Monday, May 31, 2010

Biggest Losers Have Bigger Issues. . .

. . . and not just the beatings from Bob and Jillian, either. I have written about previous Loser Erik Chopin who won The Biggest Loser and gained all of his weight back. I have watched other former contestants yo yo back and forth and I have thought to myself that these shows need to emphasize working on your insides (your brain) as well as the outside chub.

I found this article on The Huffington Post titled "Why Kirstie Alley and the Biggest Losers Will Gain the Weight Back". The author goes under the name A Compulsive Overeater- she has made peace with compulsive eating and goes to Over Eater's Anonymous meetings. Her point in the article is the way they show the contestants and participants on these reality shows eating is NOT normal. Fixating on food all the time, eating the quantity and quality of food that they are eating is NOT normal. Gaining weight that quickly is NOT normal.

I used to be heavier. I weighed over 200 lbs, was a size 18, and am only 5'4". I never am sitting on my pedestal of judgement as a thin person, believe me. When I see the obesity epidemic on all the reality shows I watch, I always wonder what the underlying issue is. I was normal sized until college and I had the "Freshman 15", and then I had some serious issues. I was very concerned that everyone was watching me, judging me, keeping tabs on my waistline and the food going in my mouth (I am an actress, and weight is a BIG issue). I so desperately wanted to be "normal" that I even tried stupid things like Slim Fast, the cabbage soup diet, and Metabolife. I ended up heavier as a result, and started not to care.

"Maybe I am MEANT to be this way," I thought. That freedom of thought led me to gain and gain and gain. I met a guy that didn't care about his health either, who had SEVERE alcohol issues, and he enabled me to get bigger. September 11 happened and I was so scared that I just went to work and home and ate in the waking hours. I didn't feel like being healthy. I didn't feel like being happy. And after my sister passed away almost a year after September 11 (on September 14) I really lost it. I medicated in a big way. After 3 months, I knew I had to change.

My weight came off very slowly. I have been working on it for over eight years, and I always feel like I had to come to an AHA moment before the weight would release. I had to work on the inside, and I AM STILL working on the inside. I am now trying to be happy with the body I have- as my hero Patricia Moreno says, "Live a life that you love in a body that you love right now!"

I know that a lifetime of issues can't be patched up in one season of a reality based weight loss show. These contestants have to look within and see why they got to that point. It isn't just the food. I joke that Jillian Michaels has "mind bullets" that she uses on the contestants to make them see WHY they were so heavy. It is often fear, depression, latent feelings that they were covering up by food that was a friend, that wouldn't judge. I watched an episode of Intervention where the kid wasn't a drug user- he was a food abuser. He was HUGE. When he went into treatment, he came out of the closet as gay. He said he ate because if he was fat, then he wouldn't have to worry about being attractive and no one would know.

It isn't the aesthetics of weight loss that compel me to write this blog and have a career in the fitness industry. It is the ability to reach others and touch them and let them know that they can heal themselves. It isn't about how many squats you can do or how many miles you can run. It is the freedom to release your mind! And the weight will follow. It isn't an easy journey. But it will happen.

I promise. But you have to put the work in. And you have to go deep to get results.

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