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?
I had always been interested in working out and being fit, but never could stick with it. I rode bikes and did martial arts and dance as a kid, but always opted for the more creative choices when I got older, instead of the active choices. NO organized sports for this kid!
I was the newspaper editor and drama queen in high school, and my love of the arts took me to college as a Musical Theatre Major, and that led me to living in New York City. All the while, I was the chubby one, the funny best friend and side kick. I wanted to lose weight, but never really knew what to do about it.
After September 11, I moved back to my home state of Oklahoma to help take care of my older sister who was suffering from kidney failure. The defeat I felt in moving home only added to my weight problems. My sister had me weigh myself at her doctor appointment one day, and I weighed over 200 pounds. I refused to believe it, and blamed the fact that I was wearing clothes for the extra 50 pounds.
Then everything changed: my sister passed away in September of 2002. I was lost and confused, and was medicating myself with food and drinks. One morning in November of 2002, I woke up and was tired of feeling bad. I needed to change. I started my fitness journey that morning by putting on an old pair of sneakers and I never looked back.
I have lost over 60 pounds on my own through diet and exercise. No fancy tricks, but lots of sweat and hard work. I am amazed when people can change their lives by doing the same thing. I'm an ACE certified personal trainer, personal trainer at Equinox Sports Club West LA, licensed Zumba instructor, and intenSati leader (with more to come!!!), and am happy for the chance to touch people with my enthusiasm for fitness everyday.