My hubs came home the other night and said he read in the paper how pretty much all the contestants gain back most (and in a few cases- all) the weight they lost on the show. That got me wondering and I had to go do some investigating.
Here's what I came up with:
Biggest Loser Contestants: Where are they now?
It seems like many of them didn't do too bad maintaining their weight loss. Most of them have gained back some weight, but I think that's totally normal. You have to think many of them were severely restrictive leading up to their finales since money was on the line. I mean, who hasn't lost weight and gained some of it back? I have!!
While I enjoy watching the show, I don't think it sets a realistic framework for people who are obese and trying to lose weight. Duh! People surely find it discouraging to try their best to find out they "only" lost 2 lbs a week (which is HUGE and probably more than is normal), but want to lose in the double digits like the contestants. I think most of us realize that, but I'm certain there are those who don't.
Many of the contestants suffer from slower metabolisms as a result of the rapid and massive weight loss and have to work extra hard to keep themselves in check. I read one study that said that by the end of the season, many of their metabolisms have slowed down up to 500 calories a day. I think that's to be expected. It kinda comes with the territory of losing so much weight so quickly. I feel bad for the contestants who have gained almost all the weight back.
As someone who lost 35 lbs in 3 months, and then gained back 45 over the course of 2 years, I know the devastating effect it can have on your self-esteem. You go from feeling so sexy and proud to feeling like a failure. Sometimes I wish I hadn't lost the weight at all. I'll never have that body back, and I'm beginning to be OK with that. I'm learning to love my body at this weight. I eat when I'm hungry. I stop when I'm full. I enjoy sweets occasionally. I am physically active 6 days a week. I eat clean most of the time. If this is the body I am "stuck" with, then it's the body that I'm meant to have. No more starving, no more deprivation, no more self-loathing (and NO more scales)!
Life has suddenly become too short for me to care about being skinny anymore. My goal is to be fit and strong. And happy in my own skin. Kudos to you, BL contestants for continuing to fight the good fight. It will be a life-long battle, but you just have to take it one day at a time.
Oh, and shameless plug- I did my Jelly Bean Virtual 10K race today. I had a hard time moving. Felt like I was slogging through mud carrying a 100 lb sack of potatoes on my ass. Meh- they can't call be winners. I'm just glad I didn't stop and throw a temper tantrum on the side of the road. My new road Hokas were WONDERFUL. Gosh, I love those shoes. They make me *want* to run roads (something I haven't wanted to do in a loooong time).