Thoughts on The Biggest Loser

Did you watch the Biggest Loser when it was on tv? Maybe if you are skinny and fit, it wouldn’t appeal to you. I loved it! I found it motivational. Of course it was never motivational enough to make me get into a proper and sustained exercise routine haha! 

The Biggest Loser contestants were all tremendously overweight and what they accomplished each week in terms of exercise goals and weight loss was amazing! And they were sometimes come to these great epiphanies and cry and I would sit watching and I would cry too. And at the end when the last person won, oh man I would cry. It was so emotional. I think it was partly because I was battling my own weight and emotional issues and so could really relate.

I have work out videos made by the same people who were the trainers on the show and the people in the videos are people from different seasons of the show. Always it is during the season, so they have lost a lot of weight but are only part way through the journey. That means I’m working out to a video with all these fat people on it, and they are doing the routines way better than I can — totally kicking my butt! Wow! I will catch up eventually!

Recently I was reading past blog posts on Nerd Fitness website. Two were about The Biggest Loser. It has been ten years or more since the last season I believe , but anyway what has been seen since the show is that most of the contestants have gained their weight all back!

From one season, doctors and researchers brought in the former contestants and out 14 of them, 13 had gained back the weight and some! Wow so sad! The really awful thing that has happened is that now their metabolisms burn less calories than they should at a normal resting rate for their current size. 

There is a lot of sciencey stuff to prove all this and I haven’t had time to research and read enough about it yet to explain it here. 

Check out 

nerd fitness.com 

in the archives of the blog posts and look for The Biggest Loser in there if you want more info right away. 

What I gather from what I have read already is that the rapid weight loss that the show achieved was too hard on the people’s bodies and really wrecked their metabolisms. Doctors on the show at the time had said that if the contestants wanted to maintain their weight loss after they left, they would have to work out about 9 HOURS a week!!! That is ridiculous! Who can do that and live a normal life at the same time? Also, on the show, there were personal trainers working with them all the time and monitoring. But because it was technically a GAME SHOW, it was all about winning the money at the end, so there was not enough true help to make them have permanent changes in lifestyle and attitudes about food and health.

I do remember that when I was watching the show, I noticed that they focused everything on the exercise and really never talked about food at all. And some of the “tests” that were set up were just cruel. For example, the contestant would be allowed to go into a whole room decked out with desserts. If they ate some desserts, they could gain certain advantages for their team. But then it would give them calories that they would have to work off later. Or they could decide to not eat any of the desserts and just focus on themselves losing the weight.

Well, put an addict in a room with their free heroine and what is that supposed to actually achieve? I kind of think that is mean. But it was a show and a game so that is that. But now look what has happened to some of them?? Example one man went onto the Biggest Loser at 444lbs. He got down to 289lbs. Now after the show some years, he is back up to 450lbs, and what is worse is that his metabolism did not reset to his weight gain. He burns 458 FEWER calories a day than a man his size should.

I think this is horrible that this happened to these people. I’m shocked that no doctor or trainer could see the problem in the future while the show was making these amazing claims! 

This doesn’t mean that it will happen to me or you with our weight loss. Because the people on the Biggest Loser show, did their weight loss in a very short amount of time and with little or no focus on nutrition. 

But for me, after reading these articles about the post show weight gain etc, when I work out to the videos, I don’t feel quite the same as I did before. The trainers on the videos — I always think now “Did you know this was going to happen to them and you said nothing?” Hmmm. It still is a good work out video, but makes me wonder how the show could keep going?! Maybe they have changed some of the way the show is done now. I don’t think I could watch it anymore knowing what I know. 

Sick week

Had a wicked cold since last Sunday. Started with sore throat, progressed quickly to head cold and chest cold. It’s almost done now. 

Soon I should be able to get back to my work-outs. I haven’t exercised while I have been sick. At first I thought I might, but then my cold quickly turned to a chest cold, and that decided it. 

Experts say that if your sickness symptoms are in your neck and above, you can still work out. If your symptoms are below the neck, you should not. Those systems are all needing a lot more energy to heal, so exercise will just push your body too far. Same with if you have a fever — don’t exercise.

I weighed myself on Saturday morning and my weight has stayed the same this week. I didn’t do too much comfort food during my cold and I drank tons of fluids so that must have helped the weight stay the same as well as getting well!

Gorge walk

Tuesday January 31 went for a walk around Gorge waterway. It was quite cold out and clear skies, lots of wind brrr! I was not to be deterred. Clothes layered up and some music from my iPod and I was set. Walked for 78 minutes. At first my lower back was hurting a great deal, but after about 35 minutes it settled down. This was also around the same time I started sweating, after 35 minutes so I felt warm enough for the wind not to bother me. Felt really good about this walk. Legs felt like jelly when I got back to the car. 
Wednesday Feb. 1 Did a five minute warm up and then 30 minutes of the Nerd Fitness Beginners Bodyweight workout. 

Thursday and Friday busy days this week and only had janitor work and my physio appointment for exercise. Will try for the weekend for actual work-outs.

Don’t panic

Friday February 3, 2017
Gained 2lbs. Weight: 362 lbs. As Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy says : 

DON’T PANIC!

Looked this up on-line and found this:

“However, if you do happen to gain weight when starting a new program, don’t worry, it’s completely normal and temporary. Odds are that weight gain is not fat, but rather temporary water weight due to inflammation. Give it some time and it will pass. 

The most likely reason your scale crept up is inflammation. When you work out, it causes little tears in your muscle fibers. This is called microtrauma and it’s why you feel sore after a workout. On the upside, your body heals these little tears, making the fibers tougher than they originally were. That’s how you become stronger and fitter. It’s part of a process called adaptation.

To make these repairs, your body uses its standard healing process, including the inflammation phase…

Of course, keeping your diet healthy and allowing for adequate rest and recovery will help speed the body to less inflammatory phases of healing, but the main key is to keep calm and carry on. If you’re new to fitness—or perhaps just new to a particular kind of fitness—there’s going to be a lot of adaptation going on and therefore a noticeable level of inflammation. It should subside in a couple weeks.”

Quote taken from The Beachbody Blog, beachbody.com

Fairly confident that this is what has happened to me as well. Also I always struggle with drinking enough water, so water retention is a result. 

My body has been going through levels of detox too — example : the runs (sorry for too much info) from eating just fruit and veggies for lunch. That shouldn’t really happen, but my guess is that my system is freaking out and purging. 

Onward and inward!

“It’s been one week”

Jan 27, 2017
Day Seven

Weigh-in day. Lost 6 pounds last week! That will not always be the case — that the loss will be as great. I will probably be losing water retention at first, I think. Anyway, down to 360. I was so scared to weigh myself this morning. Worried it would show no progress and i would feel like giving up. Ok still going.

This morning did Beginner’s Bodyweight Workout from website Nerd Fitness. If you are a nerd and would like to increase your fitness, check out this site. It is really good and hilarious too. Example: one of the things the founder Steve says — “Sugar is worse than Darth Vader.” I keep that in mind everytime a cupcake rolls around. Who wants to go over to the dark side just for the price of some frosting?

The Beginner’s bodyweight workout is as follows:

20 squats

10 push-ups

20 lunges

10 dumbbell rows

30 jumping jacks

There is supposed to be a plank in there too, but I cannot do a plank because I cant put any pressure on my knees at all. So I just skip it. Other modifications I had to make is that I am not on the floor for the push-ups. I use the kitchen counter and just walk my feet out a little ways. Also I can’t do a proper jumping jack, so I do a side to side toe tap while doing the jumping jack arms.

Nerd Fitness has a lot of free content and videos of how to do this and other work-outs. I love this site, it has helped lots.


Above pic is an example of Nerd Fitness content. 😄

Yesterday I ate pretty much fruit and veggies all day. I had a bowl of Cheerios in the morning and I allow myself coffee and dressing for dipping the veggies. I bet my lunch was about 6 servings of veggies!

Later in the afternoon I was going into a level of detox. I was a little light-headed and had a headache. My body was probably expecting more sugar and bread and cheese. The headache was pretty bad. Also I was running on just 5 1/2 hours sleep the night before. 

Dinner: I can have a “normal” dinner. We had lasagna. I ate some crackers and salsa after that, then went to my cleaning job. Bam it hit me, I was suddenly so tired. I could barely lift my feet to walk sometimes and my eyes wanted to close. It was so weird and kind of funny. I was thinking slow. Was it still detox and/or the meal of pasta and gluten? It was not fun. I felt so tired that I was feeling doubtful of my plan to lose weight because I have had an increase in energy all week.

Tea and sleep helped. I’m feeling better today and got through the work-out. Nerd Fitness says the first week people are usually great and motivated and THEN — Darth Vader? Smiths in the Matrix? What? What will get me now? Hmmm it will be loss of momentum if anything. So it is good I did the workout. Now on to laundry. 

A strong engine

My physio therapist smiled kindly after asking me about any health problems in our fist meeting together, and my answer was “none really, just fat.” She did say that the thing about people who are overweight is that they tend to be quite strong because they are load-bearing all the time. That actually made me feel positive. Imagine a person in the health care field finding something positive to say about my being obese!

So the fact is true: I have a huge engine, and at 5 feet 11, I’m a big girl. I also have a lot “fuel” (fat) in the engine that can be converted to energy as I continue to focus and burn it. That is the plan. The engine is running now. How far can I drive this metaphor?

The weight of it all.. 

Monday January 23, 2017

Day Three 

Took my “before” pics recently. I didn’t make a note of which day…it was probably Day One, but I will write about it here. I don’t think I can post them yet. I would like to have some better “after” shots to show some hope before I go all the way and show the Internet how bad my situation is… I will however post the scale picture of my starting weight. 


Oh it feels suddenly like I’ve just gone ahead and taken all my clothes off for the Times Colonist. What a life. Well have to start somewhere. 


By the way, ate really smart today and then had 7 perogies. That is half the amount I would usually have, and with the first bite I knew it was a mistake. Interesting to have a few days of clean whole foods and then take a bite of perogey with margarine and salsa. I could actually feel the heaviness of it going down my throat — or was that because I didn’t chew enough? Too easy to eat like a seagull and just swallow. Hahaha! Gross. I finished them but they sure felt heavy. Good to remember. Then went for a twenty minute walk. That was successful at least 🙂