journey will judge themselves harsher than any media outlet could possibly imagine.

  5. Tabitha M. says

    First I want to thank you for NOT contributing to this already blown out of proportion controversy. What is being said about Rachel is no different than fat shaming. Almost every blog I follow has made comments, instagram and facebook are filled with people passing judgment.

    I honestly believe that she looked the way she did partially because of excess skin and dehydration. Body builders dehydrate themselves before every competition but you don’t see people writing about that. My co-worker is the same height and weight as Rachel is now and she doesn’t look that way and it is because she has always been thin and she isn’t dehydrated.

  6. Dani says

    I believe that show now relies on the PR it receives from drastic transformations like this. I would like to see more done to ensure the long term health of the contestants on TBL. The show is ultimately promoting a healthy lifestyle through a unhealthy competition.

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