Saturday, February 12, 2011

One of my (many) guilty pleasures

I have a confession to make here... and hopefully all of you, if you don't completely understand, will at least have some sympathy for my plight.

I seemed to have developed an addiction to television weight loss programs. I was actually a late comer to the Biggest Loser fan base. I didn't have much interest in the first several seasons and I didn't really understand the appeal. In fact, I've only been following it for just a few seasons, but now, I confess, I'm absolutely hooked. I don't ever miss a single episode... and while I rarely watch them live (since I don't have the patience to sit through all the commercials, the only exception is usually the finale), I DO watch them almost religiously, catching each week's episode within a day or two of when it airs, either with "On Demand" cable or online through Hulu.

I wish I could say that the fascination with weight loss reality shows stopped there, but it doesn't and there have actually been a couple of new entries to the weight loss reality show programming lineup: "I Used to be Fat" on MTV and "Heavy" on A&E. Both of which I also now watch with as much regularity as Biggest Loser and enjoy immensely as well. Fortunately, they are formatted quite differently than Biggest Loser and they each have their own demographic, so it's really not like you're watching a bunch of iterations of the exact same show.

I'm embarrassed to reflect too closely on why I might now be so hooked on these shows or even more to the point, why it has only been a more recent phenomena with me. I suspect that the recentness of it has something to do with my own weight loss journey and that up until a few seasons ago (with Biggest Loser), I wasn't willing to hold up a mirror to that reality which was my life... in other words, I didn't want to examine the fact that I significantly overweight with serious weight related health issues starting to peek up over the horizon. Why I like these shows so much now might be an even bigger mystery... Yes, I do like to see them succeed in their weight loss journeys, but even more, I perversely enjoy watching the struggles they have and seeing their personal trainers harassing them mercilessly. Does this make me a little sick & twisted? Probably... but like I said, I prefer not to examine it too closely. Just know that I DO like the fact that the contestants lose weight and I am amazed at their accomplishments when all is said and done.

Now, I can also say that these shows usually provide a huge inspiration for me to get off my still somewhat squishy backside and to get up & move. Often, I will wait to watch Biggest Loser until a non-running day (I work out six days a week, but only run three of the six) and then I will drag my aerobic step into the living room and watch BL while I step. Really, it's the only way I can watch these people lose 10 or 15 pounds in a week and not feel completely jealous or inadequate.

Another time I'll give you my whole diatribe on the unrealistic expectations this show sets up for those people watching it who want to achieve similar results in a similar time frame, but, no matter, that doesn't stop me from watching and enjoying Biggest Loser or any other weight loss show that comes down the line... 

Yesterday's Run
Miles: 4.5
Time: 56:27
Pace: 4.8 mph
Street Run


Run with Jess said...

I love Biggest Loser! I anxiously look forward to Tues night every week. Unlike you, I can't wait an extra second to watch it, so I suffer through the commerical. Just saw a new one airing called "Shedding for the Wedding". Premieres on the CW on 2/23/11 at 8:00pm CST. Is it sad that I have it marked on my calendar?!?! hee, hee...

Heather said...

Would you like me to scream at you in my very best "Jillian" voice while we run next week? lol

(I looooove I used to be fat, too! I'm not as hooked on it as Biggest Loser, though.)