The Ugly Side Of Extreme Weight Loss Reality Shows

1421 words - 6 pages

What does it mean to be healthy? Is it a number on the scale, the size pants a person wears, being able to run a mile or is it something that cannot be seen by the naked eye? America has become the fattest nation and the most delusional at how to truly be healthy. With so many people striving to lose weight the focus has shifted from getting healthy to who can lose the most weight in the shortest amount of time. Reality shows like “The Biggest Loser” has glorified extreme weight loss and has given viewers unrealistic expectations when trying to lose weight and get healthy. Society today has become obsessed with physical appearance, specifically a person’s weight that the mind automatically assumes a thin person is in better health than someone who is overweight. The truth is actually the complete opposite.
Trisha, a member of an elite fitness club, spoke about the moment she realized her weight loss goal needed to be reevaluated. Trisha weighed almost 300 pounds and was only 5 foot, 4 inches. Her work out partner, Rebecca, was the complete opposite when it came to looks. Rebecca was almost 5 foot, 11 inches and around 120 pounds. Trisha envied Rebecca’s body type and would give anything to trade bodies. Based on their heights and weights most people would look at them and automatically assume the thinner person would win if they raced against each other. After 6 months of working out together Trisha started to realize how much more she could do of everything! She could lift more weight, do more repetitions and stay at a harder pace on every cardio machine they used. One day while on the Stairmaster, Rebecca once again had to completely stop the machine and take a breather while Trisha was at a fast pace nearly jogging up the stairs. Trisha realized starting from the first work out on the elliptical when Rebecca has to stop and get off to catch her breath she has always been in better health even from day one. For the first time in her life Trisha was proud of herself and realized she did not have to be a size 2 to be in shape. Her focus quickly changed from basing her health on a specific weight since it was clear she could be healthier on the inside than someone who was really thin on the outside (personal communication, July 2010).
The Biggest Loser is a reality TV show that people who want to lose a significant amount of weight, wait several hours or more in line for just a chance of being a contestant. The contestants live on a ranch and learn how to be healthy or so they think. They are isolated from the outside world and only stay on the ranch. The types of foods ate is controlled since they are not living in an environment where they have to grocery shop for themselves. They work out for 6-12 hours a day with a personal trainer and do nothing outside of health and fitness. Weekly weigh-ins will determine who lost the least and who goes home. The contestant who loses the highest percent of their body weight will receive $250,000. Normal...

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