By: Jania Matthews Date: 6/9/10
This is the time of year where television season finales are commonplace. While some shows I don’t fret if I miss, there’s one show’s finale that captured my undivided attention. This show is none other than the Biggest Loser.
My investment in the series started several months ago as I began watching the physical and emotional transformations of 22 people start to take shape. I even predicted which team would make it to the finale—with semi-accurate results. The journey of these contestants was nothing less than motivating and inspiring. All that was left was to anxiously await the finale.
I was among the millions of people who watched the finale. Week after week, intrigue set in as we watched the game play and said good-bye to contestants as they received their “walking papers.” Thus, 22 people dwindled down to an elite three, until only one remained. This season’s winner was the largest contestant in the history of the show, weighing in at 526 lbs. This contestant continued to make history by breaking a Biggest Loser record, loosing a whopping 264 lbs over the course of the show.
Looking back over this season and the many others that came before, I can’t help but wonder why excessive exercise is spotlighted as the integral method to dropping the weight. Without a doubt, nutrition plays a role in the weight-loss equation, but not much of that aspect is televised. What viewers do witness is hours upon hours of exercise and physical challenges that people of a normal weight may not embark. This also reinforces a mindset that exercise isn’t fun. Does the Biggest Loser techniques motivate you to exercise or does it reinforce a negative image of exercise?
In addition to the hours of physical activity, contestants endure motivation that is often in the form of yelling. One of the Biggest Loser’s trainers that viewers and contestants either love or hate is Jillian Michaels. Anyone seeking a compassionate and hand holding experience should not encounter Jillian’s training techniques. While she attempts to dissect the psychological and emotional barriers that have prohibited contestants from achieving weight-loss success, many think Jillian should stick to what she knows best—training and leave the rest to a different professional.
While I question if Jillian’s style of training would be effective for me, most viewers obviously enjoy it as she has a spin-off show that showcases her personal training methods including the yelling and yes, even bringing people to tears—one family at a time. In the end people don’t seem to mind the torment or anguish they endured to reach their goals, they simply take pleasure in the fact that the goal was reached.
Bottom line, the Biggest Loser makes for good television. I would liken the show to a roller coaster with ups, downs, twists, and turns. I, like many others enjoy watching the physical transformations that many wouldn’t believe took place over the course of only four short months. Perhaps next season the producers of the show will provide a more balanced perspective of the contestants’ nutritional habits in addition to the exercise. Although that maybe wishful thinking. After all, the two go hand in hand. Still, I will eagerly wait for the next season to begin and witness new makeovers and see what new weight-loss records will be broken.
Do you find the show motivating or unrealistic based on the number of hours contestants spend in the gym?