Tuesday, November 23, 2010
The road to hell is paved with good intentions
I watch the biggest loser every week and I am a fan of the show as it really is great to see others go through the journey I went through. But sometimes despite all the good they do and the people they inspire I think sometimes the show can be just as harmful as helpful. They don't let on that %50 of the contestants gain the weight back the moment they get home and they seem to gloss over the fact that they have created the perfect bubble of conditions for the contestants to lose weight in. They remove all distractions work, family, friends, social lives and put them in the perfect situation with a gym on site and 8 hours of workouts every day, a perfectly stocked kitchen and all the trainers and medical staff one could hope for. Honestly if you couldn't lose weight in this bubble they create then you will never lose weight but by not showing this they give false hope sometimes to people who don't realize all the hard work that needs to be done to achieve that kind of success.
Once home the contestants find the conditions less than ideal and once more fall into bad habits and I think some of that is instilled by the Biggest Loser and their trainers. They try and pound in to the contestants that you have to be perfect %100 of the time, that you can't eat out without special ordering or that you have to pre-pack and pre-prepare every meal you are going to eat and that is a bad way of thinking. That is a very slippery slope to be on because once you slip and your no longer perfect its easy to abandon everything you learned because gone is that perfection they tried to instill in you. When there is nothing but success or failure and only perfection then once you lose that perfection you have failed and those contestants will abandon everything they learned because the Biggest Loser has made it so black and white and not allowed for any shades of gray.
All this was brought to a forefront tonight when Bob Harper via his facebook page challenged everyone to have a sugar free Thanksgiving. I can't but be flabbergasted by what he was thinking in issuing such a challenge. I know he means well but I think honestly what he is asking is a good intention that just leads to hell. If you can't have a piece of pie on Thanksgiving when can you have a piece of pie and by denying yourself something you might want how long is it tell you will crave that thing even more. Losing weight and maintaining weight isn't about perfection it is about balance and if you can never ever have a piece of pie again that isn't balance that is a disaster in waiting.
I barely dieted yet despite that I still lost 177 pounds in less than two years, and not because I was perfect but because I found balance. I balance my workouts with the calories I consume and took the time and effort to find that balance. Are there days that I don't want to run or go to the gym, you bet your ass, and are there days when I skip the gym or a workout, hell yes. But by not always having to be perfect I am able to find balance in my life and it has let me lose the weight and keep it off and has made it so I have no fear of ever gaining it back. I won't be going to the gym on Thursday and I will be eating pie but am I worried about gaining all that weight back, no because Rome wasn't built in a day nor was my weight loss achieved in a day. I will be back on the road running Friday or back in the gym but come Thursday I don't need to worry about all that and that is why what I have done worked and will continue to work.
Shame on your Bob Harper, despite all that you have done and all those that you have inspired you need to realize sometimes asking for such perfection can be just as harmful and counter productive as all the good you have done.