I promised myself I was going to take it easy on the Biggest Loser this season. After all, it’s a pretty easy target, and there’s no shortage of people making fun of it.
Yet as I’m watching the season premier on DVR, I realize that I have to dedicate one, and only one, post to deriding this insult of a fitness show, mostly to get it out of my system. You may be asking yourself, “If it’s an insult, why on earth would you DVR it in the first place?” Allow me to answer your question with a question – why are you trying to make me look bad?
The most noticeable change this season is that Jillian Michaels is no longer around (Tiger Woods’-style fist pump). In case you’re wondering (and I know you’re not), she’s now on the show, The Doctors, because apparently you don’t need any credentials to call yourself a doctor these days. I’ve never heard a doctor tell me to do something or they’ll, and I quote, “rip your arm off and beat you with it.” Well, she’s always been nothing if not classy.
“She has dedicated her life to becoming one of the most elite athletes in the entire world. She knows first-hand what it takes to become a world-class competitor.” This was the intro given to Anna Kournikova as she replaces Jillian for this season.
Listen, Biggest Loser – don’t pretend I haven’t been watching ESPN for the last ten years. I must say that I didn’t come up with this on my own, but it’s worth sharing:
Anna Kournikova is a perfect addition to the Biggest Loser – after all, she’s done a LOT of losing.
(In case you don’t know, she never won a singles tennis title her entire career. Apparently the producers and I have a different definition of the word “elite.”)
And since it apparently takes two people to replace one vastly underwhelming trainer (Michaels), they also brought on Dolvett Quince, who happens to be Justin Beiber’s trainer. I don’t think anything else needs to be said.
As I told you when I started, the Biggest Loser is an easy target, so I want everyone to know WHY I insist on a post like this.
It’s because the show isn’t helping, it’s hurting.
We’ve got a real problem as a country, and a show sponsored by Subway isn’t helping anybody. There are people who do need to lose weight, and they just don’t know how bad some of this advice is, yet it’s probably the single best-known fitness show on television.
Your average American doesn’t know that the contestants are working out six hours a day. Or that they workout in as much clothing as possible when the cameras are off. Or that they have to sign a waiver saying they can’t talk openly about their experience on the show without the producers’ permission. Or that they dehydrate themselves the day before weigh-ins. The winner of the first season was so dehydrated during the finale that he was urinating blood. He’s since gained back all the weight.
But all people see is the before and after, not the behind the scenes or what happens to these contestants after the show. You can’t take action that’s completely unsustainable and expect the benefits to be sustainable. Yet Bob Harper, Jillian Michaels and crew are thought of as heroes. People believe they’re the best of the best – professionals who have a track record of helping people who really need help. But all the dangerous crap they do on this show happens on their watch, and in spite of all the damage they’ve done, they have no problem cashing the paychecks.
I make fun of the Biggest Loser because it makes my job more difficult. It makes people want more exercise, not better exercise. It makes them want to eat more Subway and less, well, real food. Why? Because the TV trainer said so, never mind how awful they are at their job.
If you watch the show (heck, even I have to admit, it makes for pretty good TV), please remember that what makes for good entertainment usually makes for really lousy fitness.
All right, I’m off my high horse – have a great weekend, everyone!
‘Til next time!