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Thoughts on the NYT Biggest Loser Article: My Body's Fighting Me

The Biggest Loser

A recent article in the NY Times has been really popular this week. It follows the story of 14 contestants from the tv show, The Biggest Loser; and how all but one have regained most, if not more, of their weight 6 years following their appearance on the show.

The headlines from the article and what's being promoted the most is that the research is showing that their bodies are fighting to get back to the weight that they were.  Many would stop reading the article there; and throw their hands up and say "SEE! I KNEW it! My body is fighting me." But, there's more to the story and more research to be done. The researchers are trying to find out the role of hormones and resting metabolism (how many calories your body needs at rest).

I'm dismayed by the article. Don't get me wrong, I used to love; and still admire Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper; and all of the contestants for their bravery, courage and strength. But, I could only handle watching one season of the show. because it's not realistic. 

I believe that it's awesome to have role models; and to see that weight can come off; and that transformations are possible. BUT, they are REALITY TV shows; not realistic tv shows. The contestants exercise for over 7 hours a day; and are on strict diets and monitored by doctors and professionals. When they go back home after the show, they are asked to work out NINE hours/day and watch their food. Of course, your body's going to change rapidly if you're at that level of intensity; and science has always shown that are bodies are really good at adapting. We have to continually change things up in order to see change. 

What I fear is that so many who see the article; and who have battled with yo-yo dieting and a slowing metabolism will say, "If it didn't work for the people on the Biggest Loser, how do I stand a chance?!" The study didn't have a control group; and is a small sampling of people who went through EXTREMELY rigorous methods to lose their weight. Yes, everyone wants their weight off stat. Sustainable weight loss happens gradually. Just like how it comes on. It takes a commitment to a healthy lifestyle and choosing foods that nourish you and being active. Transformation is possible and does happen! 

Being healthy is more than a number on the scale. It's about feeling healthy, vibrant, energetic and alive! Feeling like you're treating your mind and body with care. Nourishing yourself and thriving! By doing those things that enliven you, the weight will come off, your outlook changes, and you feel amazing. 

Our bodies are capable of SO much! Even lasting transformation. What I want to know about is the one person from the show who HAS been successful. I'm willing to bet that she's got an amazing attitude, and shows her body and mind love and tenderness. And, doesn't look at it as a fight or a battle. But, as a journey. 

I'm asking you to be patient. Trust your journey; and work on feeling healthy and fit. Stay the course. You might drop half of your body weight in three months. Chances are you won't. And, that's OK. It's OK to be where you're at in your journey and to want to be your healthiest self. Make excuses for being healthy. Make excuses for being fit and active. You've got this! 

It comes down to simple, doable actions:

Eat healthy. Move more. Feel good! 

I love the quote below; and make just one little amendment: POSITIVE Energy and Persistence Conquer All Things!"