Warning: I am being extremely opinionated and controversial. What I say in this post is not meant to offend anyone who is overweight, underweight, dealing with an eating disorder, etc. I am simply talking about the exact case of the most recent BL winner and what I have read. I do not know her personally, nor do I know the circumstances of her time on the show or daily living.
I’m just gonna cut to the chase.
I hate every single part of “The Biggest Loser” except for one thing. People are trying to lose weight. That I can deal with. However, I can not deal with:
People taking extreme dietary measures to lose the most weight possible. We should be eating to nourish and I can’t stand when trainers recommend low-fat, no sugar, sugar substitutes and other garbage food just because of the lower calories. I recently posted more about my take on this problem and I highly suggest you read it.
People dropping half their body weight in a short amount of time. Severe weight reduction can cause hormone disruption which can lead to infertility in women, lack of menstruation along with hair loss, bone density reduction, etc. That sounds safe and worth the weight loss, right?! Eye roll.
People participating in high intensity workouts most days of the week. Listen, I am all for a great workout, but “great” doesn’t always mean “intense” but rather “effective.” Getting screamed at, puking, passing out…it’s just nonsense! Being healthy and losing weight is a LIFESTYLE change; you have to be in it for the long haul, not just an intense six months of your life. Not to mention, over training is one of the WORST things you can do to your body. Injuries are popping up everywhere in fitness centers like CrossFit nationwide! I don’t think most people realize (because they are being spoon fed by trainers) that an Olympic athlete doesn’t even train that hard. Our bodies need time to recover. It might seem wasteful to spend a day working on range of motion and mobility, but the power, balance, stability and endurance that follows is incredibly beneficial to the intensified workouts that should be only a few days per week.
Do I love that the reality show inspires people? Absolutely!
Am I glad that people are finally trying to correct their health? You betcha!
But the show is so extreme, that it is a false reality of what is healthy and maintainable. (I actually know a previous contestant and he stated that he was told to pretend he was binge eating junk food so the cameras could film a scene where the trainer was yelling at him.)
So how do I feel about this season’s winner, Rachel?
I’m elated for her to have taken the opportunity to get healthy. I feel sorry that she is being attacked with such rude comments. Some people are claiming she appears anorexic. Others have posted to her Facebook wall begging her to get help. One mom even said she is saddened that someone was rewarded for doing “that” to her body. That seems to be okay to do, but what if people were attacking her for being obese. Oh…that would be considered offensive.
The way I see it is that people are putting too much emphasis on a number. “Oh, Rachel is 5’5” and only weighs 105. “Rachel has a BMI of 17.5 which means she is underweight.” “Rachel looks gaunt and I can see her bones.” Well guess what…she was committing suicide by being as obese as she was.
This is just the first step for Rachel! Now that the weight is gone, she could continue to work on strength training and building muscle mass. She surely wouldn’t do that on the show because that would have prevented the scale from dropping as low as it did, which is what AMERICA wanted to see.
I wonder if Rachel would have great lab results if blood work was done. It’s possible she eats a completely healthy and balanced meal plan. What if we found out that her heart was healthier than ever? Would those stats make people think twice about her number on the scale? Surely!
The goal here should be “health” not “weight.” Marathon runners and endurance athletes often have a lower BMI as well. Does that make them anorexic? HELL NO! Body mass in America is based on population norms and ahem… we are one of the most obese countries. So is it possible that she looks thin because we have gotten used to seeing so many overweight people? Have we forgotten what “healthy” could look like?
I guess the reason that I take this to heart is because I am someone that people say is “too thin.” I am 5’8″ and weight about 125. Yes, I am lean, but you better believe I can out lift most girls at the gym and have some mad muscles forming. I had one of the healthiest pregnancies my doctor has seen lately and all of my lab tests point to top notch health. I am right on the border of normal weight and under weight according to BMI charts.
Does that mean I am anorexic?
Food for thought.
My friend posted this as a comment on my Facebook post…
“You know what gets me? There’s a show that exploits a 7 year old obese girl (honey boo boo) and nobody gets upset about her weight (child abuse)”
I couldn’t agree more!
What do you think?