I admit it: I watch The Biggest Loser. It's a terrible show. At its heart, it means well. Actually, the more I think about it, it doesn't. Its goal is for really obese people to lose weight. Good! This needs to happen in epic proportions here in the US. Unfortunately it's like every other reality show in that it kicks someone off every week, even before they're ready to do it on their own. Not great. 

But we really know what the show is, right? (shh....it's a 2 hour commercial disguised as an inspirational weight loss program) I didn't watch the first few seasons, but I'd like to imagine a time when trainers recommended whole foods and a healthy lifestyle with less stress. Not anymore. This show is full of product placement. I hope the contestants get paid for all the advertising they do. If they don't, they should start a union.

A few weeks back, I realized that The Biggest Loser could never hire a Crossfit coach to whip their contestants into shape. A Crossfit coach would never say, "Wow, you've had a tough workout! You should replenish those calories with this yogurt whose second ingredient is High Fructose Corn Syrup" or "That was a tough workout! Why don't you chew this gum so you don't feel so hungry!"

I've seen a couple articles today about healthy eating and fitness, one in which addressed Bob Harper personally. My favorite quote comes from Rob Wolff, who speaks the Paleo gospel.
"Does anyone remember the product for which Wilford Brimley was the spokesperson years ago? Right, Quaker Oats. Does anyone know what Wilford Brimley now promotes? Diabetes testing supplies."
The Biggest Loser is all about promoting products: water filters, storage supplies, processed foods, their own fitness line. They really have an empire now! I just tried searching for nutritional information on their own food line, but got incredibly frustrated and I have things to do today. In other words - I have no idea what goes into their products. But they are making a lot of money. My hope is that they're not pumping their consumers full of more sugar, which leads to more sugar, which leads to...

I came across another blog post today that talks about the C word - Cardio. I used to do a lot of Cardio too. Now I can't say the word without laughing. Women's magazines are terribly misleading in regards to weight loss. Do more cardio - lose more weight! Do "strength" training twice a week! (with what, 8 pound weights?) This blog post isn't perfect, but it does address a lot of the misconceptions women have, i.e., more cardio will help you lose weight. You need to lift weights to lose weight! It's that simple! It's scary but it has to be done! 

I know I've become a snob since joining Crossfit. I know I try to push it on people. Why? It works! I see it every day. I've seen it in myself and everyone around me. I used to be that person reading a magazine on an elliptical machine, just an endless cycle of magazines and ellipticals and wearing the same pants size for years. It doesn't have to be that way. 


Monica said...

No, since I've joined Crossfit and seen the results, I'm amazed at how people can hang on to these ideas that don't work. Especially HFCS: there is simply far too much evidence of the damage it does. But ditto for diets and exercise that aren't very effective.

I'm not a consumer type: I'm hard to market to and rarely buy something based on brand identity. But I feel sad for the people who will buy anything in desperation.

Reality TV is a basic evil of society, as are brands based on popular culture :(

Carey G said...

I'm not up for something as hardcore as crossfit. I know this. But I do have to say that I've been losing weight a little bit at a time with Weight Watchers and simply making better, smarter choices for myself. I've lost 17 pounds since September - slow, I know, but it keeps coming off. Maybe one day I'll get up to crossfit.

April said...

Robin, Jason & I are sooo addicted to that show! It's so inspirational to watch/hear them break through their mental barriers. The two of us seriously fight back tears every episode, and sometimes aren't too successful... Ha!

It really is sad when they kick people off. I can see how it motivates them to work harder while they're there, but so far this season I've always been disappointed when they show the eliminated people after a few months of going it on their own. You're right about kicking people off too early.

The product placement is painfully cheesy/awkward, & I'm pretty shocked at some of the sugary stuff the promote. Yuck.

Happy to find that you're a blogger like myself! Looking forward to reading along : )