Thursday, September 23, 2010

Biggest Loser is Back! (Rampant Ranting)

JB and I loooooooove Biggest Loser. With him being a fitness professional and me having a newfound interest in fitness and nutrition in recent years, this is like porn for us. Last night I noticed something different though. I used to have so much sympathy for these people, but last night while watching Tuesday nights premiere, I was getting angry.

The first thing I got angry about was the ages of most of these contestants. The fact that 22-27 year olds are that big makes me mad. It makes me mad at their parents for killing them (knowingly or not) from birth to age 18 and it makes me mad at them for not breaking the cycle once they are old enough to make their own choices. It makes me mad at the food industry for promoting foods that are toxic and poisonous. But nothing pissed me off more than the guy who takes 8 different pills for diabetes and shoots himself full of insulin before a meal and then eats a FUCKING PIZZA!!!! I don't know that I cuss on here often because I like to keep this open to all ages, but that's how mad I am about this.

I say to JB, "I know that we are not overweight, but we hear what poeple say and read the information for ourselves that this stuff is killing us. And yes, processed cheese foods, fried foods, and other high fat/high carb/high calorie foods are gawd damn delicious. But we make the choice, as hard as it may be, to avoid those foods most of the time. We haven't seen the effects (aside from a couple of lbs here and there) that these foods can actually have, we have only read about them, and we still make the choices to avoid them. These people choose to kill themselves on a daily basis. I just don't understand."

He reminded me that it's easier for us because we have seen the rewards that these choices can offer. We also believe in ourselves and know that if we set a goal, whether it be muscle gain or weight loss, we can most likely acheive it. We have people around us that believe in us; support systems.

I get that, and that's great for us, but I call bullshit.

YOU are the only one that can make a choice to do something or stop doing something. YOU make the choice to say "I've been good all day, I can stuff my face at dinner." or "Just one twinkie/hostess/ding dong/bag of doritos/plate of orange chicken won't kill me." What's one more? YOU are the only one that can ultimately stop the cycle. We justify our decisions to make ourselves feel better about making what are ultimately bad choices. And they aren't bad because I am judging you for them, they are bad because they are killing you! Whether anyone else thinks you are doing the wrong thing or not, YOU are the one that is going to pay for it.

I honestly don't understand how people can see something truly work for someone and say, "that will never work for me." Why not? How often have you heard someone say "Eat right and exercise. That's all you have to do." and then think , well, I tried that and look where it got me. It doesn't happen overnight. There are no pills, superfoods, special concoctions, magic potions or apparatuses that are going to make anything happen in a few days or weeks. It takes a few months to see major changes and this stupid society that is built on instant gratification never sticks around long enough to see the results. They just give up and go back to McDonald's for another cheeseburger, large fries and DIET coke.

People that are as big as the contestants on TBL think that they need this miracle because they could never do it on their own. But doing it the way they do it isn't all that healthy either. It's a good start, a good foundation. Learning about nutrition and exercise is a great start, but most of these people are so emotionally damaged that they also need psychological help to work through all that so they don't go home and eat their feelings (said in the nicest way possible). I like that they had past contestants help with the visits to the different cities, but not all of the past contestants have been able to maintain the weight they went home with, because they don't have the complete package. And ultimately when they get home and there isn't someone there stocking their pantry and fridge with the good foods and screaming at them in the gym for 8 hours every day, it's not as convenient anymore. My friend's blog touches on self-motivation a bit here.

Some of you might be thinking, this skinny bitch has no idea what she is talking about. Or maybe you think I have something against people that are overweight and think they are all lazy or stupid or something. I can tell you, that is not the case. Everything I have written about above, I have done (okay, I have never been morbidly obese). I used to come home from high school after not having eaten all day and eat 20 pizza rolls in one sitting. Or maybe a can of spaghetti o's and a bag of cheese puffs (NOM). Some Tostitos and queso, that's a meal, right? In the summer I would walk to the nearby McDonald's with my $3.22 and get a #2 (2 cheeseburgers, medium fry, coke) and stuff my face with it before I walked home. Breakfasts consisted of pop tarts and sugary cereals. Delicious, right?

My generation is the original processed generation. Less parenting, more food in cans and boxes, TV dinners. Once I stopped being an active kid/teenager, and had my own paycheck to buy my own insert name of major/minor fast food chain here I did for pretty much every meal. I gained the freshman 15, and dating someone at the time who couldn't gain weight if he tried made me eat worse and feel fatter than I probably looked. I can't say I have a healthy body image even to this day.

But one day, about three years ago, I saw a picture of myself that made me realize that I needed to be healthy. I thought I was doing the right things. I would go to the gym here or there, have a salad when I ate out, some of the things people who are trying to "change their lifestyle" instead of diet, do. I bought a training package, and a couple of books, and I got to work. Most of the books out there are still marketed towards those folks looking for instant gratification, but the one I found actually had great information in it. Not only about what I should be eating, but what those other foods I should be staying away from were actually doing to my body. Knowing these things made my choices easier. It took a while, but I started to notice a change in my body. I thought I had made a lot of progress, and maybe I had, but I still didn't like the way I looked in pictures. So I kept going.

I had to realize that eating out is not going to get me where I want to be. Even if you think you are making a good choice, you can make a better one at home and actually know what you are eating. Alcohol has to go. When you realize how many calories are in a beer or a glass of wine it makes it easier to say "why would I want to have 3 of those? That's an hour of cardio." It's not forever, it's just what you need to realize to attain the goals you have. I'm not saying it's easy to make these choices or that I enjoy going to the gym every day (some days, but not every day). But I also know that I used to be a person that didn't think I could do it. I failed PE in high school because I hated running, for crying out loud. Eventually (2 years later), I got there. And it's a struggle to stay there if you don't have a good foundation.

Educate yourself about the choices you make when you put things in your body. It definitely might change the way you eat without a ton of effort. You just might start to notice a difference. And that might motivate you even more. Change the cycle from a vicious one to a healthy one and out The Biggest Loser out of business.


Jamie Pickle said...

I agree with many of your statements. The only thing I must say is that SOME people truly do have an unhealthy relationship with food and it could be considered a disease just like alcoholism, etc. I know that in my situation, I was just too lazy to cook my own meals or to workout, which got me no where fast. I am happier and working on being healthier just having started my new "lifestyle" of working out and making smarter food choices. What book did you read that you liked? I am interested since I have the workout portion down, I really need to work on my eating!! I love The Biggest Loser also, but still haven't seen a season from start to finish.

Just BE said...

I kick myself everyday for thinking I was fat as a child. Having all my skinny friends around, though (you, Kim, Sara, etc) didn't help I'm sure but I would kill to have that body back! I completely agree with you. I had the same thought when I heard the contestants say "I need this; I can't do it on my own." Lame. I battle with my dad (who is now diabetic) over this constantly because it IS a choice. Yes, genetics are an issue for some, but it simply becomes an obstacle, not a road block. I am a lot more overweight than I'd like to be. My post-divorce, post-4-kids body has definitely caught up with my grab-the-quickest-thing-i-can lifestyle, and I take full responsibity for that. I am, however, doing what I can at this point considering I just had my 4th c-section and I'm still nursing my little man. It absolutely is about life choices; the whole wheat toast or the donut, the starbucks or the fresh squeezed oj. Loved this post. Saved me from having to do it myself! I'd like to check out that book also! Miss you, ttys!

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