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okay, that was good..

Thursday, January 31, 2013

So I set my mind to get it right yesterday, and for the first time in a long time, I can honestly say I accomplished that goal. I ate very well, I got in a little exercise..

So today, I set out to do the same, and so far am on track. I got in 20 minutes of cardio this morning at a higher level on the exercise bike than I've done for a while, I did a Coach Nicole lower body workout, I did my stretches. And, as per usual, my eating right now is on track (truth be told, my eating is always on track during the day on weekdays..it's nighttime and weekend days that things get more difficult for me. But last night, for a welcome change, I did okay.

So I was reading my friend DETERMINEDJANET's blog and she had a picture of Bob Harper from The Biggest Loser in it. And that got me to thinking about the phenomenon that is TBL.

I have to admit, before this particular "season," I have not ever sat and watched TBL before, but for the past couple of weeks, I have a bit. And sitting and watching it has not in the least changed my mind about the fact that I don't really agree with the concept, because it is so un-real in terms of what life is really like, about how most of us don't have the luxury of being able to leave our real lives behind while we try to get a handle on this beast called unhealthy eating and living. But that said, I can see the inspirational value.

One thing I must say is that I really like Bob Harper. I think I would respond to him as a trainer. I would not respond at all to Jillian screaming in my face, which is what has turned me off the few times in the past I've glanced at the show. I think the kinder, gentler Jillian is preferable. Not to say there aren't people, myself included, who don't occasionally need a swift kick in the pants, but the in your face stuff just doesn't do it for me.

I am in awe of these folks who put themselves out there, both physically and emotionally, for the rest of us to gawk at. But while I'm gawking, I have to admit to feeling somewhat guilty at what I perceive to be their exploitation. Imagine dangling the possibility of the realization of your dream out there.. I mean really, who among us that has the equivalent of a person to lose hasn't dreamed of succeeding? And to have that dangled, well, let's face it, you can't help but think about it, because if you end up there, at the ranch, with none of life's distractions in your way, and the best of the best of nutritionists, trainers, medical supervision..it's a trade off that any one of us would at least consider. Allow yourself to be exposed at your worst, to get to your best. And just maybe, you might win a substantial amount of money if you get really lucky.

But is it really necessary to show the men shirtless and the women skimpy tops for the weigh ins? Is it really necessary for us to watch them vomit when they collapse in the middle of a workout? Is it really necessary for us to see them breakdown emotionally to the point of hysteria in some instances? I know this is, first and foremost, entertainment. But it is entertainment at the expense of folks who are desperate to succeed, so desperate that they are willing to make that trade off.

What does it say about our society that this is how we are entertained? I mean, this is a popular show. I understand its inspirational value, I really do get it, but would we not be equally inspired to see them succeed without what I have come to call the "freak show" elements?

Just food for thought. And I am not judging these folks in any way. And I recognize that the "freak show" elements are all part of real life, I've been there, I really have. And maybe I am just a more private person than that, because I would never make the trade off that these folks are. But maybe I just don't feel as desperate as they do, and that's why making the trade off seems so unacceptable to me.

I really am curious about how others feel about this. And please understand, I am not picking a fight with anyone here. It has just long been something that I have found fascinating, and find more fascinating now that I actually have watched the show a bit more.

To bring this all full circle, I guess I should reference my blog from yesterday, in which I talked about a story I read about an SP member named Joyce who is 60 years old and lost 60 lbs. And she did it very sensibly. Some ST daily, some weekly cardio, some yoga, and by bringing her eating to normal levels. So when I look at these extremes.. I just think that the "Joyce" way is so much more preferable to the TBL way..

What do you think?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I am not a fan of the show either. Really there is nothing about it that attracts me at all. I would rather watch infomercials where they show before and afters!
    2863 days ago
  • TINATC26
    Well, I do think that the contestants do learn while there, and I do believe that at least some of them keep the weight off. And let's face it, even using a great program like SP some folks lose weight using a more realistic program and then gain it back eventually. And like Kellie said, they even show some of them who are "voted off" early who go home and take what they've learned with them and continue to lose, at home and on their own. To me it's more what they show during the shows..the literal blood, sweat and tears..not that I don't admire their willingness to do the work, and it is inspiring to see them do the work, just not sure we need to see them vomit while doing the work, or need to see these 400 lb men weigh in with no shirt, or 300 lb women weigh in wearing a sports bra and spandex shorts. It feels so freak show-ish to me.
    2863 days ago
    I've never seen it - but I admit, it's not something I'd seek out to watch, either. I agree with you about the way the concept seems to present everything BUT reality. Do the people who enter the competition (presumably who appear on the show) eventually learn better habits and maintain a healthy lifestyle? Or do they learn all they need is a crash-diet and military-style exercise?

    I wonder...
    2863 days ago
    TBL is so far from realistic I don't know why they call it a reality show. Have they shown any people who have lost weight and kept it off in the long term? One year, two years, three years etc.?

    How can anyone do 24/7 of having someone cook your meals for you and make sure you are doing the exercises? Oprah is a good example of how you can do the above, but if you don't continue long term it just doesn't work.

    This is why I love SparkPeople. It walks you through things in small steps. They are different teams that cover all weight issues.

    2863 days ago
    I agree with Kellie.
    2863 days ago
    I love the show, but I do agree with you about how they portray a lot of it. I can do without the screaming and the vomiting and the "extremeness" of it all, but I do love seeing the transformations as the season goes along. Not just the ones that are on the ranch longer, but the ones who go home. Seeing how they do after they go home is the motivating part of it. Plus, this season I love that they are working with kids.
    2863 days ago
    I'm am sooo NOT into someone SCREAMING emoticon in my face, T!! I don't watch TBL. Like you said, it's too unrealistic and not to mention the DRAMA episodes or the show's HUMILIATION of stripping those people down!! I didn't have to have anyone SCREAM at me to have *fun* when I was a kid and I don't think I need that now... I'm just not into all that sadistic and masochistic junk. emoticon I've got better things to LOOK at than the tired tortured faces of men and women dripping all over in all their sweat and tears cause I've got enough of that right *here* on SP with my real friends- FRIENDS going after their real dreams and goals, right *here* and I don't know... for me it's MORE personal and W...A...Y... much MORE rewarding for *me* to WATCH *you* on your journey, T, than all that hyped up FAKE stuff they're feeding their watchers. I ***love*** seeing my friends make 'it' WHATEVER their dreams... WHATEVER their goals.
    2863 days ago
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