A few articles have been buried in the news lately about former Biggest Loser contestant, Kai Hibbard, and her comments that the show pushed her to lose weight in unhealthy ways and that her dramatic 118 pound weight loss in what seemed like 12 weeks on television actually took longer.
Hibbard says the show pushed contestants to work out excessively through injuries and all, encouraged them to ignore the advice of nutritionists and listen only to Biggest Loser trainers, use dehydration as a means of dieting and lowering the number on the scale, and that there could be many weeks between weigh-ins (which, through the illusion of TV, only look like they are happening once a week).
She claims she returned home with a low-self image about her body, poor/extreme dieting habits, her hair was falling out and she didn't look good so her family staged an intervention. She has since gained back 70 pounds of the weight she lost. You can read the entire article here:
Biggest Loser Contestant: Show Hurts People
For anyone who might think Witchcraft is bad, this kind of tv "magic" is much worse, isn't it? It's a complete illusion.
For some reason our society, even though we know that just about everything on television is for profit and entertainment, still has a huge influence over us. In one segment it is showing us what body image to aspire to, and in the next commercial it is telling us to run to McDonalds or grab a batch of Betty Crocker Brownie Mix. People sit there watching TV, zoning out into a semi-meditative state (the ALPHA state, a lighter version of the state in which post-hypnotic suggestions can be planted), watching this stuff, and it permeates their subconscious.
Shows like the Biggest Loser and Celebrity Fit Club fuel misconceptions that someone can lose weight so quickly. These shows fuel misconceptions by paying some sell-out doctor (with a good sympathetic stare) and a physical trainer condoning to sit there and encourage this kind of extreme weight-loss while spewing self-help cliches about the importance of being healthy (the opposite of what they are doing). These so-called "professionals" give the illusion that this "experiment" is about helping the lucky chosen contestnet-- and inspiring the world-- to get healthy and eat right... when the real goal is just making money, getting ratings, selling air time.
Not that I am against capitalism-- not by a longshot, I firmly believe capitalism is the best, most fair economic system-- so no, just because I am a Pagan don't think I am pinning this on "big business" or "capitalist corporations." Making money, making TV shows, fueling the economy is good. The problem is they are doing this under the guise that it is a "reality show" so people unfortunately believe what they see, even though it's been highly manipulated. This in particular is a reality show about a medical problem, and they are being deceptive, as if there were a "miracle cure" right under your nose and you, dear home viewer, are just missing it.
And then when people get inspired to eat a healthy diet and exercise and find they are not losing 5, 10 or 12 pounds a week, that they are chugging along at a steady 1 to 2 pounds, and when they hit those natural plateaus, they think there is something wrong with them. They think they are doing something wrong. Or they think it is too hard and give up.
Can you imagine if they did that with cancer patients? Get a bunch of patients whose ability to go into remission looks promising, giving them sea weed and other "healthy" diets, follow them to doctor appointments and yoga classes, then dress them up with a professional make up artist using lighting to make them look great once a week, and act like "Ohy, look how wonderful they are doing... and you can do it, too, if you really wanted to." Meanwhile behind the scenes they are getting aggressive rounds of chemotheraply and the "once a week" check-in is really every 2 months. Can you imagine viewers at home who have cancer, or live with loved ones with cancer, or who have lost people to cancer-- how would that make them feel that they didn't find such a "fast and easy" cure?
If you go visiting weight-loss forums, you often see posts like "how can I lose weight fast!" "Should I just eat an apple a day and drink water and get on the treadmill for 6 hours so I can drop 60 pounds in 30 days?" or "Why aren't I losing weight? I only eat 500 calories a day and I do cardio aerobics an hour a day and for some reason I am only losing a pound or two a week! What's wrong?"
People don't read, people don't study up on fitness and nutrition, most people don't have a clue about their bodies or what a normal sized portion is or what's a balanced diet or how much they should intake every day in calories... but they see the "Biggest Loser" and they want to know why they can't do it.
And the reason is that it's not just "TV magic"-- it is a complete illusion. False. A lie delivering false hope and impossible promises to desperate people in a society with a screwed-up notion of body image, instant gratification and finding miracle cures.
This is the kind of mentality that not only is keeping America fat, but making it get worse with each passing decades. Frankly, I don't have cable, I have seen about 1/2 an episode of the Biggest Loser and about 2 episodes of Celebrity Fit Club when visiting my mother, and since I have educated myself a bit on the topic I could see that it was a complete load of bunk. But I really shudder to think of the eating disorders of the next generation of kids and teens growing up with these "reality" shows... the depression, the low-self image, self-loathing for not being able to do it so fast and easily, the amount of people who may pure give up, or the amount of people who will try, fail, try, fail, try, fail, and each time put on those extra 10 or 20 "bonus" pounds your body seems to gain after a failed diet.
Why is it the FDA can restrict the use of a natural sweeting herb like stevia, but not the blatant glorification of false information via the most influential medium in our society?