I have been an avid watcher of the Biggest Loser for many, many years. There were a lot of days that I would watch the show and get my butt to the gym asap to workout. If they can do it, so can I.
I love the trainers, and I especially love how they take the time to get to the ROOT of the problem. If they just lost weight and went home, they would gain it back. Figuring out the source, the why they were filling voids with food to begin with, would help set contestants up for success at home. Not to mention, who doesn’t love a good transformation story? However there is a dark side to the show as well. Pushing contestants too far too fast, not treating them like they are in the real world, etc can be detrimental.
I laugh, I cry, I clap during makeover week, it’s an interesting show. However, I have to say, I have never been more uncomfortable watching a season finale than I was this time. The winner, Rachel, (in my opinion) lost too much weight.
The gaunt frame I saw on the stage was not one of a strong athlete. The picture of health? I think not. It scares the crap out of me that impressionable little girls watched the confetti fall on her and thought “wow she is being rewarded for that, so I need to look like her.”
Some say she only did it to win the money, and will now gain weight. Even if that is the case, is that safe? I totally get the allure of a $250,000 is strong, but to put yourself through something so unhealthy (I’m assuming restrictive eating and hours on end of cardio were involved) seems crazy to me. Not to mention, in an interview yesterday Rachel said 105 was her goal weight and now she wants to maintain. So it doesn’t seem to me like she lost the weight just to win the money and one plans to gain.
So, the question is…who is to blame? Is it the shows fault? Is it Rachel’s fault? Or is it the media’s fault? I think all three play a role here, and I really hope something is done next season on the show. I’m not sure what (maybe disqualify a contestant if they lose more than a certain % of body weight? I really have no ideas). Yes i’m sure the show pushes them to lose weight, yes the media is screwed up in terms of what skinny and health is, and yes I am sure Rachel had some serious drive to win that money at all costs, but what do we do to fix this? I’m not writing this as an attack on Rachel, she just happened to be the first contestant to my knowledge to take it this far. My issue is the show has a problem and we need to figure this out.
I hesitate to say anything that has to do with BMI, b/c it does NOT measure muscle mass. For instance, my husband who is very in shape and muscular is considered overweight by a BMI chart. We even fought with our health insurance company for many months because they raised his rate based on his BMI!)
All I know is, something needs to be done. The show went from celebrating health and athleticism, and second chances, to praising someone for looking sickly. The faces of the trainers said it all, you can tell they were really freaked out.
Bob also put out an interesting statement on Facebook yesterday.
My head is still spinning, there is so much to say. I am very saddened by this and feel very sad for Rachel. What should have been a day of celebration was overshadowed because it was taken to an unhealthy level. Whether it was pressure from producers, herself, family, I don’t know, but I do know it’s a problem. What do you think? Any ideas of what can be done? Do you think she looks too skinny? Don’t forget the cameras actually make you look heavier so she probably looks even smaller in real life.
I Thought Rachel looked awesome and beautiful her last week at the ranch. I had no idea how she was going to lose much more weight. I wish there was an easy answer to this. The idea of the Biggest loser is a good one and I know it has helped so many people lose and keep weight off, but is it swinging to much in the opposite direction? Is the show itself causing unhealthy views on weight loss? What do we tell kids who watched the finale? It’s a tough one!
QOTD: Thoughts? Ideas on what the show should do? Who’s fault is it?
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