10 Tidbits of Weight-Loss Wisdom from The Biggest Loser
Pages in this Story:
- I Am "The Biggest Loser"?
- You Must Be a Priority
- Do Not Worship at the Fondue Altar
- Ignorance Is (Fattening) Bliss
- Don't Hate Your Metabolic Rate
- Sweat Your Frown Upside Down
- Atone for Your Sins -- in Writing
- Health Is Your 401k
- Commit Dessert Adultery -- Occasionally
- Know Your Visceral Limit
- Keep Your Fervor Afire
I Am "The Biggest Loser"?
I claim the title "The Biggest Loser." Not because I dissolved hundreds of pounds, like the competitors on the eponymous, cult-followed NBC phenom. Not because I have the chutzpah (or the psychosis) to squeeze my grown rump and all its dimpled lumpage into spandex and a sports bra on a nationally televised network -- and be weighed like a beef portion (heck naw!). It's because I gorged on the first three seasons -- that's more than 40 hours of pixel play -- in less than a week.
For the uninitiated, here's the skinny on this obsessively watchable tubecast: Between 12 (in season one) and 14 (in seasons two and three) overweight contestants compete to see who can lose the most weight in a six-month stint. Three months are spent on a desert-tropic dude ranch, where players' bodies are pile-driven by professional trainers. Every week, they face food-related temptations (eat this slab of deep-fried fill-in-the-blank and win a phone call home) and a physical test that, if won, comes with rewards. My favorites: high-end exercise equipment and immunity from elimination. One person is voted off the ranch every episode. The challengers who are still standing at the end of the three-month bid compete at home for the remaining 12 weeks. The prize: $250,000, baby!
As you can guess, droves of portly folk auditioned for the first three shows, which began airing in the fall of 2004. Thousands of pounds have been lost -- over two tons in the third season alone (in addition to the 14 ranch dwellers, 36 rivals competed at home for a $50,000 purse). Seeing real people who are feeling real burnout and losing real flab is an inspiring formula. "We identify with these 'nonactors' because we see ourselves in them," says reality-show expert and clinical psychologist Geoffry White, PhD. While this program is one part gawkfest, the other half, I believe, is truly educational. These are the 10 trim commandments I gleaned during my view-a-thon.
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