I debated on whether I was going to post my personal thoughts about The Biggest Loser season 15 finale. I have a deep respect and admiration for the guys and gals who were on this season, as well as previous seasons. But, I can’t stand to sit back and not say something. Also, I have been asked by many friends and acquaintances about my thoughts on things, so here it is.
I have been a viewer/fan of The Biggest Loser for over 9 years. When I first tuned in to the show during season two, I was over 200lbs and could totally relate with contestants like Suzy, Pete and Andrea. I watched them struggle with their weight and knew how they felt. Everyone’s story is different, but when you’re a fat person, you can understand how another person in the same situation feels. Your relationship with food is messed up, you think that eating bags of chips and salsa is normal. And, working out seems foreign. It’s a struggle to do things like walk up a flight of stairs, let alone walk around a place like New York City without getting winded. Life as a fat person is an unhappy one, whether the person is willing to admit it or not. Watching these people get pushed around in the gym by the trainers both scared me and motivated me. Deep down inside, I WANTED to be one of those people, one of those contestants in the gym with Bob and Jillian. I knew that the life I was living was not a healthy one, and that I needed someone or something to intervene and change that.
Yo-yo diet after fad diet or pill, I tried over the years and even through watching The Biggest Loser never did anything but give me short-term results, if even that. Yet, I continued to be inspired by this weight-loss show where real people, people like me were getting results. It wasn’t until season seven that I was finally ready though for change. The previous season with Michelle, Colleen, Amy and company started my realizations, but I vividly recall my life changing moment and working out feeling as though I was kind of there with Tara and Helen getting it finally done. Inspiration and motivation for weight-loss is important, but it was almost 5 years of watching The Biggest Loser before I really got my push to stop being that over 200lb girl and drop the weight.
Fast forward to present, and I’ve maintained a weight loss of 80lbs and kept up a healthy and fit lifestyle. I’ve continued to watch Biggest Loser and follow a number of the contestants along their journeys both on and off of the show. Just like me, they have experienced and still experience their ups and downs not just with the physical part of losing weight, but the mental and emotional part as well. When you are overweight for most of your life, it’s hard to see that healthier, skinnier person in the mirror. It’s a struggle that I’d say is harder and takes even longer than the actual weight loss. In all honesty, I still experience days when I look in the mirror and see that fat girl. It’s not an easy transition.
So, watching the Finale this week, I couldn’t help but feel for Rachel. She spent 7 1/2 months working on losing the weight and trying to better herself, her sights were set on achieving her goal and winning The Biggest Loser, period. She walked onto The Biggest Loser ranch last year and from then on, she was focused on the prize. Seeing her come out on stage looking like a completely different person brought a flood of feelings. I was surprised at the girl whom I had last “seen” at the triathlon. But, I was also happy for her. She had done it. She had worked for this moment, for this very moment. As she stepped onto the scale and weighed in at 105lbs, I was speechless at how low she had gone. But then again, I wasn’t. I could see the why in what she had done and I could understand it. She came onto the show to win it all, and she HAD DONE IT.
Now, do I believe she went too far? Let me be honest here, I do think she is a bit lower than she should be. However, this is a finale weight, most, if not all of the previous season’s contestants have gained some weight after all was said and done and found their balance. So, I think she will not be 105lbs very long. Look back at the show, Ali Vincent was not her winning finale weight for very long. She took time to found her “happy weight.” Rachel is also an athlete, so that will show as she begins training again for swimming or whatever sport(s) she decides to pursue.
What bothers me is how Rachel is being treated in the media and by some folks in social media. Negative comments directed at her are nothing but hurtful and wrong. Who are you or I to say what she is thinking right now, or in those days leading up to the finale? Judging someone else, even if they are on a TV reality show is just mean, especially when it comes to their weight. The contestants come on to The Biggest Loser obese and America tends to already be judgmental about fat people. Now that they have lost the weight and “may” be too thin, we pull those judgmental attitudes back out and say that that is wrong? Where does it end? It’s hard enough for someone who just went on a weight loss journey for less than a year to learn to love themselves again (or even for the first time) without outsiders thinking they know best and claiming he/she is sickly and weak. Just because these people are on television doesn’t mean we have a right to be their judge and jury. I believe that we need to be supportive and pray for the best for them. Isn’t that what you would do for a friend or family member?
I will end this with this Bible verse:
Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor? James 4:11-12