I've had quite a few different people ask my opinion, as a personal trainer, of what I thought of NBC's The Biggest Loser finale last night and specifically what I thought about Rachel's weight loss. For some reason, we all look for someone or something to blame when we don't like something right? In this case I think Bob and Jillian's faces capture mine and most trainers emotions when she first walked out:
So here's my response:
Do I think she LOOKS too skinny? Yes
Do I think she LOOKS unhealthy? Yes
Do I blame her? No
This was one of the seasons that we actually watched and really enjoyed watching Rachel win almost every competition. We knew she would win, but just like other weight loss shows or any weight loss competitions where a large sum of money is up for grabs, it was only a matter of time until someone went too far to do whatever it took to win the competition. I'm sure there was a lot of pressure on Rachel to have "dramatic" results and I know $250,000 is a lot of money to win. So I can see how she would do whatever it took to win that money. I know when I wrestled in high school there was a lot of pressure to "make weight" and if you didn't make weight it was "unacceptable". So I did whatever it took to make weight (starved myself, slept in sweats, worked out multiple hours a day, etc.). So I don't entirely blame Rachel, but I do think there should be a line drawn by NBC to have some type of monitoring during the last period before the finale.
I know people personally that have taken diuretics, laxatives, starved themselves, worn trash bags to get the weight off on these types of shows and are willing to do whatever it takes to lose the weight to win the money. We are a society of extremes sometimes and I think we still associate "skinny" with healthy, but there's a healthy way to lose weight and many unhealthy ways to lose weight. So just because someone is skinny, doesn't mean they're necessarily healthy and just because someone is overweight doesn't mean they can't be healthy by eating clean and exercising.
At the end of the day though, I try not to judge. I don't know her blood work. I don't know if she's technically monitored by a doctor or not. She could be healthy for all I know, so I don't want this to be an attack on her at all. I do hope that she is healthy though and I do hope that all of us can see this show for what it is….A REALITY TV SHOW.
As you all know, I'm all about living a healthy lifestyle vs. a diet. Unfortunately, a lot of people gain the weight back after these shows, which is sad because they don't know how to sustain a healthy lifestyle after the lights and cameras are gone. What's your personal take on this:
Is NBC responsible?
Are we being too hard on Rachel?
Are we partly to blame for this because of "body shaming"?