Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Biggest loser - not?
Again we return to the controversial TV show everyone hates to watch. That's because Eric Chopin, one of the winners of the "Biggest Loser" who lost the most amount of weight, appeared on the Oprah show yesterday.Oprah had invited him a few months ago to one of her "amazing weight loss shows" to tell his weight loss story. But he declined the offer, saying he couldn't get off from work.
"I lied about that" he told Oprah yesterday. The truth was Eric Chopin has regained 107 lbs of the 214 lbs he initially lost. He said he decided to reveal the truth to his fans after Oprah's courageous move of revealing her 40 lb weight gain (which she has exploited in her "O" magazine as well as the last two weeks of her show and I guess plans webcasts as well - leave it to Oprah to dis-arm the tabloids while upping the ratings of her show... no wonder she's one of the richest people in the country - she's very clever to say the least!)
How did Eric gain the weight? Well, he didn't really know - it just crept up on him, he said. Perhaps the fact that he wasn't working out 5 hours a day like he was on the "Biggest Loser" ranch, helped.
In an earlier interview which I did blog about, I said Eric looked like he had gained some and then, he told the interviewer that when he was on "The Biggest Loser" that WAS his job but once he got back into the REAL world, he didn't have the time or energy to exercise all those hours a day.
On Oprah, Eric looked ashamed of himself, the old "I did this to myself" and Oprah, now the world's most renown expert on "falling off the wagon" consoled him that 2009 would be a better year and she said it shouldn't be about the number on the scale (which is a laugh because of course, that's ALL what it's about).
But should Eric or any of the "Biggest losers" who were unable to maintain the loss really be blamed? It's quite possible that the only thing "they did to themselves" was offer themselves up to be on the show.
Perhaps everyone should take a second look at the methods used in the "Biggest Loser" show. The people do back breaking workouts for several hours a day, and they also cut the calories (they wear counters which log their steps - these are uploaded into the computer and then, they have to log their food).
Eric told Oprah that he hating working out but he was athletic in High School. Oprah has always hated working out so she commiserated there. "Does anyone LIKE working out?" she asked, grimacing and the audience laughed.
But I have often wondered if those personal trainers on the "Biggest Loser" by putting these people through such pain (in order to win the show) have turned these people AGAINST working out for life... Workouts became for them, nothing BUT pain (the latest "biggest loser", a 30 some year old, told "The Today Show" that just before she won the show, she had packed all her bags to go home because she couldn't take it any longer and her young body hurt all over). But workouts shouldn't BE pain... aerobic workouts are supposed to be pleasant and can be fun. In the normal schema, workouts are NOT for "losing weight" but for health and as an aging person, I can attest to the fact that my hubby and my workout habits HAVE kept us healthier despite some health issues we have.
Eric told Oprah that people had warned him that keeping the weight off is the hardest part. He said he had scoffed at the warnings saying "you ever lose 214 lbs in 6 months?" but added that he found out those who had warned him were right.
After mistreating his body as the show did, it's not surprising that he regained but I don't feel HE should be blamed but rather the show. And yet, people keep lining up to BE on the show and they talk about "saving their lives".
Killing their metabolisms and working out for 5 hours a day doesn't sound life saving to me. On the contrary.
In the Game show hearings (the $64,000 question show in which contestants were given the answers), in defense, the TV exec told the Congress members that he didn't see what the problem was. "People won money, contestants had fun and the audience was entertained - everyone won!" Few seemed to realize the deceit involved could become a slippery slope into shows in which really nobody won and people COULD be hurt.
Perhaps we have arrived there with shows which exploit human beings.