“You only lost 5 pounds?”
So, well I got a ton of sweet, encouraging comments about my last post…I also got 2 snarky ones. One person said “5 pounds? I wouldn’t be celebrating 5 pounds Sam – you still have over 200 pounds to lose.” and the other said “You only lost 5 pounds? On “Biggest Loser” they lose like 20 or 30 pounds in their first week…maybe you need to try harder?”.
So, I’d like to address these – since they both bothered me so.
I will admit, I am a reality show junky. I don’t like the singing or the “Survivor” style ones, but I do love the fashion/food/weight-loss ones. “Project Runway”, “Next Food Network Star”, “Top Chef” and “Biggest Loser” are all frequently recorded shows on my DVR. However, while I watch these shows, I keep one thing in mind: *this is a GAME*. These people are competing for a prize.
Now, on “Biggest Loser” they live on a ranch – secluded from temptations and the real world. They are competing for $250,000 and of course, new healthy lives. They do not work. They do not have friends or family around. They don’t have access to the Internet, TV or magazines. They can’t even call home to chat. They live in a bubble. In this bubble they focus on healthy eating and exercise. They have access to ONLY organic, fresh food (which they prepare) and a 24×7 gym which they exercise in 6-7 hours everyday. Yup, you read that correctly- SIX to SEVEN hours EVERY DAY. Their full-time job is to lose weight.
My life is a little different. 🙂 I have a full-time job, which comes w/ being on call once a month and I happen to currently be on call. So sometimes even when I’m “home”….I’m still at work. I have a close-knit family, I have a huge group of friends and dammit, I like to socialize!
So, the BL cast and I lead different lives. Additionally, they started from eating 4000 calories a day, drinking nothing but soda and junk, never moving from the couch….yadda yadda. My starting point was a little different. I don’t drink soda. Pre-blogging I was eating about 2500 calories a day. Not 4,000. Oh, and I certainly had tried dieting several times in the past. A lot of the time the success story of BL is the guy who weighs 450 pounds and had never tried dieting before. In season 3 his name was Erik Chopin….and he lost 214 pounds and won. He was amazing. But, after getting home, his weight crept back on slowly….until he got to the point where he gained nearly ALL of his weight back. See the article here. The transition from being on a reality show to living in the real world is not as easy to maintain as it looks. I watched a TLC special about him and he said flat out that he came home and rested on his laurels while enjoying all these treats he was deprived of on the ranch.
While you do lose insane amounts of weight on BL – you don’t learn how to cope with the challenges of the real world. You don’t learn how to keep the weight off when you stop exercising 7 hours a day and have to go back to working full time. So, in my mind I’m doing this the right way. I am maintaining my job, my friends and my LIFE while losing weight. I won’t lose 20 or 30 pounds a week …. but I will keep it off long term – and that’s WAY more important to me.
So, perhaps my first week was not the success you were expecting from me. But, I’m not going to apologize for that. My first week was exactly what I was hoping to achieve. I lost 5 pounds, I exercised, I Incorporated fruits and veggies back into my life and I *felt* better. I hope that clears up the differences in real-life weight-loss and TV weight-loss, but if you want to chat about it more – feel free to email me! she is sparkling at gmail dot com. I’m always up for a good discussion.