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I could have been a contender

Sunday, July 14, 2013

I had never watched the Biggest Loser until this week. But I forgot to cancel my Hulu Plus subscription (the one I started for "free" six weeks ago) and I needed something to take my mind off a conflict I was having at home and I decided to try season 1. I guess one really good thing was seeing how manipulative people can be, helped me examine my attitude and make sure I wasn't taking offense at someone else's injury. That week 2 plateau was really something. I wonder if they were just not eating enough in some of the cases.

I've always remembered what my brother who is a trainer said, about how that show demonstrated that almost anyone can lose a significant amount of weight. It used to be assumed that a large proportion of obese people had a physiologic issue of one kind or another that would block them. I mean, motivation and attitude can be physiologic issues. Though the strange thing is a lot of people feel like being on the show itself is the magic. I guess since they don't really show you what they learn about nutrition and fitness enough to know there isn't some magic to living at the ranch, though there were people who were only there a few weeks did better than those who were there 12.

I sometimes feel like I haven't lost that much weight. Like Gary said at the run where they had to strap on the weight they'd lost, it wasn't real to him. He still felt in many ways like he hadn't changed, even though he could see it and the replaced weight was quite a burden. I always assumed the numbers on the biggest loser must be way better than mine, but with a 25.9% weight loss I did pretty well. With an estimated fat loss* of 34.1%, I could have won Season 1. Of course, this reflects 19 months plus 3 months before I was pregnant. I think I will watch enough to see what strides they have made with tracking and stuff.

I mean, I think not only can you lose fat preferentially if you take longer at a smaller calorie differential, I was able to have carbs and fat in my diet thereby sparing my protein both in my body and from the food I was eating. So maybe it's not too farfetched. And that lean mass is really key to long term maintenance. I saw some of the people whose total weight lost far outstripped their bodyfat lost, and their metabolisms are just going to spiral down. So I actually think this yielded something of value for me that I hadn't thought of in quite that way before.

*I assume they subtracted the ending bodyfat from the starting bodyfat, then divided that by the starting bodyfat. The assumption is if I was 34% bodyfat at 212. 34% was my measure based on a caliper measure when I was at my halfway point. I just threw lean mass into my spreadsheet, and it seems improbable that my lean mass could have been than high when I started, so my % bodyfat could have been higher.

P.S. So I guess the question is how much I want to rely on cardio. One thing watching this show has made me realize is how easy it is to rack up 10,000 steps a day watching TV on the treadmill. But I don't know if that's really enough cardio to endanger my muscle gain. I'm walking, not running. Besides, Jillian Michaels hates running. Not that she's my new role model, I just sometimes get this feeling that everyone who cares about their body runs.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Your awesome. I'm so happy for you on all you have accomplished.
    1772 days ago
  • KANOE10
    I am a walker not a runner. I enjoy it. That show should have a maintenance followup..how many people regain that weight back?
    1774 days ago
    You've done SUCH a good job. Congratulations!
    1775 days ago
    Every time I watch that show, I feel like I shouldn't just be sitting. It's very inspiring.
    1776 days ago
    It's not educational, but I think it still demonstrates some things And it caused me to analyze my own number in a different way that I found informative. But I was frustrated that they don't even tell us how tall the contestants are. I actually wish that metric was built into sparkpeople.
    1776 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/14/2013 11:18:08 AM
  • HONEYCAT22000
    I do like the show. The drama can be a lot to take, though. When I watched the first few seasons, I would sit on the couch, munching junk food, thinking "this is so motivational, I should get off the couch." Then, last year I when I changed my life, I would watch it while on the treadmill. I didn't feel bad watching it anymore. I was also doing something! In a strange way, it was inspirational to watch people trying to change their lives, too.
    1776 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/14/2013 11:11:37 AM
  • NEEDBU66
    emoticon . The thing about those kind of shows is that they're trying to create some drama so as to maintain a viewership. I'm glad you can look beyond all that hype.
    1776 days ago
    I've never been a fan of The Biggest Loser because it doesn't reflect the challenge of losing and then maintaining weight while living real life, and, as you pointed out, the loss is too fast and not safe IMHO. I think about those people with the luxury of concentrating solely on themselves, with their nutrition decisions and fitness regimen decided for them. All they have to do is show up and do what they're told. Hard work, yes, but real? No.

    YOU, on the other hand, faced the biggest challenge: yourself. YOU had to make the food decisions. YOU had to motivate yourself to work out when you didn't want to. YOU had to keep going in real life with temptations abounding and make better choices even when there wasn't a camera focused on you. And YOU did it!

    As for walking vs. running, I would like to run, but the knees say walking is better for me. You're right that it's harder to get the heart rate up walking, but I also add the elliptical and have been trying a spinning class (not my favorite) to really get the sweat dripping. In the meantime, I do love walking, and it does wonders for my mental well being as well as my physical.
    1776 days ago
    That show is primarily entertainment, not educational. It is no more realistic than expecting my kitchen renovation to be done in the one week they take on TV.
    1776 days ago
  • _LINDA
    Slow and steady wins the race. Studies show when people lose weight rapidly, they tend to regain it back and then some later. It will be interesting to see where all the contestants ended up long after the show is over and they no longer had the guidance of personal trainers, nutrition and cooking experts to help guide them.
    60 min of moderate cardio and strength training 3 times a week is what is recommended.
    People really get into running because they read how great a weight loss and maintenance tool it is. Then find they enjoy the thrill of pushing their bodies and competing in races. The endorphin rush of accomplishing something physical. Also the zen feeling of being at one with your body and enjoying running in beautiful places and trails. I can't run because of bad joints, but it did not hamper my weight loss and now two years plus of maintenance.
    Keep up the great work -your way- you have done well!
    1776 days ago
    The show, I think is unrealistic.
    1776 days ago
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