It’s been a busy couple of days. I’m finishing a couple different blogs on the continuation of the shoulder series asa well as one on why everybody thinks they’re a better strength coach than you.
In the meantime here is a great repsonse I got from a reader on the post last week about the Biggest Loser.
It’s a great rant and I appreciate Nick sending it in.
Preface: I would like to preface this rant with the statement that any activity is better than sitting down on the couch especially if said sitting involves a TV and if that TV is tuned to the Biggest Loser.
Being in health care I especially appreciate shows that inspire the general public (which is 67% overweight) to do something to improve their health. I do have a huge problem with the way the material is presented as realistic and healthy when this is the furthest from the truth. Nobody, employed or unemployed, has the money, the time, or medical insurance to support the unsustainable “lifestyle” presented on the show.
6 hours of workouts mostly consisting of monotone cardio, hamster-like workouts where the contestants are screamed at and criticized (disguised as encouragement and tough love). The self esteem of these contestants is beyond tanked; this makes the most viable solution to scream in their face when they are maintaining a heart rate a sneeze away from a heart attack. Could you sense the sarcasm? I was laying it on pretty thick.
There is a reason why people over 300 pounds (let alone 450) don’t run marathons. Most of these people have been overweight for many years. A result of prolonged obesity is trashed knees, shredded hips, an overworked and undernourished cardiovascular system, hormone imbalances, and oxidative stress that rivals any nuclear reactor. The old saying goes that the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Bob and Jillian are unhinging these peoples’ jaws like a damn anaconda and forcing them to eat the pachyderm head first by having them run a marathon. If endorphins released during exercise are not enough to mask the pain created by exercise this is an evolutionary signal to stop exercising (not to struggle through the pain and say something hinting of failure for the camera).
When you weigh 350 pounds diet is the issue 100%. Not 80% or 75%; it is 100%. These people burn more calories sitting in 2 southwest airlines seats than the average 180 pound male could physically burn doing hill sprints in a weighted vest. I will agree that exercise creates more of a caloric gap between intake and burn in these folks, but I just have one question. Is it really worth the risk? Why not clean the gluten, processed foods, dairy, artificial sweeteners, and other dumpster-worthy toxic waste they people are consuming in livestock quantities before we force-feed them more of the processed foods because they sponsor the show and take the “fat burners” made by Jillian? If we taught people that the thing under their nose is a mouth and not a vacuum cleaner and to eat quality over quantity, I would venture to guess these people would shred weight like crazy. If they hit a plateau down the road when they have lost 50-100 pounds and have systemic inflammation under control and when their heart isn’t in v-fib every time they think of a treadmill; throw in some long slow distance walking (in good shoes) or no impact water movements to spare their already arthritic joints to get over that hump.
Moderation is the key to sustainable living, but moderation is far from entertaining. Has anyone checked the Vegas over/under odds on when they actually kill one of these people?