As promised, here’s some substance:
Dear Producers of The Biggest Loser,
One of your contestants completed your crazy “get ready for a marathon in 30 days” challenge in 4 hours and 2 minutes. He admitted to focusing on marathon training instead of losing weight. In my mind, that’s a smart choice since, you know, he’s about to run a marathon.
While training, he gained 2lbs (again, this is just over 30 days). Fact: you need to eat more when you’re training intensely. At the weigh-in, the trainers proceeded to act “confused” and be upset with him for gaining 2lbs. He is suddenly wrought with self-doubt, even after shattering the previous marathon record. And uh, I’d expect Bob and Jillian to be more understanding in the case of 26.2 miles. Bob with his “how did you gain weight, all you did was run!” statement was juuuust a tad frustrating.
I know that shows are all about the ratings… but come on, give the kid a break. Gaining weight while marathon training is not uncommon. And if you’re going to give the contestants a challenge that requires increased caloric intake (not to mention 2-3 days of carbo-loading while in the final days of the taper… aka hardly running at all), then inform the uninformed public about how common something like that is. Wow, Daris gained weight after eating at least 1000g of carbs in 3 days? SHOCKING. But he seemed well-fueled and had energy to pick it up at the finish. His late-night snacking probably didn’t help, but I honestly don’t think this is anything to sneeze at. (Forgive me for ending sentences with prepositions.)
But I forgot, this show is all about the numbers. We’ll just forget about Sam taking the at-home prize, because he’s already reached his goal weight and won’t continue to shrink in the name of winning a fat check. In reality, he probably really deserves the prize. The winners of the show aren’t determined based on physical fitness or body fat percentage, it’s based on overall percentage of weight lost. One too many contestants have shown up to the Finale looking almost sickly thin. What happened to the message of being healthy?
I love what the show does and what it inspires others to do in the overall scheme of things. But let’s start focusing on the people and their health instead of percentages, last-minute marathons, and product placements, mmmmkay?