Thursday, December 01, 2005

Learning from a 'Loser'

I really hate reality TV – there are at least 100 reasons, primarily, if I am going to take the time to watch TV, why should I spend it watching pompous losers humiliate themselves for a wad of cash. But one exception (a guilty pleasure if you will) is the Biggest Loser. This show essentially features a bunch of overweight contestants at a ‘Ranch’ (a euphemism for ‘Fat Camp’) where they have access to personal trainers and compete with one another to lose the most weight. While I don’t buy into the wholesale concept, there is one unique feature – they follow the contestants after they leave the show to see how they are doing. The vast majority of the contests kept up with the plan, and all lost somewhere between 25% and 47%(!) of their ‘before’ weights. Each had a story to tell, and each had a reason for changing their lifestyles.

The beauty of this is that it shows how average people, with the right diet and a regular regimen of exercise, can easily lead a healthy life and bring their weight to an acceptable level. These people are now role models who show us that average Joes and Janes can take charge of their lives and keep the weight off.

As someone who has lost about 25-30 lbs in the past 18 months, I am often asked how I did it. My usual answer is this – Americans in general have two cultural issues preventing them from being thin – they eat indiscriminately and they don’t exercise. Once you watch what you eat and get even a small amount of exercise each day, you will start to see the difference in your life.

While I can’t make too much of a dent in the American public, I hope that these ‘Losers’ can.

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