Tuesday, February 21, 2012

It's Not Me, It's You: Why I am Breaking up With "The Biggest Loser"

I have been thinking about breaking up with The Biggest Loser since last season.  I have been blogging about the show since the beginning of my blog's life in 2009 and I thought it was a cornerstone of my blog.  The show drives a lot of traffic and I have made so many great friends and connections through the live tweeting every Tuesday night that I was having a hard time coming to this decision.

How did I choose to break up with something that has been such a big part of my week for the past 4 years?

The very first season of The Biggest Loser I didn't watch.  I watched it later in reruns, but I would not watch the show.  Why?  I was a former fat person and I thought that the show was going to trivialize the condition and make fun of the people participating.  I gave the show a chance in the second season, and I was hooked.  I found it inspiring and I dreamed of becoming a personal trainer like Bob or Jillian.  I longed to worked with people who wanted to make a change in their lives and I wanted to help them get there.

I watched every single season and was moved and excited to see the transformations.  Yes, the trivial game play also made the show more fun to watch, but overall the show produced people like Ali and Tara and Sam and Abby and Hannah- there are many others but you know I can't sit here and list names all day!- that made me excited to share the message of the show.

Then something changed.  The in show plugs got pluggier, the contestants got cattier, and the heart and soul of the show started to fade.  It turned into The Biggest Loser Inc., churning out season after season of people who have become faceless and nameless.  I think season 11 was the last season I enjoyed.  I have started to dread writing my weekly recaps, and although I love my Twitter friends, I have also started to dread watching the show.

I also don't like the products being hocked in the name of The Biggest Loser.  Weight loss pills and shakes, instant meals, body shapewear, and Subway sandwiches (Which are not a truly healthy option in my opinion. I mean, compared to other fast foods?  Maybe.) have become the main stars of the show.  The show is a money making machine, selling whey protein and scales and Jenni O Turkey to people who hope to get the same results as the people on the show.

Also, I think it is sad that so many contestants have reverted back to their old habits after the dust settles.  The real change didn't happen within.  It's sad to see that this express pass to happiness and wellness didn't really happen and now onto the next season two weeks later.

So, I have made a decision.  I will still live Tweet with my friends (for the rest of this season, anyway), but I am no longer going to write about the show.  It is filled with a negativity that I am trying to cleanse my life of and I no longer choose to participate in.  The show, in my opinion, has turned into what I feared in the beginning- a show that trivializes the obese and the journey it takes to get there.

Please read the recaps on @theblblog.  Jen spends a lot of time and energy writing about the show and she could use your love!  She has a great relationship with many former contestants and is fun to read.

So, The Biggest Loser.  It's not me, it's you.  Maybe we should start seeing other people?


  1. Very well said, and I agree. Part of it was not having anymore Jillian, on top of her being replaced by someone who is not a dang trainer. The ratings potential of Anna K outweighed the actual importance of putting an expert trainer on the show, which is just gross. We always have Netflix Instant View! I'm re~living Season 8 right now...

  2. I'm glad you're still live tweeting. You're freaking hilarious!

  3. Very good post I enjoyed reading it from top to bottom


  4. I totally agree and broke up a couple of seasons ago. It was when I started seeing the show putting their name on products...products that go opposite to what the trainers "preached" apart from the show initially.

    They have become...in my humble opinion...detached from the reason I started to watch in the very first season. The human part of the equation.

  5. Sorry to hear you swaying away from BL entries, but I certainly understand why. It's nice to know you'll still be live tweeting for the rest of the season. Tweets from you are hilarious and I've always looked forward to hearing your thoughts and opinions.

    Maybe at some point the producers will see the error of their way and start casting the type of contestants we all remember. Those who want to make a chance in their lives, and not play the game.

    Keep blogging all you want,
    I'll keep reading.

  6. I don't blame you at all! I skipped over a bunch of it on my DVR this week, it was so hard to watch.
    Also- I totally just read through the rest of your blog, I didn't realize you were a Zumba instructor. So am I! Cool that you had your cert with Tanya B, love her choreo on the zin dvds.

  7. I stopped watching a while back because I couldn't take the constant commercial. Plus even though they are supervised by a doctor, I'm not sure this is the best method to lose weight psychologically. And my last comment about it (I swear) is that this rapid of a weight loss creates a larger amount of loose skin. Yes, if you have over 50 pounds to lose your going to have it but when you shed the weight so fast it makes it even worse.

    Found you on Twitter. Following via GFC. Will check out your FB page as well. http://occasionallyfit.wordpress.com/

  8. this season has been so miserable...I used to watch it for inspiration now all I see is hate and bitterness on the show.