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The Biggest Loser? Me!

October 16, 2013

If you don’t like rants then now might be a good time to leave.

I wanted to see Ruben Studdard so I made the mistake of watching The Biggest Loser last night. I did see Ruben, but unfortunately I had to spend an hour watching trash TV to do so. I understand the interest in following someone’s journey to weight loss and fitness but I don’t understand the interest – or the entertainment – in turning that person’s journey into a game show where contestants are lured with the promise of a chance at a quarter of a million dollars in prize money and eliminated from the ‘game’ for the most arbitrary of reasons: failing to lose a high enough amount of weight as measured as a percentage of their body weight in any given week. Without taking into account body type or composition, height or body mass index, just lose a ton of weight in a week and you can stay on the show and compete for the money. Don’t lose a high enough percentage of your body weight? Sorry, go home and order in a pizza and watch the rest of the show on TV and forget about your “Second Chances” in life. I’m no doctor, and I’m certainly no weight loss expert, but is this really a healthy way to approach the behavioral changes needed to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight and a healthy lifestyle? And forget a healthy lifestyle, I’m not really sure that working out for hours a day and severely restricting calorie intake – even under medical supervision – is necessarily a healthy way to lose weight or a way to promote positive behavioral change.

I think the show is shameful in the way the weigh-ins are handled. We know that a 460 pound man is fat, do we really need to have him remove his shirt before he walks up on the scale to be weighed so we can see exactly what every roll and wrinkle and bulge looks like? I understand why the women don’t remove their tops (even though some of the men have larger bosoms than some of the women) but I think they could show a little more respect for the male contestants and allow them to protect a fraction of their dignity and self-respect by allowing them to either leave their shirts on, or by having them stand behind a privacy screen rather than parading them up there for nothing more than the viewer’s entertainment.

I watched the first show. I saw Ruben. I won’t be back for more. And for wasting an hour, I’m the biggest loser.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 17, 2013 2:15 pm

    Mr. Fishman, I wanted to see Ruben and I did the same thing. I turned on the TV and watched it for about 20 minutes. I can’t get past the clothes they make them wear either. I will tune in on the last show maybe…… there anything on TV anymore that is decent?


  2. Beth permalink
    October 30, 2013 8:24 pm

    I’ve watched exactly one episode of The Biggest Loser and it was more than enough. Disrespectful didn’t begin to cover it and I felt like somehow less for having stuck it out that long.

    I do like the one with Chris Powell, though. Each two-hour episode of Extreme Weight Loss follows one very overweight person’s journey toward health for a full year. In that time, they lose crazy amounts of pounds, which is amazing, but beyond that, they grow and change and transform from the inside out. It’s emotional and wonderful and though the participants do weigh in shirtless (which has always kind of bothyered me), the love and support they get from Chris is palpable. Love it.


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