Who Is REALLY The Biggest Loser Winner?

The Biggest Loser logoI was asked recently by an exercise enthusiast what I thought of the TV show The Biggest Loser.  Really, this question couldn’t have been more perfectly timed with The Biggest Loser announcing Danni Allen as the winner just a couple of nights ago.  But I’d ask –   Who is REALLY The Biggest Loser winner here.  Let me explain…

Just the posing of the question asking what I thought about The Biggest Loser released a torrent from me.  I couldn’t help myself.  I just went off on a rant.  What I’m going to do here is show you my answer and then spend a bit of time trying to explain myself.  Here goes…

I see nothing on TV that is a bigger disservice to the fat people of this nation than that show.  I have watched it. The first season I think I watched every episode trying to find the redeeming qualities it might have.  I have tried to watch it each season since, and now I can’t get through more than five minutes of any episode before I become so angry I want to vomit.  My heart goes out to those people. 

I don’t think that show is motivating to the huge majority of potential watchers.  It’s just disheartening.  It’s demotivating, and leaves them thinking that unless they check into someplace where they will be badgered, berated and tortured for hours on end, they will never lose weight. 

I can’t be the least bit unbiased about that particular subject. My apologies if my passion runs rampant.  They believe nothing more than calories in/calories out and the expenditure they require is so unreasonable for most people to even dream of doing –it’s sad.  I’d rather see them help people get weight off and then put them through a tone-up, build-up program that looks attainable.  Then I think that show would be an inspiration to the world. 

Okay, so that’s where my rant ended.  Some additional thoughts:

I do think exercise is a good thing. I believe non-impact exercise is best because it has been proven that impact exercise (like jogging on a treadmill) will only wear out your joints. We did not evolve to run like that unless we were being chased.  That’s why the sports medicine industry has mushroomed.  We ache.   Joint replacement surgery has skyrocketed.  Too many of us started jogging in the 70’s and wore out our bodies before retirement even hit.  I worked with a trainer for more years than I can count. I worked out at my appropriate aerobic level which was monitored by said trainer.  I religiously met with that person and went through the paces for an hour at a time a minimum of three days a week. It was a major investment, but as a CEO I felt that working out was part of my job description. I had to be in healthy shape.

For most folks, working out three days a week for 3 hours total is just about all they can fit in their schedule.  Even more than most can fit in.  I made it a priority.  After 7 years you know how much weight I lost as a result?  0 pounds.  I kept gaining weight. I ate about 800 calories a day most weekdays and ate more on the weekends when I had dinner parties.  I kept getting fatter and every obesity expert I consulted was stumped.  Many of them thought I was lying because they could not figure it out.  Did I get stronger? Absolutely. I could bench press 160 pounds. A lot of guys can’t do that. I could leg left 500 pounds. That’s amazing for a woman.  I could toss my bag into the upper cabinet on an airplane with one hand but I could barely fit in the airplane seat.  Exercise was not the solution for my weight problem.  And most people can’t come anywhere close to the activity level expected of the people on The Biggest Loser

Studies also show that calories in/calories out is not the answer for most.  Take me for example:  I went down to 800 calories a day and didn’t lose an ounce.  I reported everything I ate to a nutritionist for months.  Once I was down to 750 calories and still not losing, he quit. He felt that was starvation level and he worried about me dropping over dead.  He did not want to risk his reputation on losing a client to death.  He admitted that to me the day he resigned. 

So if it’s not all about calories in/calories out, and exercise doesn’t make you skinnier without doing a large amount of it, then where does that show stand in my credibility rankings?  Low.  It’s a reality show. Reality shows don’t garner ratings without drama. My husband calls The Biggest Loser “Gym Teachers Gone Wild”.  I have to admit that’s pretty descriptive.  Maybe that’s the title for a spin-off. 

In the interest of self-disclosure, I’ll be the first to admit I’m not finished losing weight. I’m still a work in progress.  I’m also not going to get in a spandex contest with Jillian Michaels from the show. I’ll be happy when I am comfortable in a tank top and shorts.  All in good time. I don’t have to get it done in the span of one season of a TV show.  But I will get there.  For now I’m happy with frame-worthy blood tests that show I’m pretty close to perfectly healthy.

Disclaimer: This is an opinion post from Zola and representative only of her views.  It is not meant to represent the views of TheHealthyTrucker.net as a whole.

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About Zola

Zola has spent 30 years as a business leader and CEO. She has mentored hundreds of employees and challenged them to achieve their goals while simultaneously building successful businesses. After struggling with conventional diets for over 40 years, in 2010, Zola designed Plan Z Diet, which has already helped thousands of dieters in 39 states and 10 countries. She is offering Plan Z as a solution to the obesity epidemic because she truly feels that the world deserves a better diet. Zola enjoys helping people maximize their entertaining abilities and makes them laugh with stories of her adventures in the kitchen and beyond. She writes a syndicated newsletter through ArcaMax which has a readership of over 800,000 worldwide. She also designs new recipes for Plan Z the diet by Zola just about every day. You can Connect with Zola on Google+ here