The Biggest Loser Proves: You Can Lose Weight

2006-12-15 23:14 - Opinion

I've enjoyed watching The Biggest Loser since I first saw it. The third season just recently finished, and it's finally time to figure out and explain just why.

Fat people are problems in a number of ways. Largely to themselves and their loved ones. Some will try to place the blame externally but get real: we all face the same temptations in this country. We all have problems. There's no excuse for you to gorge yourself, never exercise, and end up past 250/300 pounds (depending generally on height, gender).

Just in case you don't know: The Biggest Loser is a weight loss competition. "The" biggest loser is of course the contestant that makes it through the reality-TV-show styled game with the most weight lost. The people are fat when they start. I think every season has had somebody start over 400 pounds. And the progress is truly stunning. People have, commonly, lost double digit pounds for weeks in a row. People have a few times lost over twenty pounds in a single week. I think the message is simple: You can lose weight!.

Because of course, these are the people that clearly have failed to diet up until this point. It's the only way they could start off with the weights that they do. They're real people, just like any other fat person you see any day. But there was always one critical difference: these people were whisked away to a ranch, with no job to do, no family to care for, full access to a high quality gym 24x7, and personal trainers pushing them. Not to mention a $250,000 prize up for grabs, and a few smaller ones once in a while as time went on.

This season was different. It started with one person from each state. Fourteen went to the ranch. The remaining 36 were told, secretly, that the top two losers would come back, for a chance to win the quarter million, so they worked out hard at home, with all the distractions and temptations. Know what? When the at-home people came to the ranch, the top two of them had lost more than the ranch people! That's something to say for the ability for real people in real life to lose real weight.

Then the finale came. All fifty people were back. The top two who never made it on the ranch competed for a cash prize. One man, one woman, both lost about half of their original weight! Take a look at this chart, from the weigh-ins done on the finale show:

NameGenderEliminatedStartFinishLostLost %

Click around if you like, you can sort by the columns. If you ask me, those are damn impressive numbers all around. And look, of sixteen people, three lost half of their original weight, ten lost 40% or more. That's a lot of weight! And the average across all fifty of them was just shy of one-third lost. The biggest loser, Erik, started at 407, to win the whole game by percentage! Quite a feat when starting that high, for one, and don't ever say that people that heavy can't lose weight, too!

Finally, here's a quick recap of the weigh-ins charted above. Look at those people. Real people. Lost all that weight. Now, if you're fat, go follow their example.

So there it is. I can't quite say why I enjoy this show so much, but I do. And I really think it's something big, to demonstrate to all of America that it's really possible. Because America needs it, if anyone does. Maybe it's because I've had to share the subway with these people for the past three years?


2007-09-27 11:59 - vj2994

do you know how they get the weight percentage. When I started losing weight I weighed 174 now I weigh 122 pounds. Do you know what my numbers would be? I've lost 52 pounds do you know my %? please get back to me.

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