I watch a lot of weight-loss shows. Despite knowing how unrealistic it is I still watch Biggest Loser and Extreme Makeover etc. religiously. I’m a sucker for transformation stories. I’m a sucker for watching people change their lives. However, there is an alarming trend amongst weight loss success stories that I am fucking sick of – and I need to rant about!
92% of people who go on one of these weight-loss shows and lose weight go home and become…..a PERSONAL TRAINER! You can get certified online (no lie) in just a few hours. It infuriates me. Not just because losing weight doesn’t make you an expert in weight loss but because they have learned unrealistic habits – things like cutting everything but vegetables from you diet to dropping 11 pounds in 5 days by working out 9 hours a day. That is NOT real life. I’ve ranted about this before. Now set that aside and I will share what really grinds my gears about this….
Every time I hear a past contestant say they are pursuing a job as a trainer (or worse – a motivation speaker – gag!) I think to myself –
What did you want to be when you were little? What’s your PASSION? What dreams did you have before you gave up on yourself? What did you want to be when you were little? What are your passions? Now….why aren’t you pursuing those dreams??
I understand that once you’ve changed your life you want to share that with everyone and their Mom – but to me it seems like a cop out. Anyone who becomes obese has more going on inside them than just a love for food. I was a workaholic, overachiever who wanted to be perfect in any capacity she could – since she had failed at having a perfect body. I’m mostly over that now. I schedule workouts and usually stick to the schedule. I don’t turn to food for comfort from stress. I’ve made awesome strides; all while succeeding at a job I really enjoy doing. I didn’t give up on my career just because I was fat.
I also understand that some people were lost before they lost weight (no pun intended) or before they found the exercise that changed their lives. So, I don’t consider Zumba instructors or people who pursue their new-found passion for healthy cooking to be in this boat. It’s the personal trainer / motivational speaker schtick that kills me.
I took to Facebook to rant about this last night and my friend Sandy had a great point I wanted to share: You know why? Because these people lost weight in a way that makes health and fitness their entire 24/7 lives. They never learned how to fit it into a normal life. Therefore, if they have a job where they’re not working out at least 8 hours a day, they are gonna pack the poundage back on SO QUICK.
YUP – exactly. I have learned how to lose SLOW (unbelievably slow) and I’ve gained and lost again. I’m human. Humans fuck up. Humans have lives outside of weight-loss and counting calories and tracking calories burned. Humans are not machines. My brother used to tell me that dreams are what separated us from the animals (pretty sure it’s a move quote I’m hacking) and he’s right. So, what are you dreaming about? What can you not wait to do once you’ve conquered a hurdle like excess weight? I can’t wait to live a more active life than I have now. I can’t wait to have a family of my own so I can pass on healthy habits to my kids and I will do that while maintaining a career I’ve had since I was 21 in a field I am passionate about!