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Oh, the shame!

November 17, 2009

Confession: I am, for the first time ever, watching The Biggest Loser. Before this season I had never seen one single episode due to 1)not usually liking reality tv and 2)not being interested in people going to what I considered to be often unhealthy extremes to lose weight not to mention 3)I was ideologically opposed to weight loss so watching people compete over who could lose the most weight was like me watching a hunting competition or something.

I didn’t start watching TBL because of my own decision to lose weight. After all, I was losing weight this time last year and didn’t watch it. No, I find myself watching a lot more network tv now that I don’t have cable and I just happened to catch the first show.

So let me see, just off the top of my head what’s wrong with the show:
encourages unrealistic ideas of weight loss
uses injury and overtraining as ways to generate drama
uses scale weight as the only metric of success
every contestant is assumed to have a deep psychological root which is the cause behind their weight
the trainers are often bordering on abusive (I say bordering b/c so far I haven’t seen any really personal insults, just general yelling.)

And yet, this show has totally sucked me in. I laugh and cry and root for the people the producers want me to root for. IOW, I am a total tool. And you know, yes, the trainers yell and yes, Jillian Michaels has some weird ideas about how organic foods and safe plastic will fix your ‘broken’ metabolism, but I also really love them. I am really inspired when I watch the show even though I know it’s both manipulative and unrealistic. So shame on me.

ps: Did anyone else see Rebecca on Jay Leno? She is buff!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 19, 2009 4:12 pm

    Rebecca is totally buff, agreed. But I have to admit I still don’t like the show. I watched it last week and the week before, and just couldn’t stomach it. IDK, it just feels uncomfortably voyeuristic. And I know all those folks signed up for it, but still something about it just strikes me wrong. I can’t quite put my finger on what, though.

    • November 19, 2009 7:36 pm

      Reality tv in general feels that way to me. I actually flip during parts that feel too personal which my friends make fun of me for. Because obviously millions of people are watching so I’m not ‘sparing’ these people anything. This may be odd but the workouts are my favorite part.

      • November 20, 2009 6:08 am

        Oh, yeah, that makes sense. I have to admit that the week they eliminated Shay, I flipped during the “circus challenge.” I kept thinking, “Seriously? We’re watching people fling themselves through HOOPS? And you’re telling me there’s no laugh-at-the-fat-people dynamic going on there??” But I DID like the workouts. Although I thought I might punch Jillian if she were my trainer. (I don’t do well with yelling-type-trainers.)

  2. Laura permalink
    November 30, 2009 1:58 pm

    The first season I watched the show, watching Jillian verbally abuse the contestants really bothered me. But by the second season of watching, I realized that the contestants had seen the show and had seen her beat up everyone else, and if they signed up for it, so be it. They’re all adults, or close enough anyways.

    I know it’s not realistic, but I watch it anyways to stay motivated! 🙂


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