I watch "The Biggest Loser" and I have to say that I simply adore this show.
The first season I watched it was last season...and I was awed by how much weight some of these contestants lost. It was inspiring. And last season's winner, Michelle, was someone that I identified with. She was the person who had emotional problems (who doesn't?) that they chose to air...and what kept coming up was that she was a giver and was afraid to stand up for what she believed in. She was afraid to say "No."
This season, they've had the biggest people that they've ever had. And they have lost a LOT of weight. One of the contestants has lost 164 pounds in 17 weeks. 17 WEEKS! I've lost a little over 50 in a LOT of weeks...so I can't even imagine what they've gone through.
The biggest change has been (from what I understand) basically this episode. They have to go home for 30 days and then weigh in to see who makes it to the finale. Usually they just go home and then come back after an indeterminate amount of time later for the final weigh in. At that time, they either lost weight and were "The Biggest Loser" or they didn't. But THIS time they have to prove it that they can do it at home.
And they're struggling.
I am so thankful that they're showing this side of the weight loss. One woman was asking her friends "Didn't you see how miserable and unhappy I was?" This same woman talks about how she's going to have to learn to trust her friends and (gasp!) ask for help. Another woman asks her husband "How did I get to think that this (holding up her pants) was okay?" She admits to living a secret life - one draped in pain, hurt, and secret eating. A young man is forced to get in touch with his feelings and his issues with family as he fights past the urge to binge at fast food places all the way home.
THIS IS REALITY TV.
It's tough to lose weight. It's tough to struggle with how much to drink or eat when you're out with friends. It's tough to date and deal with all issues where you completely doubt yourself and your worth. It's tough not to get wrapped up in the number on the scale. And it's tough to figure out where the balance is in life - not just in eating or exercising.
Usually I save these posts for the other blog. But watching this TV show made me want to shout out to everyone I see, hear, or even think about... THIS IS MY LIFE!!!
I struggle with consistency. I struggle with feeling ravenous at times when there is no logical reason for it. I struggle with guilt issues. I struggle with anger towards my family members. I struggle with saying "no." I struggle with wanting to feed emotional issues with food. I struggle with trying to push it too hard and fast in exercising. And I struggle with trying to control SOMETHING...and food (or exercise) has been a great way for me to assert that control.
Watching the show tonight has helped me feel not so alone. It's helped me feel that I'm a part of something, well... bigger than me.
I love that they're showing that these people are human. That entering your "old" life after 17 weeks is completely catastrophic and that it takes time to acclimate. I love that they're showing that the quick fix of a TV program, pill, supplement, or even surgery isn't easy. And long term emotional issues rear their ugly heads even after the weight is gone unless you DEAL with the long term emotional issues.
My challenge (to myself) is to live life in the middle. To not be such an extremist with my weight, my food, my exercise, my love life, my career...anything. Living life in the middle means feeling pain. It means having issues and at least trying to be okay with them by working through them. It means acceptance.
Life is tough... and as silly as it sounds, I've been figuring out that life is tough even for people without weight issues. Tonight's show helped illustrate what my life could be like AFTER the weight is gone. I need to deal with my issues as much as I can now...because being skinny doesn't mean that the problems go away.
Huh. Go figure.
The biggest difference between me and the contestants? It's that they're on TV and I'm not.
20 hours ago