Several months ago I felt hopeless about my weight and thought that the only thing that would help would be to audition for the TV show "The Biggest Loser". This would kill two birds with one stone, I thought...get back to my skinny self (who has been hiding under a layer of blubber for 20 odd years) AND bring in some money (since the contestants get paid $750/week and the winner gets $250,000). Wow! I could pay off the house, buy new clothes, get a fresh start....
They weren't casting at the time, but I registered my email address.
A few days ago, I received an email that BL will be auditioning contestants in my area next week. I was so excited, especially since they are coming to a suburb about 1/2 hour away from me...the same suburb where I attended high school! I wouldn't have to battle Chicago traffic. It seemed like a sign.
The only problem is that I have been doing pretty well on Weight Watchers. Should I stop the first program that has actually been working for me in order to try The Biggest Loser? Hmmm....what to do? What to do?
I definitely meet the requirements for a cast member of BL, since I have more than 85 pounds to lose. I definitely need the money, since I STILL haven't found a teaching job (sigh). And, oh being able to lose all this weight in just 4 or 5 short months rather than the two years it would take with WW is oh, so tempting! I would be able to travel to Los Angeles. Another plus would be the exposure and rewards from winning...tv appearances and endorsements, prizes from winning weekly contests, a makeover and new clothes, etc. Of course, I would have to leave my dog for a few months, and former boyfriends from my thin days would see how I've let myself go, which is humiliating....(seriously, this is how I think!) And what if I failed before millions of people?
I almost filled out the application. Almost. I agonized over it for two whole days and solicited advice from family members. Everyone said "Go for it!" except my son, who wisely told me I would cry too much
Unable to make a decision, I began to research BL on the internet. I knew right then that it wasn't for me. Most of the previous contestants have gained back at least 20% of the weight they lost on the show. Some have gained back all the weight. Former contestants described how they were urinating blood from dehydration and vomiting on the treadmills. Apparently, dehydrating oneself before weigh in is routine, and contestants run in as many clothes as possible after the cameras are turned off to sweat out the water in their bodies. Doesn't sound like fun.
Even more alarming, many doctors have raised concerns about the long-term effects of the severe calorie restriction and extreme exercise used on BL. The history of the show has a couple of contestants being airlifted to hospitals, unable to walk because of shin injuries, and collapsing on a treadmill and requiring an ambulance. I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound very healthy to me. The deciding factor for me was when I read a quote from a cardiologist who said he is just waiting for someone to have a heart attack on the show because losing more than 2 lbs per week weakens the muscles of the heart.
I'm trying to lose weight for a lot of reasons, but a couple of the key ones are so that I can be around to watch my daughter walk down the aisle and rock my grandchildren. Coming from a family with a genetic history of heart attacks, why would I risk my heart health just to lose weight more quickly?
So you won't be seeing me on The Biggest Loser. You will be seeing me in the garden digging, at the pool swimming, and in the neighborhood riding my bike. You will also see me sitting at Weight Watchers meetings and on the computer tracking my points.
I guess I am NOT the Biggest Loser.