Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rock Bottom

I will admit that I watch "The Biggest Loser" I am not a die-hard fan, but have watched on occasion and am trying to keep up with this season. The one question that always comes to mind when I'm watching the show is, "How do you get to be 500 pounds?" Actually, this year, it's 400 pounds because that's the weight of their heaviest contestant.

It's not that I can't understand that the contestants ate more than they were burning and that caused them to store the extra calories as fat. I get the science of it. I even understand the emotional aspect of weight gain. I've done it. I have eaten for emotional comfort and eaten more than I needed for fuel. What I don't get is the difference in the rock bottom line. How is it that when I hit 150+, I start to get worried and start busting my butt to get back down to at least 140, but these people go to almost triple that before they realize they HAVE to do something?

I know that my personal weight window is very small, about 25 pounds, and probably much smaller than most other people's. I wish I could understand how someone else's window is 200-300 pounds. One season they had a contestant who was so overweight that it caused him to get a leg ulcer. He had dealt with the ulcer for a while, because they're really hard to get to heal, but he hadn't lost any weight during that time.

I see that they get caught in a vicious cycle and can't see or find a way out. They are overweight and unhealthy, so moving is difficult, which hinders weight loss. This cycle is continued and exacerbated with emotional eating. What I wish the show had, or at least televised, was some psychological counseling to go along with the medical advice and fitness training they receive. If a person doesn't understand the underlying emotional reasons they became sedentary and overweight, they will have a hard time staying out of that cycle again.

I also think that spending some air time on the emotional aspects of obesity would help their viewers more. I think it would help people like me understand more and it may help people at home who are 300+ pounds connect better and maybe start the weight-loss journey at home.

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