#87 - Celebrity Weight Loss Shows

I love them! I hate them! You know the shows, like VH1's Celebrity Fit Club or NBC's Biggest Loser, and a host of others. Honestly I do love to watch these shows. Something about watching these shows makes me feel better about myself. What is it? Is it because I see people even worse off than me and that makes my life not seem so bad? Is it because I take pleasure in others misery? Or is it just because it feels good to see people in the same situation as me, thereby making me feel not so alone? I don't know. But I do like to watch them. At the same time, I TOTALLY hate these shows! The biggest reason I hate these shows is that it perpetuates the myth that get-thin-quick schemes work and are healthy. I think most doctors would agree that losing 20 or 30 pounds in a week is NOT healthy! The thing I have taken from the vast number of diet and healthy eating programs I have been on is the idea that you should be losing about 1-2 pounds a week for healthy weight loss. Studies have shown that the faster you lose, the easier it is for your body to regain the weight. Sure, we all want to be thin TOMORROW, but it didn't take a day, a week, or a month to gain all this weight, it took years! I have been losing weight at a slow healthy pace (65 pounds in about a year, a little over a pound a week), and at this pace it seems easy to maintain. I guess you give your body time to catch up with the idea of being thin or something. I suppose it's physical and psychological: you shrink both your physical stomach and your psychological cravings at this pace. But 30 pounds in a week??? I would imagine these people need EXTREME self discipline to maintain their loses. I would imagine they have to fight serious cravings to keep the weight off. At the pace I'm losing, I really don't fight any intense cravings at all. Sure we all have cravings... like I HAD to have a caramel filled Ghirardelli candy last night, heehee. But everyone has these kind of food-specific cravings from time to time, even really skinny people! When I have lost weight very fast in the past (like when I was on Phen-Fen or when I had the gastric band) I fought intense physical cravings for food and struggled with huge loss issues about not being about to eat much at a time. I don't know. This time it just seems a lot easier, and I am attributing it to losing so slowly. I just don't feel deprived and I don't miss the massive quantities of food.

OK back to the subject: weight loss shows. Why have these shoes become such a phenomenon? I suppose it is just another topic that fascinates us in the long line of reality-based programming we all seem glued to. I suppose it does have something to do with the fact that we love to see other people in our same situation, we can relate. Some studies have shown that as many as 120 million Americans are overweight (maybe even more!). That's over 65 percent of Americans!!! And I think the rest of world is not far behind us! So I guess watching these fat shows seems very familiar to us. We like to see other people like us on TV.

The one good thing going for these shows is that they are doing it through diet and exercise, showing us that it CAN be done without pills or surgery. That I like! When I had to have my gastric band removed (due to an allergy) my surgeon wanted me to convert to the gastric bypass. I told her adamantly that I was going to do it on my own. She just shook her head and said with a chuckle, good luck. She just keep forcing the idea down my throat that 98% of people who lose weight by diet and exercise, gain it all back. Well, I don't know how accurate her statistics are, or if that was some scare tactic she uses, but I know people who have done it successfully, and I was going to be one of them too no matter what she said. And shows like this show us that it is possible. I like how they come back to the people from previous seasons to show how they are doing, and it's great to see that some of them have kept off the weight and have even gotten healthier and more fit! So I guess these celebrity weight loss shows are OK as long as you watch them knowing that you probably wont be able to (or want to) lose weight that fast and that the best way to do it is with good old-fashioned diet and exercise. It's not an easy battle, but we can all do it!!!


Mom said...

I simply reject that 98% statistic. I think that is engendered by a set of people who want weight loss "victims" to feel like there is no viable alternative except their own.

We make our own statistics and time will tell.

You're doing great. I am glad you didn't get the bypass. I have a bad feeling about the long-term affects of that surgery, but again, only time will tell.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy your blog.

I have about 100 pounds that I am losing and my body is only releasing about a pound a week. My mind would like to lose two pounds a week!

My question for you.....have you had any difficulty dealing with slower weight loss? Most of the time I can rationalize with myself (i.e. slower is better, I didn't gain it overnight, in a year I'll have lost 52 pounds at this rate, etc.) but some days it's just bloody frustrating that I'm doing so much, but only dropping a pound a week.

Any advise or encouragement?

karaokekitty said...

Hey Sybil,

Of course I'm frustrated at times! Sometimes the weight seems to come off soooooooo slow I feel like quitting. But then I remind myself of how far I've come and that helps. I also remind myself that the slow pace is the way to keep it off for good. So I think of every pound lost as a pound lost for good! That helps me. But yes, some days it is SO hard!!! Just remind yourself that at least you are losing and not gaining! Good luck and keep at it, even if it seems so slow! You can do it!

LisaMM said...

I really enjoy The Biggest Loser and find it very motivating. It would be very hard to duplicate that kind of success in real life, simply because we don't have personal trainers, chefs, and hours each day to devote to working out like they do on the show.. and we DO have kids, jobs, LIVES to attend to that we can't just drop for weeks at a time. But I still like to watch. I've gained 20 lbs. in 3 years (quit smoking and started snacking!) that I'm having a hard time getting rid of.

Anonymous said...

You are right to reject surgery. It doesn't work long term. Throw out the scales. Develop a new relationship with food. Only eat food that feeds your body in a healthful way.......lots of fruits and vegetables and lean proteins. Get moving. Walk or swim......whatever you like to do. Focus on becoming more healthy rather than thin. You'll find the weight will come off naturally without the pressure of a diet. WLS patients usually don't change their eating habits and in time they can eat more and regain most if not all their weight. They get sick too.

You can do this! Now, go eat an apple and take a walk!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kitty,

Food is the essential thing in everyone’s life. Some Foods will make you fit and some foods will make you fat.

Fruits and vegetables are good source of essential proteins and fiber required for your body.

The various starchy foods such as breads, potatoes, etc are the main sources of carbohydrates.

There are various types of fats present in your foods such as saturated fats, trans fats, omega-3 fats, unsaturated fats, cholesterol etc.

Meats and beans are good source of essential proteins required for your body, but they contain high saturated fats and more number of carbohydrates in them.

Jennette Fulda said...

She just shook her head and said with a chuckle, good luck.

Man, what a bitch! I'm glad you didn't let her get you down.

Chubby Chick said...

I love watching those shows, too! They really are motivational. I realize that there is no way in the world that I will ever lose 20 pounds in a week's time, and I'm OK with that. I'm not trying to lose weight that fast. I agree... slower is better.

I'm glad you didn't listen to your doctor! The natural way is the best way! And you CAN lose the weight that way... and you ARE going to keep it off! :)

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Anonymous said...

You did the right thing not having this surgery. The weight loss is initially so rapid many get loose skin and also they cannot really enjoy a normal meal anymore. They do not have a chance to develop new healthier food and activity habits, but are forced to eat very little.
Some regain much of the weight later when they can accommodate more food and especially if the eat lots of sweets or chocolate.

I watched some episodes of the biggest loser but then stopped because although they gave me hope that diet and exercise alone can achieve tremendous results, I found I cannot apply the artificial setup to my real life.

You are doing great- Keep it up :)

Myer Monster said...

I love the biggest loser because watching it motivates me just like reading weight loss blogs does. Yes, the trainers and the chefs, and the endless amount of time dedicated to losing weight can't be maintained in real life, but it certainly gets you started. Look at the people who get kicked off the show early on. They always continue to lose weight after the show.

When I first started losing weight, I hired an expensive personal trainer. I knew that I couldn't maintain having a personal trainer forever, but it got me started, and when she was gone, I kept on going.

Anonymous said...

Slow is definitely the best option, as impatient as it can make you. See, I'm envious of you for being able to lose 65 pounds in a year. I have been at this for nearly three years, and I have only lost 45 pounds. I don't mean to belittle how much I have lost, because yay, that's awesome, but I still have about 55 pounds left to lose.

However, I have learned SO MUCH about maintenance along the way that I fully believe once the weight is all gone that I want to lose, I will be able to maintain it. My eating habits are healthy and reasonable. I am much more active. And despite "only losing" 45 pounds, I have gone from a size 26/28 to a 14/16. I look like a completely different person than when I started out.

Slow is boring, but in the end, it's the only true measure of success, and your body will be able to handle the weight loss much better that way than losing 100 pounds in 4 or 5 months.

Verity said...

Hey, I really enjoy reading this blog, I can totally relate to so much of what you say.

I lost 1/2 lb this week and was really disappointed until someone reminded me that 1/2 lb is the equivilant of a small pack of butter and my body is a lot better off without it. I found that really made me feel better about a slow week. Good luck, slow and steady will win the race! x

Diana Swallow said...

I find the shows really motivating because I see REAL people making progress.

Screw your doctor and her 98%! How dare she laugh at you! If you make your slow and steady weight loss a lifestyle, it will stay off!

Sarahnade said...

I have been reading your site these last few days..Love it!
so true on weight loss shows, I suppose that all thoes fables we heard back in the day about the tortise and the hare do have some truth to them..


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R.E. said...

Hi, Kitty -- I absolutely agree. I dropped 25 in three weeks last year and I got so weak and sick. My blood pressure sank like a rock. What a mess! I'm happy and certainly healthier with 1-2 lbs. lost a week. :)

I'd like to invite you to join, Sharing a Healthy Path, my support and information group for anyone with 100 pounds or more to lose, ready to commit to a healthy lifestyle. The goal of Sharing a Healthy Path is to establish a community committed to a long term vision of personal, healthy change.

Keep on keepin' healthy!

Zandile said...

I touched on this same topic last week on my blog! I just started watching Biggest Loser and I really enjoy seeing them succeed. But I hate the way they treat the small losses as "failures". And I wish they'd talk about how their increased muscle mass is impacting their weight, with Jillian and her beatings you know they are stronger and more fit than they were before but they never really focus on that. But I still can't wait to watch tonight!

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog and this post was excellent. I love the Biggest Loser but I recognize that my life doesn't allow me to be in the gym for several hours every day. I happy to know that they are seen by a doctor and he monitors what they're doing, even if they don't show that part. I'm a little annoyed this season with the blatant commercials in the middle - "This Quaker Oatmeal will make it easier for you to keep going once you get home." !

I know that it's possible to keep the weight off and I'm sorry your doctor doesn't believe in you to do it yourself!

William Fatner said...

Fat people make way too many excuses. Overweight people typically just need to STOP putting food in their mouths. Simple as that. Fat people are usually very sensitive to the truth and complain that this attitude is "mean" or "uncaring." God helps those that help themselves, so put down the chips and get healthy already.

Look, here's the DIET SOLUTION; anyone that wants to lose the flubber should simply take a picture of themselves and put it on the fridge next to a picture of a starving child. Next time you need a cupcake, stare at the picture for 30 seconds and get real.

There's more, but you can read it all at the link below. We welcome all feedback.


Finding Myself said...

I completely understand what you mean about the reality shows, I will never understand why people want to do something that is so emotional on national TV, I just couldn't do it, its hard enough doing it which millions of people waiting to see if you will fail..I found this to be interesting so I thought I would comment....Have a GREAT day Great Blog I have enjoyed it..

Unknown said...

Karaokekitty... where are you?

Toni said...

Hi, I came across your blog for the first time today. I wanted to say that you are a good writer. Your honesty cuts right into the heart of matters and touches my heart. I too am currently struggling with weighty issues, but I've lost 15 pounds, still 20 pounds away from my goal of 130. But see I'm only 5'1" - 155 is still fat when you're that short. You are an inspiration. By the way, I am losing about 5 lbs a month. Isn't that about the rate you are at?

Anonymous said...

Hi Karaokekitty, I do agree with you on the ideal speed of losing weight. I have lost about 2.5 kg/month since November 2006 and it feels good. And as long as you don't just "diet and return" to your old eating habits the weight won't come back. The secret is not to make a diet bit to change your way of eating permanently. If you can do that, there's no weight coming back :-)

Anonymous said...

Where O Where has our Kitty gone?

Anonymous said...

I was fat once too. It is such a relief to be skinner now, I can fit size 25 jenas!!!!!!
I lost my fat by puking all day and only eating two pieces of toast a day! this diet truly works! please belive me or I'll comfort eat! :(
wow, what can I say? Im now pretty much so skinny that Kate Moss envies me! It's true! We could share the same pair of pants! And Angelin Jolie phoned me up the other day, she said I'm so thin that I could eaisly be her body double! It's honestly the truth!

Nina said...

Hey great blog!

I’d love it if you checked mine out, just started it a few days ago. I will be posting Mon-Thu every week, hopefully!


I write mostly blurbs and ramblings about music every day, and I want to start doing some more album/song reviews when the time comes. I would really appreciate a comment or some feedback! :) thanks!

iCANdothis said...

i love the biggest loser! it was a total motivation to get off my butt. :)

Jillian said...

You are all right on target. There are no shortcuts to losing weight. It is all about hard work and determination. It has to be a way of life not just a short term fix. I have lost over 50 pounds and have more than 50 to go. It is slow but it is going and I feel great!


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Anonymous said...

High antioxidant levels boost the immune system, and boundless energy and endurance levels, and, I get this from purple which is reportedly the strongest anitoxidant punch ever! while watching these celebrity weight loss shows I usually have purple, it really gets me goin after having it plus the show boosts me completely. If you want to check out other benefits of purple you can visit www.drinkpurple.com and try it and let me know if you liked it or not! All celebrities are having it while their weight loss so why not we?

Norm said...

I have tried Purple and I love it. It has such a unique taste and by that I mean a really good taste :o)

I know that you can buy Purple at GNC stores but when I went on line to the website at http://www.drinkpurple.com they have an area that tells you where they have distribution.

Scott, you are correct about all the celebrities drinking Purple. I saw the Hilton girls drinking purple on the Entertainment tonight TV show. They were at some party for the stars.

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65 % of Americans are overweight!!! These shows must have really great ratings!!! People always want to watch people with the same problems that they have. But anyway these shows can be very useful for many of us by giving us hope and a motive to act.
Good luck to everybody!

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