Ever since Tuesday’s Biggest Loser season finale, the online world has been abuzz with comments about the winner losing too much weight. I admit, I watched it. My husband, watching on another TV in the house, asked me what I thought of Rachel’s appearance. All I could say was, “she looks dehydrated.”
That was my gut reaction, and it was validated today when I read an in-depth critique of the show that quoted a previous winner. He went to such deprivation extremes prior to the final weigh-in that he gained 32 pounds back in the next five days from re-hydrating himself!
Who does this? Someone who wants to win a quarter million dollars badly enough, that’s who. Initially, I refused to watch the show because it encouraged contestants to drop unrealistic amounts of weight every week. I also don’t like to see trainers berating people. And Spinning instructors everywhere lament the incorrect use of Spinner bikes on the show.
After several seasons, I gave in and started watching. Like a car wreck that you can’t not gawk at, it was fascinating to see the transformations in the contestants’ bodies.
The contestants’ outlooks change as their bodies change. Somewhere in the final weeks, we begin to see a new person emerge as their confidence soars. That’s the positive side of it. Yet, the desire to win isn’t always positive. One writer calls it a recipe for disaster and says it’s a testament to the show’s physicians that nobody has died. By the way, do you notice the “don’t try this at home” disclaimer at the end of each episode? It states that contestants are medically supervised. But so was Michael Jackson.
Is there a positive take-away from this craziness? Lesson one: results come from a focus on making changes every day. Lesson two: The fitness routine is a mix of cardio and strength training, so that people start to tone as they loose weight. How else can a 175-pound woman look so good in a sports bra? Lesson three: Last night’s results got people talking about healthy vs. extreme weight loss.
Even NBC, the network that airs The Biggest Loser, had a piece about viewers’ concerns that Rachel lost too much weight. In case you missed this season, the 5-foot-five woman went from 260 to 105 pounds, making her underweight according to the Body Mass Index. Let’s hope she is strong enough to stay healthy once she’s out of the spotlight.