Oh the controversy! The Biggest Loser Winner Rachel standing at roughly 5’4″ and reducing her weight from 260lbs to a low 105lbs – a difference of roughly 59%. Seriously the Biggest Loser scale had TWO digit numbers rolling around before landing on 105.
In case you missed it, here’s her reveal:
and here’s he final weigh-in.
Before I go too far, let me say that I love watching Biggest Loser…mainly because I like watching people workout until they puke or fall off a treadmill. This is probably why I don’t coach a whole hell of a lot of people. *shrug. But as a health and wellness professional, I’ve been slowly coming to the realization that I’m watching a show that is encouraging people to lose half if not more than half of their body weight in less than a year’s time. WTF. A grown ass man lost 222lbs – he lost another grown ass man!! – and he didn’t win. This is extreme. Marinate on those thoughts for a minute.
Back to the rant. These contestants are completely supervised ON THE RANCH. There is an entire team of healthcare professionals monitoring every nerdy thing you could monitor about these contestants. It’s easy to be healthy when your food is bought and stocked for you and you’re told where to be/when to be there/what to do 24/7. Society as a whole has a sheep mentality – get over it, you know it’s true – and will do as their guided to do 99% of the time. So these contestants get to go home and be their own people for a couple of months before coming back for the live finale.
Most people go home excited because they get to see family and friends and maybe they have a vacay for a few days. Then they settle back to family to take care of, going back to a job or finding a new one since they were MIA for a few months, and trying to incorporate their new healthy lifestyle into their old family ways. There is a lot of success, we see that in the other contestants. Sure they might only lose 80lbs, but they have a job and kids and I guarantee you their mindset is that of a completely different person’s than when they first came on the ranch. And they still lost 80lbs!!!
So now think about this. What would a young, twenty-something, former competitive athlete go home to do?
Exactly what Rachel did. Turn the competitor switch on to BEAST MODE and go HAM. If you don’t have shit else to do and there’s $250,000 on the line, what would you do? If you know the rules of the game are lose the highest percentage of weight, how far would you go? If you knew no one is going to check your food record, no one is going to look at your macro intake, no one is going to look at the hours you spent in the gym – just pounds lost.
As a competitive athlete, I know this song. Mission: Win. Path: Any way possible. Outcome: Victory. Repeat as necessary.
It’s a scary thought to look at Rachel and be 98% sure you know what she did to get there, because it’s exactly what you would have done. Do I think she wants to be that small up top? As a swimmer – I can call myself that now, right? – I think not. Those bony arms definitely aren’t pulling her through any pools. Do I think she’ll gain 10-15lbs in the next month or so? Absolutely! After all, mission accomplished! She’s walking away with $250,000, the world dropped their jaws for a bit and started slinging words. Maybe she did it to spite us all and show us that we shouldn’t focus solely on pounds lost, that maybe we should actually focus on %BF – shocker!
Do I think she has an eating disorder? Ehhh…maybe the beginnings of one. At first glance, I thought “hell to the yes!” But then thinking about myself and my competitive nature, I think she did what it took to win. I’ll definitely be following this story to see how it unravels though. Ah, reality tv…