Thoughts on “Biggest Loser” Finale

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I don’t usually do these types of entries, but this has been bothering me all night, more so than it probably should.

I have been watching this past season of Biggest Loser and enjoying it. All of the contestants this season were great and each fought hard and didn’t give up. There wasn’t one contestant I didn’t root for. And Rachel was a favorite of mine. I liked her competitiveness and determination, it seemed like she was really motivated to get her life on the healthy track. She looked great at the last weigh-in.

Watching the finale is always one of my favorite parts. I love seeing the final transformations. And as the show went on, I was not let down. All of the contestants did amazing and looked fantastic and seemed healthier and happier. Then it got to the final three. Bobby looked great! And wow, David!

I wasn’t completely paying attention when Rachel came out. I was on a video call with my boyfriend at the time and kept looking at the phone in the corner of my eye a little more than the screen. I also didn’t have the resolution on full screen and had taken my glasses off. I was mainly focused on her legs and admiring her calves (they touch in the middle and mine don’t–I’ve been trying to get bigger calves forever!). When I hung up the phone, put it back on full-screen, put my glasses back on and took a closer look…my face probably took on a look like Jillian and Bob’s.


And when the cameras zoomed in and I saw her arms and face, it concerned me.

It disappointed me thinking that she may have gone overboard just to win. Then, when she weighed in at a mere 105lbs, I was even more concerned.

She and I are the same height. The only time I ever weighed 105lbs, I was in an in-patient hospital for anorexia. She did look pretty thin to me.

I understand that it’s a competition, and that the contestants will do what it takes to win (and it seems like a lot of the contestants go through drastic changes for the finale and then gain a little back).  I’ll admit, with a potential of winning that much money I’d probably kick my workouts into overdrive.  But I don’t agree with sacrificing your health to get there…and that’s how this show is starting to appear to me.

In my opinion, for some,  the competition could potentially be dangerous, and that’s when it can turn into another eating disorder. You can become so focused on the number on the scale and being lower than everyone else that you lose sight of yourself and your health. This could be the case with Rachel.  And I understand, I’ve been there. I was a former chubby girl that wanted to make a change and lose weight, but I got so focused on the number on the scale and getting lower and lower that it became my focus, and I didn’t see myself accurately. Everyone else saw it, and would tell me that I looked bony and sick. But, being a former heavy girl, I didn’t see it in myself.
Rachel may not see it in herself. Your perception can get very distorted and do dangerous things when you start losing weight rapidly. Sometimes it’s hard to see changes in yourself, and while others say you look thinner, you may not see it.

Or she does know she’s too thin and just went to extremes in order to assure that she won. Which is equally as bothersome, to me at least. This makes it seem like she was more in it for the money than anything else. And she had me under the impression that she was motivated for all the right reasons and sincerely just wanted to change her life and get healthy, and become an athlete again. Most all of the contestants do.
I was rooting for her to win, but I found myself hoping that David had pulled off a higher percentage than her. I’ve never been so disappointed watching the finale.

(Trae Patton/NBC)

Obviously I’m not the only person who feels this way, Twitter, Facebook and other sites are blowing up with comments and articles.

I could be wrong, and this could be an okay weight for her bone structure and height…maybe in between the last weigh-in and the finale she did not do any strength exercises and only did cardio (she didn’t look like she did any strength).  But to me, she did not look healthy.  Her face looked gaunt, and her arms were mostly bone, there was no muscle tone. I do hope for her sake that she is healthy though.

It really bothered me thinking about it last night. Like, I actually lost sleep over it and was really upset.  I know I don’t know her or anything, but I watched the show from the beginning and was mentally invested in her. I was rooting for her and excited to see her getting healthier.  The show takes you through their personal journeys and past’s so that you feel like you do know them.

As a past eating disorder victim, It concerns me when I see anyone taking drastic measures to lose weight. But knowing how much of an uproar there is about her win everywhere…I sincerely hope that it doesn’t affect her negatively and that the pressure isn’t too much for her to deal with.

In the past (well, I only watched season 14 before this), I liked watching the Biggest Loser, because to me it was motivating.  Here are people wanting to make a change and showing themselves to the world and making a commitment to be healthier.  Plus, they do some hardcore workouts, and there I was struggling to run half a mile on the treadmill. If they could do it, why couldn’t I?

But this season finale got me thinking a little more about the Biggest Loser, and how unhealthy it actually is.

In my opinion, they do a few things wrong. I don’t think the show should be focused as much on weight in general as body fat percentages and nutrition, and learning to balance a healthy lifestyle. Especially considering the workouts they do…at some point they are exchanging fat for muscle, which may not reflect on the scale. You can gain weight while losing inches and body fat. The scale does NOT always reflect the work you have put in. This is why I typically stay away from the scale, I could care less about what I weigh. I pay attention more to muscle and body fat composition and take measurements.

Also, I wonder if they are working out too much.  I’ve read that they workout 4 to 6 hours a day.  Not only is that unrealistic (for most people), but overworking your muscles can be bad.

And they shed the weight quite rapidly.  Or at least, they are portraying that they are losing that much in just one week, which I have read isn’t the truth.  10-20lbs a week? This gives people false hope that they could realistically lose that much in one week just by exercising and eating better, when in reality they are exercising up to six hours a day and more than one week goes on between episodes.  If you are trying to lose weight, most doctors seem to say that around 3lbs/week is what you should aim for, and anything more than that could be a bit drastic and unhealthy.

With these things put into consideration, it does not seem to be a show about giving these contestants the tools to have a balanced, healthy life.  It’s about losing the most amount of weight in a short period of time, by working out twice a day and eating 1,200 calories or less a day (which I personally don’t agree with). I am seeing the Biggest Loser for what it really is…a game show.

I don’t necessarily think that Rachel is anorexic, but I think she kicked it into overdrive to lose the most weight for the finale.  I probably would too, if I were in the running for that much money.  But I do hope that she learns to have a healthy, balanced lifestyle. And that she is prepared to deal with the negative comments that are sprouting up everywhere.

<3 Jordan

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