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.
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…
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.
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…