You might be scratching your head after you read this post. I have said what a fan I am of The Biggest Loser and now I am going to point out things I really disliked about tonight’s show in particular. I am still a big fan, however it is always important to continually review what is presented to us, especially in the mass media.
This week’s episode revolved around revealing people’s health issues. Personally, I have issues with this strategy around obesity. To me it is the old dogma, old school, ” shame on you, look what you have done to yourself!” I find it quite defective as a motivational tool and very out of touch with current addiction therapy.
Lets face it, if you’re obese you know you’re unhealthy. If you are super obese then you are on a number of medications, probably have sleep apnea, high blood pressure and possibly other issues. When you go to the doctor, he rolls his eyes at you and suggests you take a few pounds off. Please………………………..
Do you not know you are harming yourself? Off course you do, however that is a symptom of addiction, that is what addicts do. Does the alcoholic that is possibily killing their liver or the drug addict sharing needles not know these are unhealthy practices? Of course they do! People with unhealthy addictions choose the addiction to kill or dull the emotions they cannot deal with. Getting rid of the pain with the addictive substance is what addicts do and they will continue to do it irregardless of the health consequences or until they have a life changing episode (heart attack, cancer etc…) or find a solution to the addiction.
Addicts live in denial…… we don’t really want to know, because we think even if we know, we still cannot stop. Or, to an addict, it is a calculated risk, right now, in this moment it is more important to remove this terrible feeling and I hope it does not hurt me in the long run.
If I can say one good thing about this part of the show that is it takes the issue out of the closet, it lays out in detail what the health consequence are. However, in of itself, this tactic has never shown to be an effective tool to get people to lose weight or change any addictive habit. Same as showing cancerous lung pictures to smokers…… very little effect. As a matter of fact, if the addict is not ready to work on resolving the addiction, adding health issues can even make the addiction worse by just piling on more stress and bad feelings.
The section with Jillian and Maria in the pool was particularly barbaric. We now have very effective treatments for phobia’s that are much kinder and gentler. The you’re a wimp and you can do it approach is 1960s. While it did have the desired effect, it was a very crude intervention. That being said, I really have my doubts as to the long term success of the process in this case.
Hmmmm, about now are you wondering why I said what a great show this is…….
I enjoyed the work out sections. These people are inspiring by how hard they work. It is amazing! Sometimes when I think… ahhh I’ll skip the gym today or when I get in the gym and feel tired and don’t feel like working out, I run a movie in my mind watching the contestants really giving it. My movie is very detailed, I see their faces, the sweat, the just one more rep before exhaustion. Then I see them later and how proud they are of themselves. Yes, I can do it too!