This is the tale of a woman who watched The Biggest Loser and decided to apply it to her own life.
Note: this post is not intended to criticize the Biggest Loser. I have been told, at great length, that a lot of people watch the Biggest Loser and find it inspirational. However, I don't think most people apply it this literally to their lives.
This tale is about a woman who got married, as many women do, settled down, and found herself trying to balance work, family, and a healthy lifestyle. Well, two out of the three, anyway. The weight began creeping up.
(This part I can certainly relate to. The weight creeps up on you like the invasive ivy that your neighbor thought would look really nice planted on their side of the fence. Eventually, you notice it's there and go on an extreme
As a regular watcher of The Biggest Loser, she decided to follow their lead. For a full month she lived apart from her family. Aside from her job, her focus was on losing weight.
The husband, and stepson, went to live with his father down the street, and she devoted herself to a rigorous schedule of diet and exercise. Without a recalcitrant teenager it was easier to stock the fridge with healthy foods, and without spending time hanging out with her husband, she had time to concentrate on exercising.
(That part, I don't get. Surely husbands can be trained, with sufficient patience, to exercise? Or at least watch TV while their wives work out? Couldn't she set up the treadmill or weights in the room where they watched TV, and work out while watching reality shows?)
The results, like the results on the Biggest Loser, were impressive. She lost over 13 pounds, and with the increased muscle tone from working out, the overall impression was of a loss closer to 25 pounds. That's pretty good going for 30 days of diet and exercising.
It was great that she lost the fat and gained the muscle. My problem with this is that it was a lot of work for a short-term improvement. Without retraining the people she lives with, the problems that caused the weight gain have not changed. So what's to stop the weight from creeping back? Nothing, so far as I can see.
I can see a wife and mother fantasizing about having the house to herself for a month. But it doesn't seem right to model your behavior after reality shows. They're not really connected to reality.
It's tempting to get all the distractions out of your life and concentrate on what you really want to achieve. But since she clearly has no desire to oust her family permanently (understandably), seems like she put in a lot of effort for a little temporary weight loss.
Can you imagine people imitating the extreme behavior exemplified by reality shows? Survivor as a business model: Can't decide who to layoff? Simple! Strand the whole group on a desert island and come back in a couple weeks to see who's been voted off.
Pick your friends based on how well they dance when paired with real professional dancers!
Look at me, I'm dancing with Tattoo Man!
Photo credit: Tobes501
Photo credit: Tobes501
Want to get a promotion and a raise and fame and fortune? Go into your boss's office and impress him with your tremendous singing ability! This will also have the added side effect of combining promotion with layoffs if you don't sing quite as well as your co-workers.
Your co-workers seem really enthused... about your leaving...
Photo credit: kwalk268
Then again, there's always the Donald Trump approach -- wait, that's not a reality show, is it? Seems like plain reality to me.
Photo credit: w00kie
Um... am I going to get flamed for this post?
Quick disclaimer: I understand that the show The Biggest Loser inspires (some) people to eat healthy and workout regularly. But I think it's most effective when it brings family members on the show to work together at losing the weight. While isolating yourself from the problems that led to the weight gain can help you lose weight, it's not going to do bupkis about helping you maintain the weight loss.
Re-training yourself -- and your family, if necessary -- works.
Extreme makeovers are showy, but don't address the basic problems.
If you don't change the underlying behavior, the weight is just going to creep up again. What's the point?