I know we write a lot about loving thyself. We are pro-curves. We are pro positive body image and against idolising uber slim people just because they are uber slim. But. We are also pro fashion. And god damn it, it's way more fun to shop when you like what you see in the mirror!
Seriously though, for me, I just feel too fleshy. When I run I feel the excess on my back wobble as my sneakers hit the pavement. I feel unstable on my feet, like there is too much for my small frame to hold up; and I am always taking out small children with my side flanks when I stride through my sons kindy. My ass is a hazard. Numbers wise I am in the 'almost red zone' on the BMI index of fatness, nicely labelled: "becoming overweight". It is time to get serious. And apparently I am only serious when there is money at stake. So too, before and after photos. They really put things into perspective.
The dawn of our competition coincided with the finale of the most recent series of the show in the USA. Photos of the winner Rachel Frederickson were all over the internet as fans of the show became angered at her extreme weight loss. Rachel started the show at 260 pounds but by the final weigh in was down to 105 pounds, making her not only the winner of the $250 000 prize money, but also the smallest winner in the shows history, losing almost 60% of her body weight.
Trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Micheals were noticeably shocked by Rachel's weight loss. I'm not suprised by their reactions though. If you think about the fact that the camera adds 10 pounds, imagine how thin she must have looked in person! After the show Jillian tweeted that she would not be commenting on Rachel's emaciated appearance at the finale, and recommended any inquires regarding Rachel's weight loss be directed to the shows producers.
- "I think it's kinda sad that young girls are watching this as an example",
- "I don't think I've ever been this uncomfortable watching the finale. Rachel just looks so sickly. She shouldn't be able to win.
- "Remember they say the camera adds 10 pounds. Imagine what Rachel looked like in person. No wonder Jillian looked horrified."
- "This is the first time I've seen a contestant go too far. Genuinely upset about this one."
But is Rachel herself really to blame? Should the onus really lie with her? After all it is a competition isn't it? What would you do for $250,000? I'm pretty sure that I'd feel good wad of determination to stay away from the chocolate biscuits if it was worth that much to me!
The real issue here is whether Rachel herself knows she is now too thin, or whether she thinks she has "just a few more pounds to reach her goal weight". Has she developed an eating disorder, or was she just in it to win it?
Interestingly nobody flips their lid when actors and actresses starve themselves for a role. Anne Hathaway won an Oscar partially because she managed to lose 14 pounds in two weeks by eating nothing but 4 tablespoons of oats a day! She wasn't condemned. She was congratulated. When Mila Cunis got her weight down to 98 pounds on her 5'4" frame to play a ballet dance in Black Swan she too was applauded. So why the double standards. Why are these actions acceptable for an actress when done in the name of art, work and money but not okay for a competitor in a game show?
The Biggest Loser is a TV show. It is a game. A game where fat people compete against each other to lose the most weight by D-day. Why? So we can watch it. So who is really to blame here? Is it the producers who thought this show up? Perhaps it is the sponsors who make the show possible. Or perhaps it's us. The sick people who watch the show each week whilst we sit on the couch eating biscuits and commenting on who is determined enough to lose the most weight.
As for my biggest loser journey. Am I still in? Well yes, yes I am. But considering the minimal prize offerings I doubt that my weight loss will be quite as competitive as Rachel's. I am in it to simply lie somewhere nicely in the middle of 'Normal' on the BMI index of fatness. No excessive rapid weight loss for me. Slow and steady wins the race.