Like many things in life, losing weight is a numbers game. We watch as we step on the scale and pray for the needle to land on a lesser number than our previous attempt. We hope the number on our dress or pant size is smaller. We even hope that as a result of losing weight, our blood pressure number drops and we lower the number of our cholesterol. NBC’s show, “The Biggest Loser” is no different and focuses on the numbers.
Contestants lose massive amounts of weight in a short period of time; one has even dropped triple digits in less than two months. The show is both inspirational and controversial, receiving praise and criticism. Before the show existed, I personally won my own numbers game, losing nearly 185 pounds and keeping a majority of it off for the past eight years. I can speak from two perspectives, as a former obese person and as an experienced personal trainer/sports nutritionist.
My personal weight loss was like many others: fairly quick in the beginning. The most I ever lost in one month’s time was 25lbs. One contestant on the biggest loser lost 34 pounds in only one week. This is not realistic in the everyday world where you’re unable to workout five to six hours a day. Not to mention, live in a controlled environment where you have access to your healthy food needs. I am not downplaying by any means the achievements of these contestants. They are truly deserving of so much attention and encouragement.
I am merely reaching out to those of you who are not documenting your weight loss efforts on television, or are not in it for the $250,000 prize. You too need to reach deep down and find that drive and determination even if the numbers are falling slower. I lost a majority of my weight while working long hours, six days a week in television news and I learned to be creative with my time to fit in workouts and pack my 5 to six small meals each day.
The typical contestant on "The Biggest Loser" is severely obese and sedentary.