Friday, October 18, 2013

And This is Why I Hate Biggest Loser

I am so annoyed with Biggest Loser right now that I can't even handle it.

And I'm not even annoyed for my usual reason. 

I've already said before in this post that I hate the show.  I could go on forever about why I hate the show's premise.  But I think I said it best previously, so to quote that post:

"Yanking someone out of their daily life, throwing them into a gym for 6+ hours a day, totally controlling their diet for them, and creating motivation for them... then throwing them back into their daily life, with no additional coaching, and expecting them to keep up the change.  I just can't figure out why that isn't maintainable."  *insert eye roll*

Oh!  And don't let the show lie to you and show you falsehoods about how their contestants are doing so awesome post Biggest Loser.  If my discussion about Tara Costa wasn't enough of an example for you, then check out another previous contestant.  Apparently, Biggest Loser is claiming he finished a marathon in sub 4 hours ... oops, actually almost 6 hours with some SAG wagon assistance.  (Read more about that cover up here.)

But that's not what I'm here to talk about today, even if I do hate the show and think they're lying to the general public. 

So, if I'm not here to rant today about the basic format of the show, why am I annoyed?

Well, it starts with this fun fact: for those of you who don't know (as I did not until I read this article), Ruben Studdard of American Idol has been selected to participate in the 2013/2014 airing season of Biggest Loser.

Apparently, he is the heaviest contestant on the show, ever, by over 50 lbs.  At age 35, he weighed in at the start of the show at 462.

As I read this, and all I could say was - wow, good for him!!  He realized he needed to change his life.  That is really hard to do!

OK, fast forward. 

Although Ruben is busting it at the "ranch", losing 21 pounds at the first weigh in, apparently he can't catch a break.  (BTW, I hate the name "ranch" - what is this, a literal translation for fat farm?  Hahaha, good way to stick it to the fatties, Biggest Loser.  *sarcastic thigh slap*)

Why do I say Ruben can't catch a break?  Because after a particularly hard day of training, he stripped off his shirt and jumped into an ice bath to soothe his aching muscles... and lead trainer Jillian Michaels proceeded to bully him about his back hair.



This guy is doing his best to better himself.  He's admitted he's overweight.  He's busting it.  He's changing his lifestyle 180 degrees. 

He deserves a ton of positive re-enforcement for his hard work.

And you, Jillian Michaels, are going to make fun of his physical appearance?

The same Jillian Michaels, professional fitness trainer by trade, who recently failed to train herself properly for an entry level triathlon?  (If you want some lolz, btw, check out this post and watch the associated videos.)

You don't think Reuben has enough challenges to deal with right now, Jillian?  You have to point out one more thing to REALLY rub the salt in the wound?

To make matters worse, Ruben tried to be confident about himself by offering an AWESOME response: "Let me tell you something, baby. That's the real man in me," Ruben said. "You understand me?"

But apparently, Jillian did not understand. Instead, she continued to bully, calling Ruben's back hair "totally unacceptable".

I am so disgusted by Jillian's behavior I can't even stand it.

Even a previous contestant was quoted as responding to this situation by saying: "Jillian is a hater, I don't appreciate that. You know, I think everything about Ruben Studdard is sexy."

Props to that guy.

And shame on Jillian.

And you know what, Ruben?  Here's what I think.  The show is giving you workout clothes to wear each episode, right?  I'm sure they have logo'd shirts or branded product placements that ensure you never have to pay for your own stuff.

So, every time Jillian comes by now, I suggest you take advantage of all the free shirts, and pull a Hulker:

Really rub that hair in Jillian's face.  Be proud of who you are.  Don't drink the Jillian Michaels hater-aid.

And to the rest of you, my dedicated blog readers, don't drink the Biggest Loser Kool-Aid ... period.  Stop watching the show and start practicing healthy lifestyle habits on your own.


  1. Biggest Loser is a crappy show, and I am glad you are posting about it. It gives everyone unrealistic expectations of weight loss.
    I can't believe that Jillian could be so shallow, no, maybe I can. Even more reason to boycott the show!

    1. Sad, right? So glad to hear you agree. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I could not agree with you more! I have read way too many articles from past contestants talking about the cruelty of the show that they don't air for the public.

    It's gross.

  3. I understand not being a fan of the show (particularly in this case), but if it inspires people to try to lead a more healthy life, I can't argue with that.

    1. Normally, I'd agree with this train of thought because almost anything that gets people out and being healthy is A-OK with me. Almost.

      Unfortunately, I don't believe this show sets a healthy or achievable example, and thus encourages people to shoot for unrealistic or dangerous goals. And even if they achieve these dangerous goals short term, the long term effect could be devastating (as it will likely result in metabolic issues, regain, or even frustration/depression due to not achieving drastic results).

      As an example, I'd NEVER suggest someone try to lose more than 1-2 pounds per week. And yet, someone watching the show might think it is attainable to lose 5-8+, since the show leads with examples of 15-20 pounds lost at each weigh in. A loss of even 5 pounds is an elimination of 17,500 calories from your body (3500 calories per pound of fat x 5 pounds). For an average woman, who should be eating 1500 calories a day, 17,500 calories is 11 days worth of caloric intake. 11 days! To me, that's a HUGE red flag that reads DANGEROUS.

      And yet, the show pitches this as impressive and something to be celebrated. I simply cannot agree with that.

    2. I can see both sides of the argument. I've never watched the show, but I do see how it is inspiring. But I completely agree that losing weight that quickly is dangerous. I guess if they did it slowly then it wouldn't make for as good of television, which is unfortunate.

    3. Agreed! Too bad we can't learn from our across the pond neighbors. Their take on weight loss tv is much healthier, and really addresses the root of a person's weight issues (heavy or thin):

    4. They also have a great show about eating & health issues that applies to all body types, and aims to cure common health issues with improved eating habits, which is awesome:

  4. I have to admit that in the first few seasons I used to watch the show… I am not actually exactly sure why.
    One thing that I have often thought was ridiculous was when they started getting them to run a marathon near the end of their seasons.
    Forcing a 300+ lb individual (who wasn’t a runner before the show) to run a marathon in a few months time is so dangerous and stupid.
    Getting them to jog a 5K would be a cool goal that they should be applauded for, but I guess that wouldn’t make good TV.
    There was something intriguing about it, but I do totally agree with you about Jillian… she is a terrible trainer.
    I have trained and trained with competitors at all levels (up to the world class) and while it is important to push someone when they should be pushed… attempting to yell at, berate and make someone feel bad is awful training. It is that simple.
    You learn about the individuals personality and work with them to achieve their goals.
    If their goals are a stretch then you may have to work with them to ensure that they work hard, but attacking them emotionally is ridiculous.
    One thing I might say though is… in the very beginning of weight loss (especially when very heavy) it isn’t uncommon to lose 10+ lbs because much of it is water weight. You are right about a caloric deficit being necessary to achieve weight loss, but that doesn’t apply to the water that will be flushed when carb intake is reduced. It is weight loss, but not fat loss (although it is still a positive thing to reduce when you have to much of it).
    Yelling at him for an aspect of his appearance cannot be defended. I hope he gives it to her throughout the rest of the season.. although I won’t be watching it!
    Oh and it was sooooo entertaining to hear her crash and burn at the Triathlon! Normally I am not like this at all, but when you are that big of a jerk.. it is just too easy to enjoy that!


    1. Agree with all your comments!!

      RE: overweight and marathoning - so terribly painful for the body! Even when I started running 5Ks at 215 lbs, it was hard on my knees. I can't imagine doing a full marathon at 300+.

      RE: water weight - yes, not uncommon for such heavy individuals to lose higher pounds because of this, but I think even into later weeks of Biggest Loser the people are still posting phenomenal weight losses...? That's what is a red flag to me. 10 pounds in week 1 with 2 pounds each follow up week, ok. 10 pounds in week 1 with 10 pounds in each follow up week... not so good.

      RE: training to the individual and being positive - dead on! I teach group fitness (not a full on trainer) and I realize immediately when a new move isn't working... and change it! I don't berate my students for not getting it. Not only would I not have students the next week, but moreover, that's just mean. Plus, I'm a firm believer that fitness should be fun or eventually it will fall out of your daily routine.