Last night I watched the finale of The Biggest Loser Season 9. I was really unhappy with the outcome of that show. It was disappointing that instead of a final four they created an “America’s Vote” which ultimately led to the actual biggest loser getting booted. I was a fan of Koli and hated the fact that he worked hard but was basically cheated out of winning. But life isn’t fair, right? Even if you do all the right things and deserve something, you still might not get it.
But that episode was the final straw with me and The Biggest Loser. I’ve had my moments over the past seasons where I actually enjoyed the show. I even believe underneath all the advertisements, game play, and manipulative editing there are lessons you can learn from The Biggest Loser. Even this season had it’s inspiring moments like O’Neal’s accomplishments and all the final transformations. But those moments are no longer enough for me to like the show.
Basically, watching The Biggest Loser makes me feel bad about myself. I’m still at a weight where I could qualify to be a contestant on the show. They make losing 100 pounds or more look easy. They make running look like something that’s easy and if you can’t do it you are just weak. They make it seem okay to lose as much weight as possible (even going below what you should). They make it all seem quite easy. The show makes me feel quite a bit like a failure.
Also, it sets up unrealistic expectations about what you get when you lose weight. I’m never going to be famous for losing weight. I’m never going to have confetti dropped over me, cameras in my face, millions of fans, or a huge check for my accomplishments. I might want some or all of those things but because I’m not on that show I won’t be getting any of them. Most likely when I hit my goal weight it will just be me and my scale and a quiet victory for myself.
In a way that makes me sad. Because I have watched the show for several seasons I now want those things. I’m jealous of the people on the show that get them. I’m jealous of the people that lose their weight in five months and are done with it while my journey drags on. I’m jealous of the people that get to win things because they complete challenges and lose weight, when I will never get a chance to do that (I really, really love challenges and competition).
I’m also scared to succeed because I won’t get any of those things. In the end I’ll just get me.
That will be enough, you know. When losing weight on your own that has to be enough. It has to be enough that your body is new and can do things it never could before. It has to be enough that you did it for yourself and for your future. It has to be enough that you are worth all the work and deserve the reward of a changed life. It has to be enough because that’s all it is. No fans, no cameras, no confetti.